White Anti-Racist Culture Building Toolkit

There is an urgency felt by increasing numbers of white people across the U.S. to get active, show up, and work toward racial justice. This is evidenced by the rapid expansion of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) chapters over the last several years. What is less well-developed are the corresponding culture building and consciousness-raising dialogues that complement action groups. These are white affinity group dialogues that sustain, maintain, and enhance political action and energy.

Since 2003, AWARE-LA has hosted monthly Saturday Dialogues as part of its base building strategy to educate and mobilize white people through the development of an anti-racist white community. The strategies are grounded in philosophical principles and understandings related to theories of social change and anti-racist white identity development. Its racial caucus format brings together white people to support, stretch, and educate one another so that we are better prepared for the solidarity work needed to fight for racial justice.

For the last decade, AWARE-LA members have supported individuals who wanted to use our resources and approach to develop consciousness-raising dialogue spaces in their own cities. However, this mentorship was largely passive, responding to those who reached out to us. In light of the 2016 presidential election results, we realized that we need to be more active in making our work available to others who might have the interest, but need resources and/or guidance.

As a first effort, this page offers the following resources:

Foundation Documents

  1. Why A White Space?

  2. AWARE-LA’s Core Principles

  3. AWARE-LA’s Toward A Radical White Identity (foundational article)

  4. AWARE-LA and Accountability (includes published book chapter)

  5. AWARE-LA’s History and Lessons Learned

  6. AWARE-LA’s Theory of Social Change

Nuts and Bolts/Logistics Documents

  1. Dialogue Agenda Construction

  2. Agenda Templates

  3. Agenda Samples

  4. Content Resources

  5. AWARE Orientation Procedure

  6. Brave Spaces Guidelines and History

  7. Opening Statements at Meetings

  8. Gender Pronouns Explanation Handout

  9. Personal Solidarity Instructions

  10. Responding to People of Color who want to attend

  11. Tasks and Volunteers

We also offer one-to-one and online group mentorship conversations in order to respond to questions, brainstorm, and support white people interested in beginning racially-caucused dialogue groups in their communities. If you want to speak with one of our long-term AWARE-LA members to request mentorship support, please email awarela@gmail.com.