White Awake’s founding work has been bringing spiritual practice to educational materials for white people – designed to help us unwind the forces of white supremacy within ourselves, and work in diverse coalitions to combat harm and work collaboratively towards a life affirming society.
The more this project grows, the more apparent it is that part of what is called for is a deep, spiritual healing among the various groups of people who are now socially categorized as “white”. This work goes beyond education, and takes on a life of it’s own that we have decided to term “community practice.” It is our belief that “white people” are in need of spiritual nourishment, and (where possible) connection to ancestral traditions.
“Community Practice” is a collection of group rituals, ceremony, and other forms of heart-centered, cultural, and/or spiritual activity that groups of people can engage in together. Our intention is to support white people in creating circles of practice where we can unwind the socialization of dominance, heal the ancestral and personal wounds of participation in the colonization and exploitation of others, and cultivate a life-sustaining culture. Most of the materials here are oriented towards white affinity gatherings, but can be adapted for a diverse groups when appropriate indigenous/poc leadership is involved.
The Truth Circle is designed to hold the space for collective grieving and bearing witness to one another’s pain. Bringing our grief and emotional pain to a shared space, via an embodied practice, has the capacity to build community, strengthen our ability to maintain emotional presence, and clarify our intention to work towards collective liberation.
Inspired by work coming out of the Boston area (initiated within Episcopalian circles, and informed by Swarm), this is a template for tight-knit communities that build the bonds necessary to take risks together and engage in social resistance and transformation for the long haul.
White Awake is honored to share Cara Michelle Silverber’s Work that Reconnects Passover Seder haggadah, which integrates embodiment work coming out of the deep ecology movement (holding the space for grief, wonder, and connection across space and time) with an anti-oppression lens that highlights the “four questions” W.E.B. DuBois poised to future generations of organizers and civil rights activists.
This community practice draws on principles of neuroplasticity to create an experience that would help participants bring the nurturing qualities of joyful memory and positive visions into their work for racial justice. The goal of the circle is to help activists reorient to themselves, their work, and the world around them in positive, nourishing ways.
Note on Cultural Appropriation
White Awake is committed to building a collection of community practices that people of European origin can turn to without culturally appropriating the forms of colonized peoples. We recognize that this is a delicate endeavor, and support visitors to the page to cultivate their own understanding and values around cultural appropriation (see Themes and Resources for support with this).
Return to White Awake Manual