nurturing connection and collaboration among allies working for change
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What people say about Doing Our Own Work: A Seminar for Anti-Racist White People
Doing Our Own Work (DOOW) was a life changing experience for me. I have always focused my advocacy on disability rights and DOOW provided me with an entirely new approach to broaden the impact I can have. I learn more every day about race discrimination and am constantly challenging myself because of the DOOW program.
~ Kim Borowicz, Chicago, Illinois
We are so grateful for the scholarship support that made it possible for us to bring three representatives of United Way of Allen County to the Doing Our Own Work sessions! Our United Way has been working actively on inclusiveness issues for over fifteen years — yet what we experienced under your leadership is transforming the way we think about and approach our work in this community. Our volunteer leaders have committed to conducting an assessment of where we are on the developmental journey toward becoming an anti-racist organization and to determine what it will take for us to move forward. Your approach has given us the tools we need to make concrete, actionable plans for long term change. Keep up the good work!
~ Jerry Peterson, Ft. Wayne, Indiana
I participated in a Doing Our Own Work seminar conducted by Melanie for social work students from New York City. We had a wide range of experience as White anti-racists and Melanie was able to reach everyone, no matter their level of comfort or experience around their anti-racist identities. The weekend turned out to be a great community builder and, almost a year later, is still often talked about amongst the group members. A few of us have shared ideas that Melanie presented to us with our White anti-racist caucus groups, as well as in workshops we have facilitated ourselves. The compassion, knowledge and humility that Melanie brings to her work is evident and working with her is sure to be a rewarding and enlightening experience.
~ Allison Brown, New York City, New York
The Doing Our Own Work seminar will stand out to me as a pivotal processes in my spiritual and political development. This space allowed me to deeply confront my own privilege and internalized racism while simultaneously receiving support and guidance of a safe and loving community. This work can be lonely, overwhelming and hard so to be able to do it with others is a critical step for white folks who want to engage in social change work with other white people and people of color. DOOW taught me that in order to do this process deeply and effectively it is imperative to be strategic, to engage both with the racist history and current state of this country, to be willing to face all parts of ourselves and to practice anti-racist behaviors and attitudes. These intensive seminars provide participants with the support, reflection time, tools and space needed to truly integrate this work into your life. The facilitators are thoughtful, deeply intentional, inclusive and creative in their approaches for interrupting white privilege and racism. Doing Our Own Work is well worth your time and resources.
~ Jessica Palmert, Chicago, Illinois
What people say about other Allies for Change work:
I have had the privilege of experiencing both Julia Watts Belser and Melanie Morrison as trainers. Both are sensitive and gifted facilitators in their own right who continue to do their own honest and deep work. Together, they are a remarkable team. Their clear respect for each other, different gifts, but shared perspective and passion make for a life-changing experience.
~ Doug Van Doren, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Allies for Change facilitators Monique Savage and Melanie Morrison taught us, challenged us, and inspired us as they gracefully and skillfully led members of our congregation through four afternoon sessions of anti-racism training. They shared much that was difficult for white folks to hear, while at the same time inspiring us to rise to the challenge of recognizing and naming racism and white privilege in our lives. Their training was a watershed moment for many. It is very hard to put into words the depth of the effect the training has had on our congregation.
~ Deb Davis, Angola, Indiana
I have worked with Melanie Morrison on many occasions; and as an African American male, I have found her to be one of the most genuine, conscientious, honest intelligent and deeply spiritually grounded persons I’ve had the privilege to get to know. Moreover, I trust that any body of work she connects to herself is worthy of my time, energy and support with little to no question.
~ Bentley DeBardelaben, Cleveland, Ohio
Melanie creates workshops and programs that deeply investigate privilege and oppression and meaningfully engage participants who change their lives, views, and actions because of her challenging and supportive leadership. She collaborates with diverse partners to assure voices are heard and maintains a spirit of listening and learning while also offering her depth of knowledge. I am honored to have worked with her on several projects over the past five years and highly recommend her.
~ Aimee Sterk, Grand Rapids, Michigan
I have dedicated my life to diversity work and know many anti-racism workers. I recommend none more highly than Melanie Morrison. She has consulted with the executive committee of a non-profit I co-founded. Her clear and powerful guidance transformed our organization in wonderful ways. We can no longer ignore the racism that exists in our very own structures and practices.
~ Chad Beyers, Grand Rapids, Michigan