“Roots Deeper Than Whiteness” Participant Page

This page is for registered participants in the online course Roots Deeper Than Whiteness (Oct-Nov, 2019). Please do not share this page with anyone who is not taking the course (you are welcome to share any of the homework materials).

*Course materials will remain accessible via this page for three months following the final live session of the course (until Feb 10).*

Thank you so much for your participation!

Once you have completed the course, we hope you will fill out our participant survey.

Your Participant Directory can be found here.

Homework & Follow Up Resources

  • Your homework assignments are posted in chronological order below.
  • Note that at the bottom of the page there are follow up resources, and a “next steps” assignment, which we hope you will use to support your integration of the work we did in this class. 🙂
  • Your classmate (Elizabeth Norman) has written the blog post she mentioned in our last session and made it available for you all to read. We have included this in your “Follow Up Resources” at the bottom of the page. Thanks, Elizabeth!


  • Recordings are posted at the top of the corresponding homework assignment.
  • Please do not share recordings outside of course participants. Thank you!

Homework Assignment for Session One / Oct 6

Recording of Session One is posted here.

Chat Log of Session One is archived here.

Reflection questions:

  • Why are you taking this course?
  • Were there any a-ha moments while engaging with your homework assignments? Any new information you didn’t have? Or things put together in a different way?
  • Do you feel rooted? uprooted? where and how …

Homework Assignment for Session Two / Oct 13

Recording of Session Two is posted here.

Chat Log of Session Two is archived here.

During session two, several participants requested that Annemaree share her resources on Gaelic cultural grief. She graciously compiled these in a document for you all to peruse – we’ve uploaded it to Google Drive here.

Optional enrichment: “Race: the Power of an Illusion” (especially Episode 3, “The House We Built”) / rented online streaming available on Vimeo (scroll down to rent specific episodes)

Reflection Questions: 

  • What do you know about your family’s “coming to America” story and their way of life prior to their arrival? (*folks outside the US, see note below)
  • Why did they come, and what was the process by which they were assimilated into American society as “white people?” (*folks outside the US, see note below)
  • Where has your sense of identity and belonging come from, throughout your life?
  • Does the work of this class influence your exploration of this question, expose anything that might be missing, or highlight things that are (or could be) a source of strength?

*Note for folks participating from outside the US:

The underlying goal of these first two questions is to think through how your ancestors or family members assimilated into whiteness, including what preceded that assimilation. For folks in places like Australia or Canada (other nation states founded in European settler-colonialism), you can simply substitute your home country for the US in these questions.

For folks from Europe, whose ancestors never left and migrated elsewhere, but nonetheless hold a white identity that shapes their social and economic experience, you might relate to these questions along the following lines:

  • How did your ancestors live before they were socially classified as “white”?
  • What did the process of becoming white look like, and how has assimilation impacted your family history?
  • Note: This process would have included loss of traditional, “folk” ways of life, and could be very old. The assimilation process could have also included the loss of radical politics or activities of resistance to capitalist forces, including resistance to the land enclosures David writes about in the Roots Deeper Than Whiteness article.
  • We recognize that research may need to be done in order to answer these questions more fully; we hope the inquiry (which you may consider as parallel but distinct from the evolution of whiteness within the US, as focused on in this course) is one you can hold with you and continue to explore over time.

Thanks to the participant who pointed out the lack of options for folks outside the US!

White Awake is a US based organization, and our area of focus is the US, however we know we are joined by participants from other countries, and are humbled that our curriculum is of service abroad. For more see our About page.

Homework Assignment for Session Three / Oct 27

Recording of Session Three is posted here.

Chat log from Session Three is archived here.

Political Analysis for Collective Liberation

Divide and Rule: the last 50 years


Homework Assignment for Session Four / Nov 10

Recording of Session Four is posted here.

Chat log from Session Four is archived here.

Multiracial legacies of resistance:

Contrast solidarity vs ally model:

Solidarity in Action

  • Optional / enrichment: Why I Quit the Klan
    • The story of C.P. Ellis and Ann Atwater’s friendship has been made into a movie that is based on the book, The Best of Enemies

Reflection Questions

Part One: Identity Development for Collective Liberation

  • Consider: What ongoing practices or other forms of support might you need to further build up a healthy sense of self, from which you can work with others towards collective liberation?

Part Two: Engaging in Social Change

  • What forms of social change work are you already involved in – or – what forms of social change work might you consider becoming involved in? 
  • Do you feel these activities make best use of your personal skill, passion, capacity?
  • Is this work compatible with a solidarity strategy that prioritizes collective liberation? How do you see your contributions within the larger landscape of movement building for an equitable society?

Follow up Resources

Sharing from Class Participants:

“Next Steps” Assignment

As you leave the course, we hope you will reflect on the following questions, and allow them to guide you into next steps:

1) What is the next step you can take, upon completion of this course, towards engagement in solidarity based action for positive social change?

2) What routines or habits can you put in place to maintain a strong, rooted identity that keeps you connected to the work of collective liberation?”