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What is the CCASA Aspiring White Allies Group?

Do you want to fight racism? 

Racism is a constant and it deserves a deeper conversation along with learning how to prevent it in our work as well in our personal lives. It can be hard to know where to start. CCASA is hosting the Aspiring White Allies Group (AWAG) to provide space for white identified/white presenting people connected to CCASA or sexual violence work to engage in work around white privilege and white dominant/supremacy culture. This group is open to everyone regardless of racial identity. Our aim is to work toward eliminating racism without depending on the labor of Black, Indigenous, and person of color communities on the journey to enhancing allyship.

Come explore, learn about, and build skills to combat the impact of racism on survivors, service providers, the systems in which we work, and ourselves. Together we will identify goals and objectives which may include training, learning, processing and community building.

White people created and continue to uphold racism as well as benefit from it. Thus, we should be the ones doing the work to eliminate it.

Current members of Aspiring White Allies Group

My name is Kathy Holland, the Administration & Development Manager for CCASA, and I started on this anti-oppression journey in a very naïve way.  As an older white woman who has been involved in a variety of social justice issues throughout the years, I thought of myself as being very “woke”.  But when I came to CCASA a few years ago, I quickly realized how much I didn’t know.  I had never thought of myself as being privileged in any way, but soon realized how many doors had been open to me, and my children, by the color of our skin.  The more I dug into the issue, the more I realized just how insidious “white privilege” is and how it has hindered the progress of so many.  Please join us as we work to create a more humane and equitable world for all.

Hi, I’m Jenna, the new Sexual Assault Response Program Manager and I’m white. It is an ongoing journey for me to understand what being white means historically, currently, in relationship to others, within systems, and so on. See-I didn’t always realize that I was white, or what it meant to be white. I still don’t fully and don’t think I ever will because I have blindness to the privileges that I automatically get just because of my skin tone. For example, I never thought of how easy it is for me to find products for my hair or make-up to match my skin. I haven’t had to wonder if the reason I didn’t get a job or an apartment I applied for was due to discrimination based on my race. And I didn’t have an epiphany one day and realize these were privileges I have every day whether I asked for them or not. It was mostly people of color who taught me that in these ways life is easier for me while they do have to face these difficulties just like their family before them had. I would like to be a part of this group so that we can learn from each other rather than ask the people who experience the trauma of racism to teach the people who benefit from their struggles.

I’d like to invite you to join me in learning to recognize blind spots in privilege, learn how to support people of color in the fight against racism and much more. I expect these conversations to be challenging, thought-provoking, uncomfortable and essential to move our work forward. I hope you will join us!

Join the Aspiring White Allies Group. Join us on the ongoing journey to learn about and eliminate racism. Meetings will be held mostly via video conferencing either monthly or quarterly. If you want to join or want more information, please contact Jenna Harper, jenna@ccasa.org

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