If you are a white person wanting to deepen your commitment to and skills in your practice of racial justice: welcome.

Applications for the 2019 Winter Cohort Close In

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THIS IS:

head + heart

custom + collective

being + doing

insight + application

refuge + dojo

100% of former cohort members recommend this course.

 

The first cohort of 2019 kicks off January 28th.

All previous cohorts have sold out. Now is the time.

 

This experience is designed to help you:

  • speak up about injustice more often and more effectively
  • engage other white people with more compassion and more tact
  • be more heart driven and active in your practice of racial justice
  • hold YOUR whiteness more responsibly so you cause less unintentional harm to others. This program is not about “racism.” It’s about your personal white conditioning and learning to handle it in more racially just ways.
  • connect you to a network of similarly committed and wonderful white people working to be better stewards of justice in their lives

“First and foremost the path of liberation is about being one hundred percent accountable for who and what you are.”

-Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Andie

“The heart of laura’s genius is her ability to create a learning and practice community that supports transformation. If you want to hold your whiteness more responsibly take this course–but only if you are ready to get what you ask for.”

Sierra

“This course was just what I needed. It was challenging and beautiful. I’m grateful for the community I found in it, the conversations we had and the internal shifts I experienced.”

Chris

I saw this opportunity to take a hard look at the reality that I’m in my 49th year as a white male on this planet, and that this very circumstance still contributes to how I move through the world. How does it inform the way I interact with colleagues and friends? How does it affect the way I’m raising my children? The thing is, I’ve tried, but these things are too heavy and too complicated to consider on your own. Working together with Laura and similarly curious, vulnerable, and loving participants has helped me to be grow.”

Christine

“Laura creates a powerful space for us to be with ourselves and each other as we explore our relationships with whiteness. I discovered new ways of relating to my white identity and connected with a fantastic group of white folks, helping to reshape my perspective on whiteness from the inside out and outside in.”

Amanda

“I am so thankful for this opportunity. It was an experience to slow down and invest in myself. In times where external events and endless news cycles beget hopelessness, I feel hopeful about my own ability to exist in the world in a way that gives me back some of that hope.”

Tony

“In a society and a world governed by the inheritors of massive wealth and power accumulation, we are in desperate need of more opportunities to recognize and reflect on how to tend to those gaping wounds.”

Sara

“This was such a beautiful experience. There are many white people…who have good intentions, but the impact of their lack of intentional practice perpetuates white supremacy. More folks need to be brave and enter this space so that we can do work to heal this broken society. This isn’t a [program] that makes you have even more white guilt. It’s a place of hope and personal reflection.”

Addison

“If you are doing justice work, or want to be, or just want to be more whole, you have to learn and grow alongside Laura.”

Zachary

“[This] encouraged me to think about the issues in a new perspective and the focus on my individual feelings and responses gave me a greater sense of ownership of the issues.”

Hannah

“laura kicked my ass…Correction…loved my ass…Correction…held up a mirror and asked me to love my own ass.”

Allie

“This was truly lovely, challenging, inspiring, and the best kind of uncomfortable. I will be reflecting, building, and growing from this for a long time.”

Hope is hard to find right now.

Our society grows more divisive by the day. Conversations about race often turn to hateful, shame-throwing arguments. Hope is dwindling. Relationships are breaking. Fear about missteps or unintentionally hurting others keeps us in inaction.

It can be hard to find a learning space in which people of color don’t have to be the teachers, do the emotional labor, or sit with our confusion and defensiveness as we learn. A learning space where love is centered over shame and guilt. That gets to skillsets and soulsets. That still challenges people who have been doing racial justice work for a long time. Where there is space to make mistakes and learn and grow, while being held in accountable compassion. Where opportunities for practice lead to real change.

"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced."

-James Baldwin

Who this program is built for.

This experience is about learning a new way of BEing in and with our whiteness and with other white people as we learn to disrupt white supremacy – in our lives, in our relationships, in our leadership, and in our hearts.

It is about YOUR whiteness and how you hold it, not about racism, or diversity, or other people.

This course and community is designed for:

 

  • white folks who have had previous experience in racial justice/identity development spaces. This is not a course for people new to anti-racism work. (laura will be releasing a course for folks just beginning this work in the fall.)
  • white folks who are committed to doing deep inner work on their own whiteness. This program will not focus on an outside problem or other white people. It is not about consumption of knowledge. It’s not about acquiring information. It will put your whiteness and how you relate to your whiteness in the learning seat. It is a study of, practice in, and commitment to learning to handle your whiteness responsibly.
  • white folks who want to be in community with other white folks and are willing to learn a a new way of being in community. This course will call you to decenter shame and put down policing and patrolling as a way of interacting with white people. And to center love. Learning a different way of being in community together as white people is a central component of this program.
  • white folks who understand we are talking about white supremacy and not racism. And are comfortable, or willing to get comfortable, using that language. White supremacy calls the problem what it is, and puts the ownness on us as white people (instead of on people of color) to solve the problem that we created.

Who is laura?

Hi, I’m laura. I’m a speaker, educator, and coach. And I believe that BEing in love is a radical act of resistance and liberation.

Because we all deserve to feel whole. To take up space. To get free – from the status quo of shame and disconnection and separation (aaaaand patriarchal, capitalistic, heteronormative, white supremacist culture). We deserve that in our own life, and in and for the world.

That sort of liberation takes deep inner work, and it can lead to BIG outer change – in our lives, our relationships, and in the world. But the work is hard. It’s edgy. It’s essential for justice. And it’s the work I specialize in: taking people deep into the practice of radical courage and self-love, as an act of resistance – and as a path to collective liberation.

None of us are free until we’re all free. I’m so honored that you’re here, and to do this work beside you.

PS:

If you’re curious about my professional background, you can check that out here. You can also see some of my recent training in racial justice and the teachers I work with here. And there’s always here.

If you’d like to know a little bit about my personal story, you can give a listen here. (Cliff’s notes: I know a ton about love and courage because I spent most of my life – and relating to my whiteness – in shame and fear.)

The Course & Community

Radical Reflection

This course will give you space to go deep into you and into the ways your white conditioning affects your relationships, your identity, and how you move around in the world. Expect lots of deep thinking.

Radical Learning

In each call, you’ll get a splice of curriculum/direct learning + a unique opportunity to be coached as a group, and to receive and/or witness 1×1 support.

Radical Community

Change is difficult. Your community members will be like gym buddies – folks all working to strengthen their muscles, all championing one another in the process. You get to ask for feedback, or help, or support. And you get to give all of that too. Our liberation is all tied together – so we’ll do this together.

The Program WHAT

 

  • See whiteness, white conditioning, and white supremacy more clearly in your life so that, ultimately, you can choose actions, behaviors, and habits that support liberation.
  • Speak up – more often, with more heart, and with more self-compassion – about injustice.
  • Center love in your conversations with other white people.
  • Learn a new way of being with other white people in this work, grounded in compassion and understanding, instead of control and comparison.
  • Work on the fears that hold you back from showing up more fully in racial justice and have opportunities to practice stepping outside your comfort zones in a space designed to hold you lovingly while you learn.
  • Transform your relationships.
  • Be fueled by – and fuel – an intimate community of white people all committed to making change in their lives and in the world.

The Program HOW

  • Participation in this program is selective. It requires an application and is limited to 35 participants per cohort.
  • The program is a 2-month commitment, learning experience, and community of support.
  • We will meet virtually over Zoom for 120 minutes each, for a total of 5 sessions. All calls will be recorded.
  • Participation includes a custom 17-Days-of-Practice Challenge, where laura will help you develop a unique-to-your-development challenge that will stretch your skills in areas you most need a stretch (ex: responding to other white people more effectively).
  • There will be a post-call reflection that serves as your ticket into the next call and holds you accountable for putting learning into practice.
  • laura will hold an office hour every week throughout the program just for members of the group. You can come for extra coaching, to ask questions, to get help, or simply to be in community as others ask questions.
  • Upon acceptance, you’ll receive an invitation to a private Facebook group to fuel relationships, accountability, inspiration, and learning. At different times, you’ll be invited to share reflections to specific questions connected to program content, assigned a custom challenge for your development in racial justice, or asked to share insights. Other times, the experience of being in community will be just that: learning to experience intimate, vulnerable community based on connection instead of comparison, and compassion instead of performance. You can ask for feedback, support, accountability, challenge, love, or help at any point, and at as many points, as you wish during the program.

FAQs

When will the calls be and what if I can't make some of them?

Our call schedule is as follows for the Fall Cohort of this course:

  • Monday, ​January 28​–​ ​3:00-5:00pm EST
  • Monday,​ ​ February 4​ ​–​ ​3:00-5:00pm EST
  • Tuesday, February 12 – 3:00-5:00pm EST
  • Tuesday, February 19 – 3:00-5:00pm EST
  • Wednesday, March 6 – 3:00-5:00pm EST

With 35 cohort members per cohort, it would be impossible to find a time that works for everyone’s schedule. All calls will be recorded so that if you can’t attend calls in person, you have a recorded back up. While live call participation is not required, watching the call recording and completing post reflection is required. For folks interested who can’t make the calls, you’ll miss out on a certain intimacy and community of our group coming together and the opportunity to engage deeply in small groups — that’s definitely something to keep in mind that the recorded calls can’t offer you. And, we’ll also have our Facebook space for community.

Will there be other cohorts in 2019?

Yes. There will be a total of 4 cohorts in 2019. All previous cohorts have sold out, and all 2019 cohorts are expected to fill. The four 2019 cohorts will take place:

  • Winter 2019 Cohort: January 28–March 6
  • Spring 2019 Cohort: April 1–May 8
  • Summer 2019 Cohort: July 1–August 14
  • Fall 2019 Cohort: November 4–December 17

How is this learning experience different than other programs or books out there?

Most programs and curriculums support the acquisition of more knowledge and information. While that is essential, we can’t knowledge our way out of white supremacy. And information doesn’t often lead to a change in behaviors, community, relationships, compassion, and vulnerability. Actually, sometimes we as white people use information against those forms of connection. This learning experience is unique because it is about YOUR whiteness — not about racism, or anti-racism. I’m going to help you understand your white conditioning and all the unconscious, unintentional ways you have absorbed that white (supremacist) conditioning into your personality, your relationships, and your way of BEing in the world. What’s also unique is that this is a shame repellent experience. That is not to say you won’t feel shame or guilt as you learn here. You likely will. But you will not be shamed — you will be loved and connected with in radical ways. Our work is to learn to undo white conditioning and white supremacy without replicating its tools (power; control; disconnect). Love will be centered and lived through during this entire experience — by me, laura, and by the community as a mechanism for learning a different way to relate with other white folks. Last, perhaps the most effective way to share how this experience will be unique, I will share a post from social media that explains how I do my work: “The work I (laura) do is inside-out: inner change for outer change. Which means I won’t point to an elusive outside problem. I will not teach about racism. I will not provide an unconscious bias training. I won’t use the word “diversity.” I won’t contribute to the popular myth that racism is a problem for people of color to deal with, that they must figure out, and that the “good white people” pitch in to “help” with. What I will do is show you YOUR whiteness and all the conditioning that comes with it. What I will do is hold a mirror, and a space in which to fail and feel and learn and grow. What I will say is white supremacy. What I will teach — with radical love and vulnerability and urgency — is that by being white, you are carrying and pointing a loaded weapon. Even if you did not choose it. Even if you don’t mean to. What I will help you do is learn to see how you relate to your whiteness, and learn to disarm YOUR weapon: to take out the ammunition, to untrain your finger off the trigger. To help you learn to hold your whiteness responsibly. And I will do it while loving you so deeply and unapologetically it makes you squirm, and with a deep belief that we must and will create a new way of being in whiteness that embodies liberation rather than domination, that embodies courage instead of power, that puts down control in favor of connection.”

Is this virtual?

Yes. This is a virtual learning experience.

Why are the calls recorded?

So that if you are unable to attend a call or have to miss a call, you still have an opportunity to watch the session and make up the content. Participation in each session (live or through call recording) is required to attend the next session.

What if I've already done a Cadre or coaching/speaking work with laura? Will this be different?

Yes. This is direct instruction + community. If you’ve participated in the Cadre or other group coaching programs, the focus in that space is your mission and the tool is coaching. This program is more like a course. It will have curriculum and direct instruction. laura may coach occasionally as a mechanism to help participants learn, but the focus is not on coaching. If you’ve attended laura’s speaking engagements or workshops on whiteness, you’ll hear some familiar themes and this course will give you more guided instruction to do much deeper work than laura can facilitate in a 90-minute workshop.

Why is this about white supremacy instead of racism?

Most white Americans have an outdated way of thinking about racism in this country, which advances racism itself. When the phrase “racism” is used, it often conjures up the notion that racism is a problem that affects people of color and that people of color must solve. It also includes the misperception that there are two types of white people: good (not racist) and bad (racist). Racism is the child of white supremacy, and the use of that phrase is much more explicit about the problem: culture, systems, norms, behaviors, preferences, structures, and institutions (discreet and indiscrete) that favor whiteness, white people, white bodies, white capital, white advantage, white norms, and white power. Using the phrase white supremacy is also much more clear about whose responsibility it is to undo and what choice we are making as white people.

How can I gauge if I’m ready for this experience?

There are a few attributes that participants will need to have in order to participate:

 

 

  • The willingness to do deep, inner work. This is not a course about racism out there; it’s a course about your white conditioning and how YOU relate to it. The curriculum is not based on deepening your knowledge of words and concepts; it’s about taking you deep into your relationship with whiteness, power, your relationships, your fears and helping you unlock critical reflections that may make you say ouch for the purpose of truly impacting your ability to contribute in healing and liberatory ways to racial justice.
  • Vulnerability. You must be willing to be perhaps more vulnerable than you’ve ever been in a group with other people, for 2 months start-to-finish.
  • Previous experience and learning in anti-racism. This course is not a space for folks new to conversations or inner work around white supremacy, power, privilege, and systems of oppression. laura will be releasing a learning experience for folks new to inner work in racial justice in the fall.
  • 200% commitment. laura will select 40 participants who are agreeing to show up fully for 2 months, and commit to the learning requirements of the course, which include a post-session reflection as a requirement for attendance in the next call.

The application questions will help you further evaluate whether this experience is right for you, as will the interview, itself.

Is there a waitlist?

Yes. Due to the high volume of interest and the fact that this course only runs a few times a year, you can opt into a waitlist if you are not offered one of the 35 spots available for this cohort.

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