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How to talk to your racist uncle (or almost anyone else) about the Paris attacks (or other issues): a skill-building workshop
January 10, 2016 @ 2:00 am - 5:30 pm| Free
Powerful and beautiful movements including Black Lives Matter, No One is Illegal and Idle No More are challenging the racialized power structures of our society. Yet virulent, reactionary racism is on the rise in our communities. Many of us feel heartbroken, furious and helpless in the face of growing racist sentiment. While many of us want to confront oppressive attitiudes and ideas when we encounter them, most of us become fearful or tongue-tied when it comes to articulating ourselves in public or with people who might disagree. But we know it will take more than sarcastic outraged tweets and likes to overcome the tide of bigotry that is washing over society today. We need to train ourselves and find the courage to confront and refute ignorance, fear and hateful and oppressive attitudes.
But these skills don’t come naturally; they need to be cultivated.
This workshop will help us develop our capacities and confidence to talk one-on-one to other people about racism and other difficult but crucial topics.
We’ll begin by going over some theory about how racism and oppression works on the imagination. We’ll brainstorm common arguments and good responses. We’ll review useful techniques and deescalation tactics. We’ll role-play some difficult and some funny situations. And then we’ll take it to the streets, pairing up to practice our new skills with strangers in the public sphere. Finally, we’ll debrief together.
This workshop is geared towards beginners. No experience is necessary.
Racism and other forms of oppression are systemic and structural and will not be overcome simply by convincing people to think or feel differently. However, it is still important for us, especially those of us who hold different forms of power and privilege, to take responsibility for educating ourselves and those around us and for addressing oppressive attitudes and behaviours where we find them. This is a small part of a process of collective liberation, towards building stronger forms of solidarity that can change the world.
The workshop will take approximately 3.5h.
The workshop is free, but pre-registration at http://www.tradeschool.coop/halifax/ is required.
By registering and participating you agree to actively help create a supportive, joyful and anti-oppressive environment. Those who do not or cannot contribute to these goals will be asked to leave.
Facilitator: Max Haiven is co-director of the Radical Imagination Project (radicalimagination.org) and teaches cultural studies and political economy at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He has been involved in a wide range of struggles, including anti-imperialist, Indigenous solidarity and anti-racist initiatives.