Antiracism for White Folks' Group offers a weekly gathering which guides exploration of members' everyday white supremacy and racism, to grow better allyship.
Send me (Shannon) an email to the address at that "connect with Shannon" at top of this page and include which group you are interested in, which day/times of the week you are available for a 3-4 month stretch, for an hour a week and when you can start.
Include your name, preferred email address and phone number.
Invite friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, fellow activists to sign up with you if you would like to grow better allyship and unifiying for change in your own community. We can also do this accountability work one on one in walking sessions or by zoom.
Accountability Friends Group, Pilot completed in 2020.
Accountability Friends Couples' Group for Transgender and Cisgender Folks in supportive relationships to attend as a couple. Registration open.
Accountability Friends Couples' Group for LGBTQi? in supportive relationships to attend as a couple, open to allies in couples. Registration open.
Accountability Friends, Customized for your group or workplace. Email your requests.
"I was suprised to think of myself as one of the good white people and then learn all the ways that racism hides and bubbles out of me. Others in the antiracism group are finding the same thing, 'I'm not racist" our common belief until we consider all the self examining questions from the Black authored books we are steeping ourselves in. Considering the questions, sitting with them, journalling about them and then discussing them, opens up our bubble even from ourselves.
Before this Accountability Group I have interrupted Black women because I thought my thoughts or input might get left behind and I just couldn't imagine it (white centering). I had many interactions with Black friends and coworkers not considering that race is ever a consideration, a factor in anything between us. I hadn't thought yet that I could have been mindful about leveraging white privilege for good. The things I did do felt like enough, that it was just a fact that I was not racist. This work has taught me that I cannot separate myself out from being white and all the baggage with it. Being antiracist isnt just a label, it has to be intentional effort every day to educate myself, to seek out ways to repair the harm of antiblackness, and lack of equity in our systems, to pry open the hidden bias, and to show others how to do the same. My new label is work-in-progress, always trying to do better. It is unsettlling which makes more sense than the white bubble I was in even when in the company of BIPOC." Shannon Batts (your Relationship Gardener!)
Hi! Shannon here, filling you in on Accountability Friends Group. That photo above is me with purple pre-pandemic hair. Don't you miss hair from the Before? I do.
The groups are small with 4 to 10 members plus me as your co-host. Groups have a written agenda (an easy to follow script) for each meeting that I update weekly and provide for rotating hosting among the members.
We discuss assigned antiracism readings and what you learned about yourself in explorations written about each topic between meetings. Each group ends with members stating intentions for inner work and actions to change systems towards racial justice (work, education, government, police, media, entertainment, etc). We talk about specific steps and make them happen.
Accountability is nurtured through check-in buddies which are fellow members of the group. Check-ins are 5 to 10 minute calls once a week between meetings that focus on progress towards your inner work goal and outer goal for actions for systemic change. Even our most dedicated diversity and equity proponents respond well to the mentoring that unfolds through check-in by phone conversation on goals. I know it helped me to push aside all life's demands and background stress to focus on my antiracism work knowing I would have a phone call with that week's check-in buddy.
Groups are by donation. Your donations support many pro bono services that I provide every month to unhoused as well as low or no income transgender clients who need medical assessments and gender letters for their surgeons. Donations also support my Reparations offer that allows Black clients to obtain my expertise in marriage repair at no cost.
Since all my group meetings are now done from home by Zoom video conference, we have most days of the week to choose for our meeting dates. This is a 3-4 month weekly meeting commitment, expanding your growth and action as an antiracist beyond the surface.