Understanding racism and truth circles

How do I build meaningful, authentic relationships across lines of racial difference?

White Awake is an online collection of resources and a growing network of individuals and groups committed to the education and mobilization of white people through reflective and spiritual processes. They began as a small group of Buddhist practitioners in the state of Washington, USA who came together with the common desire to increase their racial awareness and sensitivity as white people in community with people of colour. They have worked in circle sharing may of the values and practices of The Circle Way. 

From that small group they have grown into a network with the vision of “waking ourselves for the benefit of all”.  Their work integrates with Joanna Macy's The Work that Reconnects. Joanna Macy, now well into her 80s as a vibrant, active woman, is an environmental activist, author, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory and deep ecology.

Their website whiteawake.org holds many valuable resources and practices including shared agreements, group exercises on seeing with new eyes, honouring grief and strong emotions, preparing for going forth, and more, including a facilitation guide to a truth circle. They also have readings, videos and a one hour set of activities, all which may be useful to The Circle Way practitioners. 

In light of much of what is happening in the world today this quote from their website resonated with us: 

If we want to abandon the thoughts and belief systems of an oppressive racial hierarchy we will need new ideas and paradigms upon which to build a more accurate understanding of ourselves and society
  Photo credit: Sharon Faulds

Photo credit: Sharon Faulds

Thank you to Christina Baldwin for bringing this resource to our attention.