How To Be A Better White Ally With Your Words (And Actions): Group Critique and Writing Workshop

February 4, 2015 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
AS220 Main Stage
115 Empire Street
Providence, RI 02903

How To Be A Better White Ally With Your Words (And Actions)

Group Critique and Writing Workshop

Weds. Feb 4th, 8-10pm

AS220 Performance Space

Free and open to all people

One way that white people can fight racism is by educating ourselves and each other about white privilege, and the often subtle ways that racist thought enters our words and actions. This is a workshop for anyone who wants to get better at writing, thinking, and speaking out against racism. Too often the onus of this education is placed on people of color; rather than be called out, white people need to practice calling each other out, and learning from that experience.

Poets have a special role to play in the fight against injustice. We are creators of culture, and we have a responsibility to think critically about the way our use of language either bolsters or helps break down oppressive systems of thought. While the open mic at the Providence Poetry Slam is a great venue for lyrical and political expression, the format of the show doesn’t allow for immediate conversation about the content of each poem that is presented onstage. White writers owe it to the rest of our community to be extra thoughtful and critical when we choose to present writing on topics of racial injustice.

We will begin the workshop with an overview of terms such as white privilege, white supremacy, systematic/institutional racism, white ally, and other key terms. Once the “givens” of the workshop are established, writers will take turns reading their work, while the rest of us listen and, after each poem, offer feedback on how the poem navigated issues of race and privilege. As these conversations will hopefully generate new ideas, we will leave some time at the end of the workshop to write.

This workshop will be facilitated by Laura Brown-Lavoie and Muggs Fogarty, staff members of the Providence Poetry Slam.