In this skills training, we will examine how racism works structurally and individually and how, this, in turn, affects us in our everyday lives. If we want to bring about fundamental change in our societies we need to become racially literate which means to develop the ability to discover racism in all its forms - subtle and overt, every day and institutional - and we need to learn how it impacts ourselves and others. The course builds on the premise that although white and BIPOC persons are affected differently by racism, all groups are affected deeply. Although the focus will be on racial identities we look at this through an intersectional lens, i.e. how does race intersect with other social categories such as class, gender and sexuality. By making use of a variety of different tools such as storytelling, role-play, empathic listening and small writing assignments, we will develop skills that will make us better equipped to deal with issues of racial injustice. Through role-playing exercises, for instance, we will stage situations we may have experienced and, collectively, we will find alternative re- enactments that will provide workable solutions for these racial situations. This process will take place via emotional involvement into the original situation and it will be followed by a discussion, which will, in turn, allow participants to gain analytical distance. This process might have to be repeated several times. By engaging in dialogues of race, we will relearn and reprocess emotions, thoughts, and perhaps, ways of being in the world that come with the social construction of our racial identities. The recognition of racial codes and racialized practices will be refined through racial justice logs. Through detailed recordings of racialized situations in their everyday lives, participants will exercise their ability to recognize that they live in a racialized environment. Their day may start, for instance, by opening the newspaper where Blackness is underrepresented and it may end with a film where Blackness is represented in biased ways. Excerpts from their ongoing racial justice logs will be shared in class intermittently, followed by a discussion. The Digital Story project as the culmination of the course will allow us to retell aspects of our biographies and/or family history from a racial justice perspective. If history is present in everything that we do, as James Baldwin argues, then where better to start than in our own family history? This is when an investigation into how race has been done throughout our lives becomes meaningful. Participants will use this multimedia platform to re-evaluate their lives using the tools and concepts they have learned in this course. As the study of larger racial discourses such as colorblindness for instance, is an important aspect of anti-racism work, we will begin the process of unlearning practices that we have picked up since childhood. Throughout the course, we will grapple with France Twine’s contention that racial identities are changeable and movable – at least to some extent. This may help us to get away from monolithic ways of conceptualizing racial identities and, instead, adopt more fluid practices of speaking, writing, seeing and perceiving. The course is open to all UCM students, particularly to those who aspire careers in international politics, NGO work along the North-South divide and international relations.
Doelstellingen van dit vak
• To gain the ability to recognize and interpret racial codes and racialized practices. • To learn to be empathetic to multiple lifestyles, experiences, needs and viewpoints. • To sharpen intercultural communication skills that are necessary to operate and work in a multi-racial environment. • To learn a racial grammar and vocabulary that enables you to discuss race, racism, and the need for antiracism work with people who do not normally recognize it.