Welcome to the August 2017 special issue on the impact of race and culture on the Work That Reconnects
In Sarah Thompson’s article on the “intersectionalization” of the Work, she clearly names how while we are all in this Great Turning together, we are in it differently. This issue speaks to some of the differences in experience. Throughout this journal you will find many references to the acronym POC. If you identify as a Person of Color living in a racialized society such as the United States, this acronym needs no definition – it has likely shaped your daily experience since birth. If this fits your experience, we hope this issue will be of benefit to you as you navigate the additional complexity of participating in a body of work that has historically been so Eurocentric and where the conditioning of society reappears in intrapersonal, interpersonal and group dynamics.
Rather than completely following the traditional spiral of the Work That Reconnects, this special issue has its own unique sections. Please read the full welcome letter from the guest editors to learn more about the contents and construction of this special issue as well as a special request to generously compensate this issue’s contributors.
Available as both an audio recording of the full interview, or edited excerpts in writing, this conversation between ordained Zen Buddhist priest Zenju Earthlyn Manuel and author Ann Marie Davis covers much ground ranging through tenderness, embodiment and oneness, anger, peace, practice, suffering, fear and thoughts on cultural appropriation.
Over time, it became clear to me that it wasn’t so much that BIPOC was missing the WTR, as it was that the WTR and the broader community surrounding it, was missing us, as well as the awarenesses and frameworks that would create space and safety for us.
2017 has been a year of embracing the flavors and textures of me that stray from the stereotypical image of a therapist. And I owe immense gratitude to the Work That Reconnects (WTR) for guiding my path towards self-celebration. I am the Founder and Director of Dig & Demand (D&D)—a radical training program for queer trans 1st, 1.5, 2nd generation diasporic Vietnamese artists. Its mission is to dig deeply and demand daringly for the collective threading of our resilience.
I feel called to uncover what history took from me: a solid sense of my ancestors that goes as far back in history as will give me deep knowing of full connection and identity to humanity in all of humanity’s splendor and degradation.
My daughter Karissa shared a Facebook post that expressed frustration about the outpouring of support for Standing Rock that looks different from the support for BLM. I understand the frustration. I also know that we romanticize Indigenous people and lifeways in much the same way that we demonize Blackness.
A conversation between the three guest editors about why they said yes to editing this special issue.
Can we live in a world where all life is respected and all human beings are afforded the dignity and respect they deserve? Can we, as human beings, be humane beings? Can we create a circle of human concern where all humans are inside the circle and all life is respected? Can we have a we without a them?
Why is it so difficult for so many White people to honestly, and interracially, talk about race and racism in America? Why does the term “White privilege” cause so much turmoil within many White people?
Specifically to the liberal, progressive, millennial people who feel disconnected from white extremist, it is time to heal your community and address the extremist.
Many in this cultural context dream of a workshop where they are in a space with peoples of all ‘colors’ singing together in harmony…is that you? In that same dream, do you imagine which language(s) will be spoken? English...Spanish? Both dominator languages forced on the majority of peoples through physical and/or economic violence. Do you feel the weight of what is lost in service of assimilation for that dream to happen?
While we're all in this together in the Great Turning, we’re all in it together differently. Nowhere currently in the facilitated spiral process of the Work that Reconnects (WTR) is there a specific process to address the brokenness within the beauty of the communities that gather in service of the Great Turning. My assessment leads me to believe that in addition to North American society, the WTR itself is going through positive disintegration in order to open so that less harm is done... and to prepare us for this next level of intersectional decolonial struggle.
Building Safety, Inclusion, and Belonging in WTR: Considerations of Social Identity, Power and Privilege, and Intrapersonal, Interpersonal and Group Dynamics
Transforming how we connect with ourselves, each other, and the greater system is increasingly critical now. I see a great opportunity – and need – to develop and evolve WTR learning experiences and facilitator capacity to create more safety, inclusion, and belonging. In this article, I offer my perspective and recommendations for continued development of WTR.
The first time I did the exercise, “Harvesting the Gifts of the Ancestors” I mentally pushed aside the places that overlooked the majority of my ancestry. I was in a workshop with Joanna, and when she said the word “we” I automatically and almost subconsciously replaced “we” with “they.” I have learned to do this replacement since Kindergarten in order to survive this culture with my sense of self intact.
Deep Times: A Journal of The Work That Reconnects
Vol. #2 Issue #5 – August 2017
Guest Editors: Patricia St. Onge, Ann Marie Davis and Aravinda Ananda
Webmaster: Werner Brandt
Deep Times is published online twice a year by the Work That Reconnects Network with the possibility of additional special issues.
The Network provides support, guidance, and inspiration to people all over the world in their work for the Great Turning. We welcome your donations to support the Work That Reconnects Network and Deep Times. The Work That Reconnects Network is currently a fiscal project of Interhelp so all donations are tax-deductible.
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0.