abstract design
nurturing connection and collaboration among allies working for change


Enrollment for Ann Arbor is FULL. To be put on waiting list, contact melaniemorrison@alliesforchange.org.


Ann Arbor, February 2018

February 23 & 24, March 16 & 17, and April 13 & 14


At this time in our nation, we are witnessing an alarming resurgence of white supremacy and state sanctioned violence. It is imperative that those of us who are white do the deep work required to claim and embody an anti-racist identity, understand the privilege we carry, and interrupt racism where we live, work, study, and volunteer. Doing Our Own Work helps white people move through places where we often get stuck, so that we can step up with courage, clarity, humility, and compassion to participate in movements led by people of color and help move other white people to greater anti-racist awareness and action. Enrollment is limited to 20 people to facilitate in-depth reflection, dialogue and relationship building.

Doing Our Own Work is designed as a supplement to, not a substitute for, contexts where people of diverse races discuss and strategize together how racism can best be challenged and dismantled.

For additional history and rationale, see Why a Seminar for White People?

The seminar consists of more than 40 hours of "class time." Anti-racist action and reflection form the heart of Doing Our Own Work. Each participant is invited to identify a "sphere of influence" that serves as the focus of action and reflection. Utilizing input from the leaders, assigned readings, videos, group discussion, and structured exercises, we will explore the following topics and issues, among others:

  • The four realms of racism: personal, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural
  • Historical roots of racism in the United States.
  • Movements for racial justice in the U.S.
  • White privilege and unearned advantage
  • Claiming and shaping an anti-racist identity
  • Practicing the skills of interrupting racism
  • Strategies for institutional change
  • How to sustain this lifelong work
  • Developing relationships of support and accountability.

The facilitators are committed to working with participants to create a respectful, loving, and truth-telling environment where we may bring our whole selves to this vitally important work.

  • Dates: February 23 & 24, March 16 & 17, and April 13 & 14.
  • Time: Fridays, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturdays, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
  • Leaders: Dessa Cosma and Melanie S. Morrison (bios).
  • Location: First Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 4001 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Facilities are barrier-free.
  • Cost: $475. The cost includes program, resource materials, snacks, and beverages for all six days. Scholarships and/or time payments available. We are committed to making this seminar financially accessible to all who wish to participate. A $100 nonrefundable deposit will hold your place in the seminar.

Enrollment is limited to 20 participants.

For information about the seminar or about scholarships: melaniemorrison (at) alliesforchange (dot) org.




For information about any of our programs, please contact us.