Violeta Noy for Fine Acts Not all BIPOC are the same_Regenerative Activism resources In our second Community of Practice meetup Jessica and Nihal reported back from their time at the ULEX training centre in Spain. They had attended a training on Regenerative Activism for BIPOC trainers. They harvested their insights via our four action research lenses: living systems, power dynamics, decolonising ourselves, care & kinship. Living Systems We learned about the The Learning Zone Model (developed by educator Tom Senninger). It demonstrates how, in order to learn successfully, we must be challenged and leave our comfort zone. That’s when we enter the learning zone which can feel uncomfortable. But when we’re pushed too hard, we start to panic, feel overwhelmed and freeze and no learning can take place. The key here is to listen to our bodies and feel when we are in the panic zone. Power Dynamics Jess and Nihal introduced us to a framework of viewing different forms of power – power within (self-worth, self-knowledge, agency), power over (discrimination, oppression) and power with others (collaboration, solidarity). We also learned about rank, which can be social, psychological, structural, spiritual and moral and can change depending on the context one is in. Power and rank together form privilege. One of the key learnings brought back by Jess and Nihal from the training was that not all BIPoC’s are the same. From an intersection viewpoint some are more privileged in other areas and others less. We did the following journaling practice: Take a pen & paper and reflect in which areas you hold power within, power over and power with others? Decolonising Ourselves Patriarchy is born from trauma. Trauma forces us into survival, in which dominance and submission appear to make sense. Powerful antidotes to patriarchy are tenderness, vulnerability, and mourning. – Miki Kashthan Jess and Nihal introduced us to Miki Kashtan’s thinking around the elements of patriarchy and its antidotes: Scarcity vs flow, separation vs togetherness, powerlessness vs choice. Kashtan writes: Patriarchy emerges from scarcity, functions in separation & results in powerlessness. We liberate ourselves, individually and collectively, by restoring capacity in the opposite direction: what was lost last is restored first, and we move towards life instead of away from life. One aspect of this is embracing the soft qualities as individuals, in relationships, and within communities. To restore choice, we open ourselves to vulnerability and humility, thereby softening the habits of protection and control which keep patriarchy going. The opening we then find, and the strength that comes with it then make possible to deepen our awareness of interdependence, and to access tenderness for self and other, which allows us to restore togetherness. When are able to mourn together what we have lost and celebrate what we still have, we may have enough capacity to support the reemergence of flow through embracing generosity and receptivity. We may then be able to create collective islands of liberation supported by systems and agreements that are fully oriented to purpose and values, are within capacity, embed the soft qualities, and make is possible for individual and collective capacity to increase. Care and Kinship We explored the territory of allyship, hearing about the active ally framework and its 5 guiding principles developed by Kyle Sawyer. We engaged with the theme of allyship via an embodied practice. We learned that allyship is a practice as well as an embodied feeling. Practice: In pairs, person A takes the role of a person from a minority/ marginalized group and person B takes the role of the ally. Person A closes their eyes and person B stands next to them offering support energetically facing person A, then moving to their side and their back. The pair then switches. Reflection questions: How does it feel to be supported? How does allyship feel? A poem The insights and practices we experienced throughout the evening beautifully captured by this poem by Mara. Words cannot fathom Ambivalences Build a container to under-stand Buddies as Anchors Inquire your deeper underlying motivation To make it more generative A moment of conflict fundamentally changed the structure of reproducing oppression Decolonising is a practice we’re practicing Decolonising is day by day Time Zone Comfort zone Learning zone Panic zone The vagus nerve runs from head to abdomen from fight to flight trigger and trauma Find ways to differentiate – unsafe or safe, For discomfort can lead to transformation Am I panicking, or am I just uncomfortable? To flee, or to lean in? Power Rank are contextual and personal Together they are privilege. Power within, over, with Miki Kashtan writes Antidotes to white supremacy are tenderness, vulnerability and mourning Scarcity leads to separation Divide and conquer by fragmenting. Choice to togetherness, in flow. Coming out of the dance of lists and lists and lists of White Supremacy Re-member the 5 Guiding principles Active-Ally Framework How does it feel? Eyes closed Can I rely on a technical allyship? Who’s got my back What’s she up to there? You’re my plus one There is something else. Front is interaction Side is a better version of myself Back is feeling ready for what comes from the Front. Facing Absence. Those who came before me They’re always there. Touch me Breath is our guide. Yawning together Forming circles To be held in. Let go. Meet yourself where you’re at. Not all BiPocs are the same The three pillars of White Supremacy are Slavery and capitalism Genocide and colonialism Orientalism and war Decolonisation starts from within This does not leave anyone out of the picture It might be too soon to come with learnings For now That’s very much It. Let’s start here. How to address oppression in this space We have 7 minutes left.