Welfare Wednesday: BLM Reflective Training

One of my SeneSisters recently organised and ran a training on Black Lives Matter. It wasn't quite a "here's what you should know" format, but more of a "here's what you should think about". I found it really beneficial to practice self-reflection and also have those discussions with like-minded individuals who also wanted to benefit from open and respectful communication. It was important to use the opportunity to learn, grow and improve from other's experiences.

I find the whole campaign deeply upsetting and honestly quite heartbreaking. In the 21st century, I struggle to understand how this is still and issue and why it has been allowed to continue. I feel guilty for having white privilege despite not truly understanding everything that brings with it. I want to make a change to create equality, yet don't really know how.
I think one of the most clear aspects what that myself, along with others, feel very unsure about what to say about the whole situation because we don't want to say the wrong thing, or be wrong in general. There's also so much unknown and it's hard to take everything on board at the same time. As I've written before, I try to "pass on the mic" to those that do have the knowledge and the

It really is such a complicated issue and one that deeply effects so many. It has emotional, political and social implications but the time to address it is now. With such great momentum, those in America especially, feel like this time, the campaign is different. They spoke with such assurance that we all need to speak up on the issue and not be afraid to say the wrong thing. They encouraged asking people of colour questions. They passionately voiced that they appreciate those wanting to actively be involved in conversations to educate themselves further.

I found it a really empowering training and importantly, whilst I didn't agree with all the opinions of those in the group, it did allow me to readjust my thought process. One older white woman said that the whole situation has made her feel like all white people are racist and I was really appalled at how she had made this campaign about her feelings and despite everything happening, it was her emotions that seemed to matter the most. However, you could see how she adjusted her mindset as the conversation went on and the real turning point was when we did a "Never have I ever". Questions included things like:
  • Never have I ever been worried that I would be shot if I left the house 
  • Never have I ever been judged by the colour of my skin 
  • Never have I ever had someone move seats so they wouldn't sit next to me 
  • Never have I ever practised a script in case I get caught by the police 
Obviously, the training was more directly to Americans and I would like to think it's not as severe in the UK. Nevertheless, it was really moving to look around at everyone afterwards and see that the people of colour very clearly had more and it was honestly heartbreaking. To be constantly scared, constantly attacked and constantly worried... so yes...I feel guilty for having white privileged and will continue to do so until society changes.