Why Antiracism Book Circles
The Resource Center for Nonviolence organizes a series of antiracism book circles as an act of radical generosity and interconnectedness amidst the coronavirus crisis and beyond. Our past experiences enriched co-facilitators and participants alike into deeply understanding and healing racism within and without, such circles also create constructive relationships and profound conversations. It is an ongoing learning process for all affinity groups.
The RCNV book circles provide participants a unique opportunity to respond to the renewed call for racial equity in our society. Participants collectively and individually gain understanding that results in long awaited inclusion and empowerment to traditionally marginalized groups in our beloved community. More importantly, they provide a way to maintain energetic human connections through virtual meeting spaces and in person when it is possible.
Circles can hold anywhere from 8–20 people depending on co-facilitators preferences and can last 8–10 weeks. There are pre- and post- book circle surveys for participants to reassess their needs and shared learning. Information about the circles are created on Eventbrite and publicized within the community.
We offer a diverse collection of books on antiracism covering aspects from the intellectual and historical perspectives to healing in the body, heart and mind, recognizing the trauma racism inflicts on all of us and how to forge a oneness healing path going forward.
Due to the sensitive racial nature of the offered books, we create separate affinity groups to respect the personal process of participants by providing an environment for deeper and more open discussion. Hence, some book circles are co-facilitated by white-identified individuals and some by BIPOC individuals (Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color). Our co-facilitators ensure support for every participant in their process. The circles hold space for all identities–those that are not-obviously apparent as well as those that are.
Books offered this Spring are “ White Fragility, Mindful of Race, Caste, Poscolonial Love Poem, The Body is Not An Apology, My Grandmother’s Hands”: visit bit.ly/rcnvbookcircles for more info on the books for this cycle.
Co-facilitators commit to:
- Read book before commencing book circle
- Agree to four core circle agreements (outlined below)
- Attend two training workshops offered for free for our volunteer co-facilitators
- Request participants to complete pre and post book circle surveys
- Meet before circle commences to outline schedule for book circle (# of pages/chapters for each week, book study guides/reviews, meeting format, guiding questions, facilitator roles, etc.)
- Provide participants with at least 3 weeks reading schedule
- Meet weekly before (to plan agenda) and after (to debrief) each book circle
- Record no meeting without permission from RCNV
- Share no participant emails without participants’ permission (use bcc function)
- Attend mid-way and post facilitator meetings (to be scheduled)