abstract design
nurturing connection and collaboration among allies working for change



MARCH 2017

March 31 & April 1, April 28 & 29, and May 19 & 20, 2017


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 18 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: March 31 & April 1, April 28 & 29, and May 19 & 20, 2017. Attendance at all six sessions is required.
  • Time: Fridays, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; Saturdays, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
  • Leaders: Aaron Wilson-Ahlstrom and Lois McCullen Parr (bios).
  • Location: Chicago Theological Seminary, 1407 E. 60th Street, Chicago, Illinois. Facilities are barrier-free.
  • Cost: $485. The cost covers program, resources, and lunch for six days. Scholarships and/or time payments available. No one will be turned away because of inability to pay. A $100 nonrefundable deposit will hold your place in the seminar. The balance due may be paid at the seminar.

Enrollment is limited to 18 participants.

For information about the seminar or about scholarships: melaniemorrison@alliesforchange.org.




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