U.S. Anti-racism Workshop: History of Whiteness

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What is it? 

This workshop will help you to learn and understand the beginning of the racial division between white and non-white peoples. We will discuss how people of different ethnicities interacted before this division and how the situation changed after this turning point.

What prompted to the House of Burgesses to draw a racial line between people in the 1600s? 

As we together go to Chesapeake Bay to learn about the beginnings of the history of race in the United States, we’ll find that the concept of whiteness was intentionally created and has been maintained by laws and acts throughout the years.

Note: We strongly recommend that participants take part in another anti-racism workshop, such as Racism: Looking Back, Moving Forward or the Blanket Exercise, before taking part in this workshop.

Cost: $15 per person / $20 per couple

Capacity: 30 to 40 people

What you will learn

  • At the end of the presentation you will have learned: 
  • What prompted the racial division of white and non-white peoples
  • In what ways the racial division has been reaffirmed and perpetuated until the present day
  • Why the classification of white people and people of color dehumanizes us all
  • What Scripture has to say about this racial classification

Workshop overview

This workshop is a historical presentation utilizing historical documents, followed by a time for question and answer dialogue.

How long does it take?

1.5 hours

Instructions for requesting this workshop

Contact Viviana Cornejo, Office of Race Relations advocate, at vcornejo@crcna.org or 616-224-0809.

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"Why the classification of white people and people of color dehumanizes us all"

What happens when it is the institutional church that continues to classify people based on skin color?   The solution to malevolent classification based on skin color is not benevolent classification based on skin color.   The church must model a better way forward than the world, and that better way forward is not to proliferate the same unbiblical classifications/separations only with good intentions.  Physician, heal thyself.

Hi Eric, that is what this workshop is for! The physician is trying to heal both the institutions and individuals! It’s going to take a lot of work to understand and heal race relations. Thx

Hello Ken,

Good intentions don't justify poor methods.

Community Builder

What caught my eye in reading this was the bulleted point (under "What you will learn") of:

    - Why the classification of white people and people of color dehumanizes us all

I've wondered for many years why we (including in CRC publications) continue to write as if we should classify people into "white" and "people of color" (or by some other color).  See, for example: http://dojustice.crcna.org/article/practicing-love-polarized-times and http://dojustice.crcna.org/article/dear-church-refuse-be-denial and http://dojustice.crcna.org/article/know-your-history-beloved (and there are many more).

"Race," strictly (and accurately) defined, has no significant genetic basis--not to mention no significant meaning in general about a person--so why do we keep referring to people as "white" or "black" or "brown" or "POC," etc?

Could it be that if we actually stopped talking as if "race" was a meaningful characteristic of people that it would be less regarded as a meaningful characteristic of a person?  I for one think so.

 

I hope so too Doug! Hopefully this program will assist in that goal of elimination of the classification of people by their race!  Thx