Whiteness Accountability Group for International Educators Summer Book/Article Study
We are white international educators showing up to do the work of whiteness accountability as one piece of anti-racism progress. We challenge ourselves and each other to recognize and be accountable for whiteness in international schools, including individual, institutional, and systemic white privilege and power. If you’d like to take part in this work, please join us. Our August session will be structured as three break-out rooms, each focusing on one piece of antiracism writing. Participants are encouraged to read as many of the options as they like, but we will ask that you select one break-out room discussion to stay with for the session. We invite you to register for free here.
Date: August 24, 2023
Time: 09:00 in Central Time (United States and Canada)
The choices are:
- The Wake Up by Michelle Mijung Kim (Chapters 1-3) Facilitated by Rachel Ernst
According to her website, “In The Wake Up, Michelle MiJung Kim shares foundational principles often missing in today’s mainstream conversations around ‘diversity and inclusion’ and urges readers to go beyond performative allyship to enacting real transformation within ourselves and in the world. The Wake Up invites readers to deep dive into the challenging and nuanced work of pursuing equity and justice, while exploring various complexities, contradictions, and conflicts inherent in our imperfect world.”
- Dear White Woman, Please Come Home: Hand Me Your Bias, and I'll Show You Our Connection by Kimberlee Yolanda Williams Facilitated by Meredith Klein
In her Foreword, Debby Irving states, “Dear White Woman, Please Come Home is Kimberlee Yolanda Williams' invitation to white women longing for authentic friendship with Black and brown women, the kind of friendship with no place for secrets, the kind of relationship where truth-telling is welcome, even when it hurts.
The idea for the book was born after attending a workshop that left her shaken and angry. In it, Kimberlee listened as white woman after white woman expressed shock, saying, I didn't know, meaning they didn't understand how this or that comment, custom, behavior, or norm so negatively impacted women of color. How could they not know? she wondered skeptically. Were they lying? Eventually she had an epiphany: How could white women know what we (Black and brown women) go through if we don't tell them? We've been trained not to tell them. In an attempt to break that cycle, Kimberlee began writing letters about her experiences."
- White Supremacy Characteristics - Still Here by Tema Okun Facilitated by Tessa Oakley
In the introduction, the author states, “This is a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture that show up in our organizations. Culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify. The characteristics listed below are damaging because they are used as norms and standards without being proactively named or chosen by the group. They are damaging because they promote white supremacy thinking. Because we all live in a white supremacy culture, these characteristics show up in the attitudes and behaviors of all of us – people of color and white people. Therefore, these attitudes and behaviors can show up in any group or organization, whether it is white-led or predominantly white or people of color-led or predominantly people of color.”
Article link: https://www.whitesupremacyculture.info/uploads/4/3/5/7/43579015/okun_-_white_sup_culture_2020.pdf
In addition to this summer study, we invite you to join us on September 7, 2023, for a book talk with Kimberlee Yolanda Williams, the author of Dear White Woman, Please Come Home: Hand Me Your Bias, and I'll Show You Our Connection. Register for free here.
About the author:
“Hailing from the nation’s capital [Washington DC, United States of America] with huge hair, a million-watt smile, and contagious laughter, Kimberlee Yolanda Williams has had a heart for the perceived underdog for as long as she can remember. From her earliest years, Kimberlee’s experiences unfolded in communities filled with diversity of every kind, where gatherings around topics of equity and inclusion were explored with courageous authenticity. She grew up thinking engaging across differences was something everyone wanted to do and knew how to do. So why didn’t they do it?
As an educator, DEI [diversity, equity, and inclusion] administrator, consultant, workshop leader, speaker, and certified life and health coach, she has found herself in a variety of U.S. cities. With each new context she increasingly understood what held people back from crossing social divisions. Kimberlee found herself able to consciously place herself in the center of these divisions, in particular racial dynamics, and support people across the racial spectrum in stepping closer to one another.
Kimberlee is first and foremost a humanist, a deep believer in what is possible when humanity is centered. Her mix of authenticity and raw truth gives permission for those around her to choose progress over perfection and bring their full selves into the room. She is known for finding humor and challenge at just the right moments, and like the best of coaches, leaning in and pushing audiences just enough to believe in the potential she sees. Her approach of connection and compassion is what makes a consultation feel like a conversation with your best friend, a workshop feel like a workout with your favorite trainer, and a presentation feel like a present from your closest confidant.
Kimberlee received a B.A. [Bachelor of Arts] in Foreign Language Education from the University of Maryland (go Terps!) and an M.S. [Master of Science] in Education from Dominican University. She currently lives in Seattle with her partner, where they refuel by being in community (with other folks of color), reading and reading some more, and relaxing near any body of water. In addition to all of the above, Kimberlee is a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a cousin, an aunt, a niece, a dancer, an avid learner of languages (five to date), a free spirit, an empath, and now a writer.
Dear White Woman, Please Come Home is Kimberlee's attempt to share with readers what her clients, workshop attendees, and audience members have felt for years. She always brings her full self, her DC flare, her sass, and her humor. She’s the best friend you didn’t know you had.”
Dr. Emily Meadows (she/her) is an LGBTQ+ consultant and published author specializing in international schools. She also teaches for the George Washington University graduate program in LGBT health policy and practice. Emily creates an environment that is non-judgmental and engaging for her clients while taking an intersectional approach that addresses both the why and the how of equity and belonging so that school communities can effectively affirm and support LGBTQ+ students, colleagues, and families.