NW Regional Conference at Seabeck, WA

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1. Courageous Conversations on Complicity.

My idea to help start the conversation, would be a hard opening by having people state A) Things they believe about race relations in the US that are taboo or not politically correct, and where their belief stems from B) Things about race relations they don't understand C) Things they've heard/been taught and worry may be true in regards to race relations, but they're not informed on D) Things they believe/suspicious other races believe about their race, but can't confirm E) A proposed idea to improve race relations.

The reason I'd start with these things is because these are the taboo subjects that start in, and perpetuate, the cloud of ignorance and misinformation. The ignorance and misinformation becomes a crime/cause for condemnation, and the desire to know creates uncomfortably which isolates and ostracizes the person who was brave enough to try to find out. Also, when you start with that point, you directly address the fear and nervousness which is really the biggest problem. The fear of being perceived or viewed a certain way, or seeing/exposing certain raw emotions in ourselves or others. Start here, with honesty and humor, I can lead the conversation. Also, I participate in this personally as a way of leading this portion of the conversation to show that everyone has blind spots and biases- and within this honesty and acknowledgement of dignity in others, we'll see each other as fully human despite internal and external influences.

Within the conversation, will be a quick breakdown and explanation of "structural racism", and where and how it manifests and exists on a daily level. Later, they'll be quick examples of "white privilege", which I want to use to point out where and how it shows it in ways that aren't the stereotypical examples and again, create, and rely on ignorance or withholding information from certain group to survive.

Christian Scott works in the field of Restorative Justice, currently as the Harmed Party Case Coordinater, with the innovative Brooklyn organization, Common Justice. In this role he advocates for survivors of violence and helps them heal from pain and trauma into health. Chris has also worked as a trained peacemaker with Redhook Community Court's Peacemaking Program.


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