Roots Deeper Than Whiteness – Participant Page

This page is for registered participants in the online course Roots Deeper Than Whiteness (Feb-March, 2019.) Please do not share this page outside of the course (though you are welcome to share any of the homework materials).

These materials will remain up for a minimum of three months (until the end of June, 2019), if not longer. Please take your time in completing the coursework!

Facebook group for course – Click here to request approval. Note: If your FB profile is different than the name you registered with, please drop us a note at (and/or watch for a FB message from David verifying your registration). Thanks!

On this page you will find:

  • Homework assignments
  • Recordings
    • recordings are linked below the corresponding session’s homework assignment
    • please do not share recordings outside of the course

Have you completed the course?

Please fill out our Course Survey, here! 🙂

To stay abreast of David Dean’s work, you can subscribe to his mailing list here.

Homework for Session One

*Recording of Session One here*

  • Chat log for session one here
  • David’s slide show for session one here
  1. Our Analysis – White Awake (10 min)
  2. What is White Supremacy – Elizabeth Martínez (15min)
  3. Indigenous Nationhood and Colonial Nation States – selections from Jacqueline Keeler and Dr. Niigaan Sinclair (20 min)
  4. Qallunology 101: A Lesson Plan for the Non-Indigenous – Derek Rasmussen (5 min)
  5. Healing Your Thousand-Year-Old Trauma – Resmaa Menakem (5 min)
  6. Optional: Birth of a White Nation – Jacqueline Battalora (30 min video)

Reflection questions:

  • Why are you taking this course?
  • Did you experience any a-ha moments while engaging with your homework assignments? Any new information? Or things put together in a new way? Any lingering confusion or discomfort?
  • Do you feel rooted? Do you feel uprooted? Where and/or how do you feel these things?


Homework for Session Two

*Recording of Session Two here*

Chat log for Session Two here

Reflection Questions

  • What do you know about your family’s “coming to America” story and their way of life prior to their arrival?
  • Why did they come, and what was the process by which they were assimilated into American society as “white people?”
  • 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?


Homework for Session Three

*Recording of Session Three here*

Chat log for Session Three here

Homework for this session is divided into sections, to help define the themes. Remember, you have an extra week to prepare! Our next live class is March 17.

Divide and Rule: same strategy, changing form

  • Excerpt from MLK’s 1965 Speech in Montgomery about how Jim Crow (racial segregation) was a tool explicitly (and effectively) designed to destroy the multiracial Populist movement that flourished briefly after the Civil War. (4 min read)
  • The Southern Strategy (short reading and two video clips; 10 min total)

Divide and Rule meets Solidarity

  • Why I Quit the Klan – C.P. Ellis narrative collected by Studs Terkel (15 min read)
    • FYI, 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

Solidarity Based Strategies for Change

Reflection Questions

  • In your lifetime, how have you seen corporate interests, politicians, and’or media use racism as a tool to divide people with common economic interests?
  • What impact has this had on your family and friends? What impact do you feel this has had on white Americans in general, and the country as a whole?
  • Have you participated in, or been privy to, a solidarity campaign in action?


Going deeper/optional:


Homework for Session Four

*Recording of Session Four here*

Chat log for Session Three here

Arranged according to themes, with a few additional resources at the end.

Identity development:

Action oriented:

Contrast solidarity vs ally model:

Reflection Questions

Part One: Identity Development for Collective Liberation

In this course we have worked with:

  • Tools for working with shame and/or other difficult emotions that can arise around the topic of racism.
  • Histories of European displacement from land, culture, and radical political traditions, and the processes by which our ancestors became “white”
  • Political analysis of white supremacy as a divide and conquer tool to uphold capitalism, and the need for multiracial solidarity
  • Knowledge of an unbroken legacy of multiracial resistance to racism and economic exploitation that we can connect to today

Has our focus on these things helped you feel more grounded? emotionally resilient? able to approach the work of social change from a place of strength?

If so, how?

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

Esp for folks already active:

  • What forms of social change work are you already involved in?
  • Do you feel these activities make best use of your personal skill, passion, capacity?
  • Do you feel these activities are effective in terms of strategy and the long term goal of collective liberation?

Esp for folks who are not as active, new to social change work, and/or looking to make a change:

  • What forms of social change work could you be involved in right now?
  • Assess: your location, time capacity, personal skills and/or resources, etc.
  • Consider: local community organizing (esp around a People’s Platform or shared local concern that effects a diverse group of people); union and/or workplace organizing (either directly in your workplace, or in a supportive role – such as supporting a teacher’s strike or protecting public sector unions); national networks with local chapters such as like Cosecha, Resource Generation, SURJ, DSA,, etc; Indigenous organizing, such as around a pipeline, land rights issue, environmental racism; political education and/or awareness raising programs; organizing or education within your spiritual community or school; … what else?

For everyone:

  • Have you ever had trouble with burn out as it relates to social change work? Have you ever questioned the strategy behind what you are doing?
  • Is it time to start something new? start something for the first time? bring new energy or awareness to what you are currently involved in?
  • Has the work of this class enriched what you’re already doing, or helped inform what you might contribute towards? If so, how?
  • What ongoing practices or forms of support might you need to stay engaged in the work of social change for collective liberation?


Additional resources for folks who have been doing racial justice work in their local communities for multiple years:

Another resource esp for Jewish participants: