Heeding the Signs: Using Contemplative Practice for Sustainability as Black Racial Equity Facilitators
Keywords:facilitation, racial equity training, dialogue, BREF, contemplative practices, racial equity facilitators, self-care, SELFcare
As women of color working in partnership and individually as Black Racial Equity Facilitators (BREFs) of critical dialogues, we recognize the tremendous difficulty and demand in holding people’s uncertainty, anguish, revelations, and awakenings. We expect that white people will bring their tears, anger, denial of racism and collective whiteness. When the pain emanates from Black indigenous people of color (BIPOC), this can take an additional toll on the livelihood of BREFs. The collective emotions in these conversations are heavy and require preparation, centering and co-leadership that will provide space for healing and sustainability for BREFs. Building awareness of the particular emotional needs of BREFs and creating a self-care practice cultivate intentionality and presence, thereby mitigating any harm to either participants or facilitators.
This article will discuss our healing and how we have curated a way to move forward in the work. By intentionally centering our own well-being we are releasing oppressive internalized narratives, while prioritizing our own souls as Black women. We will explore the ways we sustain our work as BREFs facilitating courageous racial justice conversations, while also regulating our own responses through a specific self -care practice we developed.
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