Group Study: "Unlearning" Discussion Group

This Unlearning discussion group provides white folks in Northern New Mexico a space to explore and unpack issues of race and racial justice.

Next Discussion: Tue, Nov 29, 2022, 6:00 pm

Our reading for November 29, which we began previously, is here and deals with Alliance Building.  It's a long read, with lots to unpack, so get started early if you have time.  We will focus on Inherent Inequality and Ineffective Collaboration which begins on page 11. Also note that you are welcome to join us whether or not you have had time to read the article.  We look forward to seeing you on the 29th.

Anyone is welcome to join!

No previous study of race or racial justice is required. The only thing we ask is that participants read the SURJ National Values and our chapter's local values so that you are aware of that framework coming into the discussion. You can find those under the About tab of this website.

Meeting Details

If you're not already on our email list, sign up here to receive dates/times of the discussions. A few days before the group meets, we will send out that month's media to review - an article, a video or a podcast. The Unlearning meeting itself will be 90 minutes long. While the sessions will be on zoom for the foreseeable future, we hope to host in-person sessions across Northern New Mexico when the dangers of COVID pass.

There Are No Experts

While NNM SURJ members will hold the container for the discussion, there are no experts in this space. We strive to create room for open discourse where we can all talk, ask questions, and be together in the struggle for greater understanding. As we discuss issues related to racism, white supremacy culture, police and prison abolition, Indigenous Sovereignty, and climate justice as racial justice, we hope to better understand the pervasiveness of white supremacy, learn to recognize ways we may unconsciously perpetuate it, and strategize together how we can begin to unravel it in ourselves and the systems around us.

We can't wait to see you and learn beside you.

“White people are taught that racism is a personal attribute, an attitude, maybe a set of habits. Anti-racist whites invest too much energy worrying about getting it right; about not slipping up and revealing their racial socialization; about saying the right things and knowing when to say nothing.

"It’s not about that. It’s about putting your shoulder to the wheel of history; about undermining the structural supports of a system of control that grinds us under, that keeps us divided even against ourselves and that extracts wealth, power and life from our communities like an oil company sucks it from the earth.

"The names of the euro-descended anti-racist warriors we remember – John Brown, Anne Braden, Myles Horton – are not those of people who did it right. They are of people who never gave up. They kept their eyes on the prize – not on their anti-racism grade point average. This will also be the measure of your work. Be there. There are things in life we don’t get to do right. But we do get to do them."

-Ricardo Levin Morales, 2015, for Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) work