Before We Were White – participant page

This page is for registered participants in the Oct-Dec, 2018 series “Before We Were White” – ancestral recovery for anti-racist action. If this page was shared with, and you are not registered (but would like to participate), please visit our registration page to get signed up! We will close registration at 11pm ET, Oct 27. We will open up late registration on Monday, Oct 29.

On this page you will find:

  • Homework assignments (you will be notified when new assignments are posted)
  • Login information (we will use the same Zoom login for every session, and all participants use the same login to join)
  • Recordings (posted 2-3 days after each live session)

Login for Live Sessions

The workshops will be held via Zoom video conferencing.

  • Click on link to join:
  • When you enter the conference, you have a choice between audio via phone, or audio by computer. If you have any concern about internet connection or computer speed, we suggest you choose audio by phone.
  • If you cannot join by computer, you can call in here: 646 558 8656 / Meeting ID: 923 706 7946

Homework Assignments

  • Homework for Session One / Oct 28 – released!
  • Homework for Session Two / Nov 4
  • Homework for Session Three / Nov 18
  • Homework for Session Four / Dec 2
  • Homework for Session Five / Dec 16

Homework for Session One

Guiding Questions in Preparation for Session One

As you go through these assignments, please reflect on your intentions for this course.

What parts of your ancestral lineage are you wishing to explore? What resources are there to support you, and what feels like it’s standing in your way? What needs to be “cleared out” in order to make space for the work you will do over the coming weeks?



We are building a participant directory, to help folks connect with others in the course with similar experiences, backgrounds, and interests. To be included in the directory, please fill out this survey. Participation in the directory is not required, just encouraged! 🙂


#2 – STUDY (readings/video)

Setting a foundation for understanding of the importance of ancestral identity and recovering connection in the work to end white supremacy:

Introducing core concepts around indigenous sovereignty, colonial nation states, and Original Instructions:

Core concepts and best practices to be considered when entering into ceremonial work:

Optional / Going Deeper: Each week we will include optional study for going deeper during or after the course series. This week, you might want to purchase a copy of An Indigenous People’s History of the United States. In future weeks, we will note chapters in this book that correspond with material we are covering in the course.



Clearing a space for an ancestral altar

This course is a journey. Part of this journey will be spending time deepening our relationships with our ancestors. As you clear out your schedule to make time for our work together, we ask you to also clear a physical space to be with your ancestors. This might be a small table or shelf, indoors or outdoors, ideally out of the way but in a place easy to visit each day. Before we gather, you may place a few objects there as an initial invitation to your ancestors that are ready to be part of the healing: perhaps some fresh flowers and/or food as an offering, photos or symbols of significant Beloved Dead. You will be working with this altar over the course of our time. If you already have such a space as part of your practice, please take this as an opportunity to freshen up the space. 

Choose a natural place and/or non-human being to visit between each session

Additionally, as you prepare for session one, we ask that you spend some time in nature. This may mean going for a walk (by wheelchair or walking, etc), or having a caretaker simply take you outside, if you have such limitations on your health. Your time may be short or long, and “in nature” can mean whatever it means for you. Likely, being “in nature” would involve going outside of your home. 🙂 If this is not possible, it might mean reflecting at a window, or with a house plant. If you are able to ramble through wilderness land, or visit a local park, these are also a lovely ways to engage in this assignment!

During your time “with nature”, focus on clearing out space in your interior/emotional/mental world for this journey, and inviting in support and guidance. This could be a wonderful time to reflect on the guiding questions at the beginning of this section. However, be sure that you allow space for awareness of the beings you encounter in your time outside. Does a tree call to you? Or a rock, squirrel, local bird? Do you feel called to a particular gully, hill, or corner of your local park?

We hope that in this first “time in nature” assignment, you can establish a being or place that you visit between each session in the course. Open yourself for whatever relationship wants to form between you and this place or non-human being. Find an outdoor spot where you can return (at least once between each session), and spend a little time listening there.