Fellow state employees,
In support of Blacks United In Leadership and Diversity (BUILD) and the Black community, the Washington State Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council Events Subcommittee invites you to the “We Can’t Be Silent: White Accountability Listening Sessions” for state employees.
More info below.
The intention of these listening sessions is for white identified state employees to come listen, learn, begin to heal racial bias, and move into the space of active bystanders, allies, change agents and accomplices. White identified persons who desire to be a part of the solution must always start with themselves.
Please keep in mind, regardless of the title “White Accountability Listening Sessions” and emphasis on white identified state employees, we welcome all employees to these listening sessions, regardless of race/ethnicity, and will create safe/brave space for conversations to occur for everyone.
Beginning June 30th, we will be hosting three weeks of listening sessions, facilitated by multiple state employees in DEI/training from various agencies. Each session will be repeated three times in the week it is offered. Below is a description of the session topics covered each week:
Session One/Week One (June 30, July 1 and 2): Week one will be an introductory session. It will include an introduction to white accountability, talking about the definition of racism, recognizing when we first realized people were categorized by race, and how to recognize our own bias/stereotypes. To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/110217621874
Session Two/Week Two (July 7, 8 and 9): The second week’s session will dig deeper into topics on white accountability with discussions about microaggressions and being an active bystander. To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/110218925774
Session Three/Week Three (July 14, 15 and 16): The third week’s session will dig the deepest and talk about white supremacist thoughts/behaviors, discuss situations such as the one with Amy Cooper in NY's Central Park, what it means to be an ally/change agent, and working on a personal action plan. To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/110218975924
We hope you will join us on this journey of learning and allyship.
The Washington State DEI Council Events Subcommittee
“As time passes in white accountability spaces, I watch white people engage each other more openly and challenge each other more effectively. They practice confronting racist attitudes and actions – without attacking each other’s humanity. As a result, new insights are gained, courage is fortified, and strategies to respond more effectively to racist microaggressions are formulated.
After these deep, engaging sessions, many white people experience a true community of white allies, unlike anything they may have ever known before. They can now envision what is possible and see new ways to be effective white change agents.
And I remind them that anything they accomplished and experienced in our white accountability group, they can bring back to their organizations and their lives.” Dr. Kathy Obear (presenter at the 2020 DEI Summit)
For more information about this event please contact:
Marika Barto, M.Ed, CDE | Assistant Director of Workforce Development
Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises
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