Healing Roots facilitates a discussion every month for our Learning Community at the Midtown Global Market in South Minneapolis at 920 East Lake Street. Participants at each meeting pick the topic and the date for the next meeting. (We have found that choosing one regular day of the week always leaves someone out, so the day of the week varies.) Everyone is welcome. For some topics, we invite people to do some research beforehand to share, but that is not a prerequisite. There is no charge for attending.
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 may 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.
European American Learning Community
Topic for Discussion: Three-part series: What does it mean to be an American? What are the narratives about American identity?
Wednesday, July 31, 2019
6:30 - 8:00 pm
Midtown Global Market
920 East Lake Street, Minneapolis
Market Community Room
The community room is on the lower level, next to the Market Office. Take the double doors to the left of the Hennepin County Service Center that have the Market Office sign above them. Go down a long orange and green hallway, through another set of doors, jog a bit to the left, continue straight and see a sign for the community room to the left.
In the last few discussions, we have talked about the narratives that support whiteness and the language and concepts we might use to support social change. We discussed what being "white" and "whiteness" mean to us, and the cultural narratives of cultural superiority, meritocracy and the savior, and each of their counter-narratives. This led us to consider: What are the narratives about being an American and how do they influence our understanding of difference and our own identity?
In the first session, we explored the roots of the American values of individualism and freedom, using some background presented in Habits of the Heart, by R. Bellah et al.
In the second session, we discussed Dying of Whiteness, by J. Metzl and how the fears generated by the concept of whiteness lead people who identify as white to support policies that result in years of life lost for this very group.
In this third session of our three part-series, we will conclude our examination of the cultural narratives that inform our understanding about what it means to be an American – what America stands for, what we have to fear, and what we value most. We invite you, as you listen and read about the coverage of the presidential candidates, to reflect upon the question, “What narratives or foundational stories about America are you being asked to support?” Think about such narratives as: Cultural and class superiority (e.g. the “other” as criminal) and meritocracy (the individual alone is responsible for success), as well as "strength in diversity and in coming together," "hard work will create wealth," and "America as the land of opportunity." What narratives do you think we need to emphasize to challenge unhealthy policies and support laws and policies that will help everyone?
European American Identity and Culture Workshop
The next workshop will be held in the fall of 2019.
Scholarships are available
In this 6 hour workshop, we explore whiteness, modern European American culture, and our root cultures as dimensions of our identity.
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?
- How does knowledge of your culture help you to be in healthy relationship to those of other cultures?
Contact Janice Barbee at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Submit you name below to be added to the mailing list.