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HANDOUT 2: Reflection Group for People of Color and from Racially or Ethnically Marginalized Groups

The experience of racially or ethnically marginalized groups in the United States context is nothing short of tragic: the loss of identity, dignity, property and cultural communities, assignment to second-class citizenship... not to mention the violent crimes against the (brown) body over time. Yet still, People of Color and from racially and ethnically marginalized groups have found enormous strength through adversity. The reflection group for People of Color and from racially or ethnically marginalized groups will work to affirm and heal the spirit of those with marginalized racial and ethnic identities by first naming the landscape of their experience. They will also consider how to create healthy relationships alongside White people who are committed to dismantling structures of systematic domination.

Select a facilitator who will ask questions and keep track of time. Use the Serial Testimony Protocol (Workshop 2, Leader Resource 2) to discuss the questions that follow. Note that there are more questions below than your group will have time to fully explore. The facilitator should choose questions that will engage and challenge the group. Be sure to save ten minutes at the end for recording group reflections and closing.

About the program:

  • How is the program going for you so far?
  • What has been your previous experience of talking about race with people from the same racial/ethnic group? When did you feel supported? What felt awkward or risky?
  • Describe the places where the program engages you, and when you feel disconnected. What role, if any, do you think White privilege or race-based identity or oppression plays in this regard?

Identity questions:

  • Who taught you how to be __________ (African, Asian, Native/American Indian, Latina/o, etc.)? How are those lessons still playing out in your life today?
  • What have you discovered about your own history with racism that is puzzling you?
  • How have you contributed to maintaining systems of White supremacy? How, if at all, do you still contribute to that system?
  • Racism invokes shame and confusion for many racially and ethnically marginalized groups. What issues have been raised for you?
  • How might it be possible to be antiracist without appearing to be anti-White?

Spiritual questions:

  • What role might People of Color and from racially or ethnically marginalized groups play in debunking the dysfunctions of racial dominance?
  • In your opinion, how does the theology of Unitarian Universalism speak to People of Color and from racially and ethnically marginalized groups?
  • What practices and policies can the congregation create that would keep you at the table in good faith and with a sense of integrity?
  • Where do you believe the realities of Unitarian Universalism falls short of its ideals?
  • What role can the community of People of Color and from racially and ethnically marginalized groups play to support and encourage your spiritual journey?

Closing the Exercise (10 minutes)

Prior to closing, invite the group to prepare a list of statements they want White people and "mixed race/biracial people" to know about their experience and lessons learned so far. The list should begin with these words: What I want White people and mixed race/biracial people to know about my experience here is... .

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2011.

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