Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lessons Learned: Appreciate It!

"Feel good" and appreciation activities can have a very deep personal impact; they also run counter to white culture/white supremacy.

Many of us have heard the cliche "Stop and smell the roses." In our lives, how often do we stop and take the time to appreciate the activities we enjoy, people we love, or accomplishments we are proud of? I say not enough. We could probably find many more instances in which we've pointed out a something or someone's inadequacies.  Knowing this, we often build "feel good" or appreciation activities into our RAPP curriculum.

Corrine Patterson's SJL Award Recognition

Appreciation activities perpetuate an environment where everyone's individual efforts are recognized and celebrated, as opposed to acclaiming the same few people; usually those given credit in the outside world (i.e. CEO's, celebrities, and so on). According to Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones, authors of Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups, white supremacy involves a "tendency to identify what is wrong; little ability to identify, name, and appreciate what is right." Appreciation activities run counter to this idea and can even be a sort of antidote.

Lessons Learned is a RAPP Blog initiative intended for folks who hold formal leadership positions in RAPP programs to share what they're learning through their process

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