What happens after the momentum of a social movement has peaked? In any movement cycle, there will be periods of engaged activism, and periods when those involved can pause and reflect on progress made, lessons learned, and re-inspire each other. On 26th October, PSC's Anti-Racism Working Group hosted an event to reflect on our collective journey against racism. We shared stories and ideas to inspire us, bring hope, spread awareness and create joy.
The Hope and Solidarity event was an open, inclusive, relaxed session with attendees from across the UK and different PSC groups. The event hoped to create a space to come together to hear about anti-racism work that has gone well in order to be inspired and increase motivation and momentum to more longer-term sustainable anti-racism work. We hoped too it would join together people to form a network or coalition of like-minded people engaged in anti-racism work. Finally, we hoped to create a space to reflect on where we are now (individually and collectively) in relation to anti-racism energy and activity.
After opening to 'The Revolution Will not be Televised' by Gil Scott-Heron, we began looking at the movement cycle. We considered how after the uprising and peak of the anti-racism movement in Spring 2020, we were now in a contraction and evolution phases, hence the need for learning and reflection.
Before the event, we invited people to share creative pieces that have brought inspiration and joy. These were collated and can be accessed here. During the event, we shared a compilation of some of the artwork, poems, videos, songs and other media that have brought inspiration along this journey of resistance, and you can watch this below.
Before going into breakout groups, we started with a reflection on dynamics within conversations and how whiteness can operate unconsciously, and the importance of making it conscious and thinking about who’s talking and what’s being centred in conversations.
We also acknowledged the importance of being mindful that these conversations can feel challenging, and how the challenges are different for people racialised in different ways. We intended to help make the spaces as safe as possible, especially for people racialised as people of colour, and also a brave space, where we can share our thoughts from a place of awareness.
With this in mind, we explored several questions in break-out groups including:
Finally we ended by asking participants to fill in a mentimeter on what has stayed with you / inspired you / take away? (see below).
Some points that PSC's Anti-Racism Working Group took away were:
We hope that this event helped us all to learn from each other and build momentum in our collective endeavours against racism.
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