Emotional Work of White Privilege: Cultivating Racial Resilience
By Hilary Illick and Chris Sansone
We live in a rapidly and ever-changing world of social unrest, especially racial unrest.
By 2040, white people are going to be in the minority. Because white people have traditionally been in power – socially, financially, legally – whites have not had to look at ourselves in terms of our race. “Race” is something other people have – while white people are, well, just people. This way of thinking has been at a huge loss.
Emotional Work Creates Awareness
By not claiming our race, we suffer the pain of ignorance, the dullness of denial, the lack of truly knowing and owning who we are. This allows unconscious negative patterns to run a big portion of our lives. We disempower ourselves from being able to grow and evolve toward greater personal freedom and happiness. We keep ourselves stuck, not even knowing that we have the keys that will change so much within ourselves and contribute to positive change for others.
Change, as we all know from experience, can be uncomfortable. For whites, changing how we participate in and perpetuate systemic racism requires that we do personal work that is, at times, really uncomfortable. Yet, if you are white, addressing your whiteness is the most empowering and healing thing you can do – for yourself, and for others. Your INNER work is what will heal you and heal the world.
Unlearning Means Freedom
On April 2, at 11 am Pacific time, we are offering a workshop for white people to explore our privilege, in service of ultimately unlearning it and freeing ourself. Whether you are at the kick-off of your exploration into your privilege, or deep into the journey of unlearning it, this workshop will provide you with guided experiences to deepen your racial self-awareness. It will also provide you with tools and practices for side-stepping the tendency to unknowingly fall into guilt and shame about your privilege.
For white people, so much of what has come our way has not been because we’ve earned it entirely by our own hard work, talent, and merit. As the baseball metaphor goes, we were born on third base – simply by virtue of the color of our skin. This is a humbling – and ultimately freeing – truth to accept.
Acceptance Brings Change
Acceptance is a crucial step in the process of change. We cannot change what we do not first face and accept. But guilt and shame over privilege often sabotage acceptance, which in turn stalls the process of change that needs to happen. Developing our own resiliency makes us more robust, authentic, and whole.
Developing racial resiliency is a crucial component of transforming ourselves and our world. Developing racial resiliency heals. This workshop will provide a practice for sidestepping the self-defeating, self-absorbing, self-limiting guilt and shame. In turn, you can expand your personal transformation and ultimately heal yourself and our world.
Hilary Illick and Chris Sansone are Hoffman Process teachers. To find out more about this workshop and others offered during the Hoffman Virtual Conference – Embodying the Spirit of Change, click here.