The event was organized by Lisa Watkins, RAPP XXIV grad and RA in Stratford Heights. UC Alliance and GenderBloc helped heavily promote it. Thanks to everyone's hard work 55+ people participated in this two hour dialogue.
Participants worked through several activities where we explored and shared our experiences throughout life around race and sexuality. Our final activity of the night involved reacting to a quote and talking about ways we create and/or combat the situation/feelings it describes.
Here's the quote, from Movement in Black by Pat Parker:
If I could take all my parts with me when I go somewhere, and not have to say to one of them, "No, you stay home tonight, you won't be welcome," because I'm going to an all-white party where I can be gay, but not Black. Or I'm going to a Black poetry reading, and half the poets are antihomosexual, or thousands of situations where something of what I am cannot come with me. The day all the different parts of me can come along, we would have what I would call a revolution.
In groups, participants reacted to the quote and shared their understanding of it and experiences related to it.
Then, each group compiled a list of things they've seen others do or done themselves that created situations where people felt like the poet described - where only part of themself was welcome rather than the whole. Below is a word cloud of what the groups stated (the larger the words, the more groups that said it). Click the picture to see the full image:
The groups also spent time recording things they've seen others do or done themselves that combat situations like the poet described, creating environments where people are welcome as the whole, complex being they are. Here is a word cloud of that - again, click the image to see the full image:
Many thanks to all the people who attended and participated in the program on Wednesday!
Want a similar program? Or, any other program? Be sure to check out the RAPP Outreach page and see what we can do!