Healing Roots facilitates a discussion every month for our Learning Community and we offer a workshop every few months. For the Learning Community, we usually meet at the Midtown Global Market in South Minneapolis at 920 East Lake Street, but we are conducting our discussions over Zoom for the time being to maintain social distancing during COVID-19. Participants at each meeting pick the topic and the date for the next meeting. Everyone is welcome.
We choose topics on modern European American culture or whiteness, particularly to build our skills at facilitating discussions and educating others about what needs to be transformed for an equitable, just, and healthy society. We also choose topics to learn about our root cultures and draw resources from them to replace whiteness, for health and healing, and to add richness and meaning to our lives.
Healing Roots Learning Community
Topic for Discussion: Second in a Series:
How Can We Connect with Our Root Cultures?
Thursday, December 10, 2020
6:30 - 8:00 pm
In our discussions over the years we have talked about many strategies for dismantling whiteness. One that raises a lot of questions is the need to envision and move toward a society and identity that is not based in whiteness. This means reconnecting with our ancestral history, reconnecting with land and nature and stories. This work can be confusing and difficult, but many have found it to be an important part of the work in dismantling whiteness and have found it to be immensely rewarding.
In our first discussion, we talked about forming small groups of people around different root cultures or other categories of interest to support each other in our study. At the meeting on the 10th, people can choose a topic to explore and we will give time in the meeting for people to self-organize into groups. We will also offer some resources, based on the topics.
In the large group, we will discuss such questions as:
- How can we reconnect without misappropriation?
- How can we have an identity based in culture while acknowledging and taking responsibility for our whiteness?
Please email Janice Barbee at janicegwb"at"yahoo.com if you want to join us via Zoom. (@ has been replaced by "at" to avoid robot spam.)
Justice for George Floyd Tool Kit - Black and Indigenous organizations to support and contact info and sample messages for letters and phone calls
Resources to Support Minneapolis Protestors - Materials and health resources in the Twin Cities, where to direct donations and support, petitions, learning resources for our own education
Twin Cities Aid Distribution Locations - maps that lists aid distributions locations, highlights urgent needs, when donations are being accepted
Don't Recreate Policing with our Community Watch - ideas for engaging and community building with neighbors
Check on social media to see if your neighborhood (or an area near you) has organized a mutual aid effort (try searching "mutual aid autonomous zone" with the name of your neighborhood).
Other resources shared by attendees:
European American Identity and Culture Workshop
Next workshop starting January 2021
Stay tuned for dates
The workshop is presented via Zoom over 6 - 2 hour sessions. We offer short lectures/presentations and use the breakout rooms on Zoom to have small group discussions. We ask participants to do some reading and exercises between sessions.
In order to engage all participants, we have set a limit of 20 participants so that we can see everyone on Zoom at the same time.
Contact Janice Barbee at janicegwb("at")yahoo.com if you want to join us for the next workshop, if you have questions, or if
you want to be added to the email list. (To combat robot spam, the @ has
been replaced with ("at").
Scholarships are available
In this 12 hour workshop over 6 weeks, we explore whiteness, modern European American culture, and our root cultures as dimensions of our identity with the goal of dismantling whiteness and developing a vision of a healthy identity for European Americans.
We ask such questions as:
- What are the characteristics of European American culture?
- What is a healthy cultural identity? How does knowledge of your culture inform your work in communities of many cultures?
- What is the history of whiteness in the U.S. as a concept and identity?
- What are the cultural narratives that support whiteness and what counter-narratives can we promote?
- What resources from your cultural roots can you draw on to have a healthy identity and have healthy relationships across cultures?
- What new language can we use to replace language based on hierarchy and prejudice?
What past participants have said about the workshop:
"I would call my experience with the workshop transformative and has propelled me into doing the lifelong work of dismantling whiteness, while also seeking information on what to love about my European heritage/culture."
"It was exactly what we needed. The information was perfect."
"I wanted my group to have the same vocabulary and foundation to discuss these issues. It was a good basic start."
"I'm so grateful for the Zoom option! I really enjoyed the breakout groups. It's much easier for me to speak honestly and freely in a small group."
"Living in Madison, WI, I would have never had the opportunity to attend this workshop otherwise."
" It was clearly the best workshop I've experienced. It was valuable not only personally but [for] family and work experiences as well."