Beyond the Culture of Separation
Programs for white-identified people who are committed to changing the story of separation.
We work with groups of white-identified people, using multiple learning modalities, including multimedia, mindfulness, and a variety of movement-based activities to create a supportive learning community. We unpack the old stories of whiteness that inform our society and our personal lives, and begin to imagine a new way of being human together. We believe real change requires more than changing our individual attitudes or reforming our laws and institutions (both of which are necessary). Creating a racially just society will also require changing the implicit beliefs, mental models, and cultural narratives that shape our attitudes as well as our institutions. Topics covered in this class include: how our personal histories intersect with larger currents of US history, from settler colonialism to gentrification, how to understand white supremacy, as a culture, as a system, and as a collective wound, how we can learn to bear witness to the pain and suffering racism enacts on people of color, and, finally, how racism impacts our own personal and collective well-being.
- Listen to Angela Sevin and Gregory Mengel discussing our programs on Envision Radio.
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What our participants are saying:
“If you are a white-identified person wondering what your place is in the Black Lives Matter movement, you will be very interested to learn more about an Oakland-based organization called Beyond Separation. I went to a workshop they facilitated for whites a couple of weeks ago, and it was perhaps the BEST conversation I have ever had about racism (and man, did I need it!!!!). By BEST I mean, these folks know how to set the stage and engage whites in a way that really invites engagement, new levels of self-awareness, and leaves you feeling like something important and different has happened inside you…. And hopeful about change for all people of all races—imagine that!!!! They are trauma-informed, relational, radically honest and simultaneously compassionate. They know change from the inside out. If you live in the Bay Area, check out their upcoming Wednesday evening class.” – Angela Jernigan
“A fantastic course taught at Impact Hub Oakland on undoing racism. We will NOT have the world we are all working so hard to create without doing this work in tandem with our mission driven projects and businesses. This work is a vital part of creating the emerging future. Lead by my friends & colleagues Gregory A Mengel, Angela Sevin and Elana Isaacs. Deeply transformational. Check it out.” – Konda Mason, Founder & CEO, Impact Hub Oakland
“Cannot recommend this course more highly! It was wonderful for my husband and me! Great weekly practice of seeing the ways in which our cultural conditioning can easily have us act outside of our most important values and disconnect us from ourselves and our human family. Great social support to make positive changes! You’ll love it!” – Brooke Deterline, Partner & CEO, Courageous Leadership, LLC
“I cannot recommend this course enough. Gregory, Elana and Angela are excellent facilitators and taking this course has been fundamental in opening my eyes to the realities of race and identity.”
“The takeaway for me has been immense. I literally feel as though I have woken up. I now have a much better understanding of institutionalized racism, how it came to be, how it manifests in absolutely every aspect of life, why it persists and most importantly, what my place in it all has been and is. The class and the teachings have rocked my world in a way that I find sometimes overwhelming, but mostly extraordinarily empowering.”
“More than once I’ve heard people of color say, ‘It’s not fair that it’s always on us to teach you folks how to stop being racist. You need to teach each other.’ I can’t imagine a more well-informed, incisive, loving, and effective answer to that challenge than Beyond the Culture of Separation. If you are a white person who is working for racial equity, this course is going to help you grow into the person you aspire to be.”
“The group was a very useful container for me to examine my own ideas and ways forward in doing anti-racist social justice education.”
“I did this last year and it was fantastic for personal awareness and growth as well as for joining a community that keeps growing and caring for one another. Gregory, Elana, and Angela are my friends now and I’ve kept in touch with many others from the group as well. As I move through my life and see more and more antiracist white friends it feels liberation is finally surfacing for all and the “beyond separation” feels real.”
“I feel as though the class strengthened my resolve to integrate anti-bias conversations in my life. Knowing that there are others engaged in raising awareness gives me renewed hope.”
“I was immediately (and throughout) confronted with my own internal layers and programming, and I was allowed to feel into those layers in the container that was the class. Also, the background information and theoretical discussions helped frame and contextualize the class. The main point about white folks needing to do this work with each other came through strongly and clearly.”
“Beyond the Culture of Separation is a valuable program for anyone looking to more closely examine issues of racism in themselves and in society. The facilitators are knowledgeable, skilled, and caring. They brought our group together in a supportive way that allowed us to learn about and process difficult issues while feeling a sense of community and caring for one another. They even make it quite enjoyable at moments, without ever distracting from the idea that the topic at hand is both important and serious. Highly recommended!”
“This is an excellent program for white identified persons beginning the journey of questioning issues of race within themselves and our culture. Be prepared to have your hearts and minds challenged and changed.”
“One of the things that most afflicts this country is that white people don’t know who they are or where they come from. “ ~James Baldwin