Dialogue on Race
The YWCA of Northwest Louisiana offers Dialogue on Race, a 6-week series that is a structured, two-hour weekly dialogue limited to 10 to 15 participants. The series are led by two trained facilitators and is offered virtually and in-person when possible.
What Happens At these Sessions?
The dialogue is structured in six consecutive sessions for two hours each.
Each gathering is limited to 15 participants. The sessions are led by a team of trained facilitators usually of diverse ethnicities. The six sessions explore various aspects of racism from its origin, to its operation, and its impact on society. Participants prepare for the discussions by reading factual articles and viewing videos before each session.
What is the Goal?
The dialogue is an educational process around the understanding that racism is an institutional construct that was built into our system, and much of it exists today unintentionally and indirectly. Because the current narrative has developed around sketches of unrelated conversations, which are often based on myths, this creates misunderstandings that leave people unclear on racism and its definition and operation. Many often believe it’s a thing of the past.
The Dialogue series is designed to offer a series of conversations that help participants unpack the confusion and misinformation around race. Race is so often left out of the education of most Americans starting from their developing years.
What Goes on in
Here are the sessions that participants will experience each week:
Session I: Terms and Distinctions Necessary for Talking About Race & A Brief History of Constructing Race – We begin giving clarity to the terms we will use throughout the series as well as a brief history of race and its link to building the country.
Session II: Understanding the Meaning of Whiteness – We present an understanding of how the race structure determined the meaning of whiteness.
Session III: Understanding Institutional Racism – We show how institutions were empowered to ensure full institutional access to those who are white, by limiting access to those who are not, and how understanding power is important to change.
Session IV: Struggle and Transformation – We cover the movement that led to the Civil Rights Act, with a focus on one of its leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King.
Session V: Affirmative Action – We look at the measures put in place with the intention of leveling the playing field, and we recognize the fact that it is still a controversial issue. This session looks at the issue in that context.
Session VI: Talk Is Action – We respond to the often-asked question, “Why is talking about race an important part of ending racism?” We show that it is the kind of talk and the strategies used that matter.
Our motto is “talk is action,” and we prepare you for the kind of talk that can lead to meaningful understanding and informed action.
If interested in participating in Dialogue on Race Louisiana’s Original Series, please complete the Dialogue on Race Interest Form below.
Completing the interest form does not register you for a Dialogue on Race group, but it will put you on a list of persons who will be notified of the dates and times of each series when it is scheduled, and also of other racial justice programs offered by the YWCA.
Once a DOR series is announced, you will be provided the opportunity to register for it. At that time you will be asked to pay a $25 registration fee or you can request that the fee be waived. Each session of the 6-week series is important, and you will be expected, when you register, to attend at least 5 of the 6 sessions, the number required to receive a certificate of completion.