Racism is deeply embedded in the fabric of this country and of our higher education institutions. Through this Community of Practice, we seek to create an inclusive, co-learning space to explore the ways white supremacy and racism manifest in ourselves and in our practice of community engagement and the avenues, resources, and spaces we have to undo racism in our work and spheres of influence. We seek to create a confidential, safe, and supportive space that will facilitate co-learning and healing practices. We see this CoP as a first step towards ongoing work towards dismantling racism and white supremacy and embodying the values of full participation and equity.
Like other Campus Compact Communities of Practice, this CoP will be built by the participants, as a space for exploring and learning together. We invite participants to join us in encouraging sacred space for having critical conversations about the influence of race and racism on our identity. We will have at least three overlapping areas of focus:
- How our own experiences with racism and anti-racism have taught us ways of thinking and feeling about race;
- How the field of higher education community engagement has been a space that has both perpetuated and struggled against racism; and
- How we can support on-going practice that is anti-colonial and based in liberation.
As facilitators who know both the power of solidarity and allyship, our goal is to create a space that is authentic to everyone’s experiences with the understanding that racism impacts our lives differently depending on which group we fall into. The CoP will be divided into two caucus groups, one for BIPOC identifying folks and one for White identifying folks. We will meet much of the time in separate caucus groups, periodically coming back together to discuss strategies moving forward. There will be a total of 20-30 slots for this CoP, with 10-15 per caucus group.