FB event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/861811320685310/
Two events: August 14 and September 11
Are you concerned about racism in our community, and want to do something about it? Are you aware that part of changing our culture of racism involves speaking up when you hear racist speech, but you struggle to know what to say or how to say it? Do you want to get better at speaking up but don’t know how? Have you tried to speak up but the conversation shuts down? You need practice, and you are far from alone.
This event is the first of what the organizer hopes will be an ongoing monthly event where we will build a community of practice. This community will work together as people concerned about racism in Thunder Bay to learn techniques for responding to racist comments and engaging in dialogue with our family members, friends, co-workers, and strangers about racism and the realities of Canadian colonialism. As part of the session we will role play to practice having these difficult conversations in order to get better at them! Future sessions may also involve reading and discussing materials to educate ourselves, or inviting guest speakers, depending on the interests of those who attend.
Because of the reprehensible pervasiveness of anti-Indigenous racism in particular in Thunder Bay, the group will focus on responding to anti-Indigenous racist sentiments, but the concepts and techniques we will learn about will be applicable to addressing other forms of racism as well as other forms of oppressive, discriminatory, and derogatory speech (sexism, cissexism, classism, ableism etc.)
The event is being organized by PhebeAnn Wolframe-Smith, a white Settler Canadian of primarily western European ancestry who grew up in Thunder Bay, in partnership with RiVAL: The ReImagining Value Action Lab. PhebeAnn wants Thunder Bay to be a safe, welcoming community for everyone. She wants to get better at having conversations about racism and wants to help other people get better at it too.
Everyone is welcome, but the event is geared primarily towards other Settlers in the understanding that we need to take more of the responsibility for addressing racism in our community, rather than leaving it on the shoulders of the people already living the reality of racism on a daily basis. Indigenous people are already speaking up; settlers need to consistently challenge racism too.