The work of white anti-racism starts with how we experience whiteness, our own whiteness, how it acts through us, and how we might begin to interrupt our conditioning. The goal is to cause less harm and create more healing, to bring benefit to the world. —Khalila Archer
At the height of racial tensions in 2020, black leaders, teachers, and activists identified a need and requested that white people come together to do their own inner work around race and racism. In response, iBme teachers Khalila Archer and Mark Wax created a mindfulness-based program on white anti-racism in the summer of 2020. Drawing on the tools of meditation and mindfulness, the goal of this work is to hold each other accountable and help each other along — so that we can see what we may have been blind to, within ourselves and around us in the world.
“Mark and I are not experts. We’re holding the space collectively, together.” —Khalila
Watch. Read. Reflect This post offers a montage of videos of Mark and quotes from Khalila from the fall 2020 course to provide an overview of and an invitation into the work of white anti-racism. Unfortunately there was a glitch with the recordings of Khalila, so we are sharing some of the things that she said instead of the video version.
These clips and quotes cannot capture the breadth and depth of the actual experience of doing the work, but we hope this provides some helpful insights into the topic and why iBme is committed to it.
WHY WHITE ANTI-RACISM?
“Being uncomfortable is, in many ways, step one.” —Mark
HOW MEDITATION PRACTICE IS A SUPPORT
“First, meditation is a great resource, personal support — for self-regulation, to find balance, cultivate calm. So having a resource like meditation can support us in navigating what can feel like constantly shifting terrain as we do this challenging work.”
“Second, meditation offers insight and clear thinking/seeing. We can look and see what’s happening in our own minds and heart. What may otherwise be hidden: the ways that we’re conditioned, unconscious beliefs we may have, the ways that our emotions or thoughts might be driving us, without us realizing it — we can see all that with practice.”
BEING WILLING TO SEE OUR BLIND SPOTS
THIS IS ONGOING WORK
“The expectation is that we’re not going to be perfect. it’s going to get messy, it’s going to get complicated and hard — and that we can actually do that together.”
“It’s not like we do the course, check the box, and we’re done.”
“Practice lays a foundation for investigating what’s going on in our experience. This work is relevant and continues after the course, and can support us throughout our lives.”
A PRACTICE FOR INDIGENOUS LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Tune in once — or make this a regular part of your own practice.
Khalila Archer is a mindfulness and yoga instructor with 20+ of personal practice. Her background includes over a decade as a wilderness educator as well as teaching interdisciplinary curriculum in formal classroom settings and beyond. Khalila currently serves on the iBme Board of Directors and is part of the core faculty for the iBme Mindfulness Teacher Training. Her teaching is grounded in nature awareness and connection, mindfulness meditation as a means for insight, care, and well-being, and social justice praxis that recognizes our interdependence and collective need for freedom.
Mark Wax has been a sincere student of many meditative arts for the last 15 years. He has worked for Yoga International magazine, the Himalayan Institute, and Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He recently completed his 500-hour yoga teacher certification through Spirit Rock’s Mindful Yoga and Meditation Training.