3 August 2012 Planning Meeting

2-3 August 2012
Chicago, IL

A working group was formed from participants of the Open Space Session at AH 2012. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation provided financial support to convene the working group. The William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation provided staff support for the convening. Jennifer Henderson and Tom Bailey of Strategic Decisions were hired as facilitators for the planning group.

In attendance were:

Al White
Amy TerHaar
Charles H. Tucker
Elliot Long
Jeanne Isler
Jennifer Henderson
Jim Longhurst
John Zeigler
Juana Guzman
Leroy Clemons
Lloyd Y. Asato
Luz E. Benitez Delgado
Martha Lee
Michelle Di Bennedeto
Mike Wenger
Ruben Solis
Susan M. Glisson
Tom Bailey

Notes from Day One, 2 August 2012.
Individual and agency names redacted.

Opening activity - Story Circles

  • (1) The meaning of your name, (2) Something about the community from which you are coming, and (3) What is your gift?
  • “Share a recent story of a time that made you feel hopeful.”

What the landscape looks like:

*Redacted*: Three things: hope, hunger, challenges
  1. Hope: The hope is that there are hundreds if not thousands of community based programs around the country doing racial equity and healing work in one way or another.
    2 The hunger is that more often than not they are isolated from each other, don’t know what other groups are doing or that other groups exist. Creating and sustaining a network is extremely difficult.
    3 Challenges: self sufficiency, time pressures (how do you get people engaged when they are so busy doing the work that they do? How do you make it feel like value added?)

  • A mapping project with *redacted* with racial healing groups
    • Connections are largely place-based right now, but people want to connect more.
  • Things that arose from the project
    • Wanting more face-to-face gatherings, wanting to share one-to-one.
      How to better measure and better evaluate healing work. How to add value to the field would be measurement and how to talk about impact, from the most pragmatic moments of trying to attract more funding to the work, attract more non-traditional allies. “We don’t want to lose the intrinsic nature of doing healing work, but there may be other ways of talking about it.”
      Finding a common language.

  • A historical perspective
    • In the 60s, using model of a leader and followers. Leaders burn out quick. Shifted to having leaders push the movement instead of pull the movement, but still burnt out quickly. In 80s with Reagan and the Republican Right, shifted back into thinking about community organizing. Not centered on a leader but on the people.
  • Need to create an infrastructure, not a superstructure.
    • Creating a deliberate space for debate and sharing that isn’t about decision making.
    • Have our own university.
    • Change what the US is about in terms of reconciliation, establish our own narration of racism in this country.

  • Freedom Song and When the Movement Came to Town focusing on the stories of the people of the movement, not on leaders.
    • Community organizing from the ground up, e.g. MS Education Working Group
    • South by Southwest – creating a timeline, finding common history.
    • Empowering young people, documenting stories of people in the movement, understanding local cultures.
    • Thinking about technology in order to reach young folks.

Other points:
Head vs heart work – need to work towards common goals, even if from different angles
Thinking about curriculum – finding ways to share what we know

*Redacted*’s matrix (draft)
  • Manifestations of racism
    • Kind of trauma that it brings
    • Who are the orgs fighting it
    • What are some of the healing benchmarks
    • What would be some of the outcomes

Memorable Moments from today
  • *Redacted*’s matrix, a “structure of coherence”
    • Thinking about how to measure healing in a one-year time span when looking at a 400+ year history
    • a lot of commonality in terms of sharing, in hearing other people’s stories
    • safety of the space – being frank and direct with each other
    • grateful to be a part of this group, that we had an open space to converge
    • Time to meet face-to-face
    • The sense that there’s so much agreement and understand around organic processes, transparency, relationship building as integral part in getting us to a place

Take Aways
  • Forum for intentional face to face conversation
    • A place for conversations on racial healing that can be shared with the public and influence mainstream conversation.
    • Common assessable language when it comes to personal bias versus institutional racism
    • Debate and sharing not about decision making
    • Convergence
    • Metrics
    • Ways to show our value-added worth
  • Creation of a learning community (virtual university, community exchanges, knowledge management)

  • What networks exist? How do we engage with them?
    • Demographic data?
    • Who else should be at the table? Indigenous environmental networks, Native American networks, South by Southwest, etc
    • National vs Global network (the name affects Pacific Islanders)
    • How do we connect with other foundations doing similar work?
    • Data sharing (including failures)
    • But, don’t grow too fast. Maintain point-to-point relationships
    • map our existing networks to start
  • We don’t know how to take care of ourselves – but we will learn.
    • Money and resources.

Parking Lot:
  • Definition of Racial Healing
    • A way to communicate with the group a list of allies
    • Maybe establish meeting intervals for the network

  • A paragraph definition of racial healing

Notes from Day Two, 3 August 2012.
Individual and agency names redacted.

Opening activity:

  • Tell a story of a young person in your life who makes you laugh.
    • Talk about a time when you reached bliss – when what you love, what the world needs, what the world will pay for, and what you do well all overlapped.
    • Reading of the poem “He alo a he alo” – face to face by *Redacted*

Envisioning the Network
  • Constituency: practitioners
    • Purpose:
    • Library of best practices, experiences, language and definitions
      Relationship development, individual and network (serve as point of connection for relationship building)

*Redacted*’s Matrix
Manifestations Trauma (kinds) Organizations fighting it Healing Benchmarks Outcomes

Discussion Area Questions:
  • Creating a Virtual Knowledge Library
    • Creating a Safe Space
    • Determining Who Else Needs to Be at the Table

Purpose and Scope Conversation
  • “A common ground was we wanted it to be a space where practitioners came together to have a safe space to debate, argue, analyze, disagree, and then have external language to address others rather than a broad based massive network.”
    • How do we collectively define the current political moment?
    • Self care – “If we cannot model it, it is lost for others.”
    • Removing the word “national” to make it more inclusive
    • “A place to bring crazy ideas, embryonic ideas, things you can’t share anywhere else.”
    • Connecting people, honoring work already going on.
    • Cannot fully determine what the network will be without all of the voices at the table.
    • Working groups will begin working on some aspects of the network, then will continue work at the meeting in December. Plan to launch the network in 2013.

Working Groups

Virtual Library/Learning Center
  • Jim
  • Al
  • Ruben

Creating a safe space / taking care of ourselves / relationship building
  • Leroy
    • Jeanne
    • John
    • Juana
    • Michelle

Deepening our understanding of racial healing
  • Lloyd
    • Tom
    • Mike

Put together the agenda for December
  • Ruben
    • Michelle
    • Jeanne
    • Susan
    • Juana
    • Tom
    • Jennifer
    • (John, Lloyd, and Martha? Not written on the board but I thought expressed interest)

Email definition of racial healing to Lloyd: lloyd@buildcommunity.net The racial healing group will work on synthesizing those definitions.

Next meeting
  • December 5-7, 2012 in Chicago again.
    • Begin with a dinner December 5th (be in Chicago by 5pm) and meet during the day on the 6th and 7th, ending around 4pm on Dec. 7th.
    • Each person will invite their recommended network builders to the meeting and let Susan know who is able to attend and who isn’t.
    • Invite guests to help us fill out the matrix and to help build a racial healing practitioners network.
    • Working groups will report on progress.

The following meeting in April 2013 in Asheville, North Carolina
• Just before the Kellogg gathering, which is April 22nd-25th.
• Arrive on Sunday, April 21st and meet on Monday, April 22nd.