I’ve been in countless spaces that are primarily white. I’ve also been in spaces that are primarily non-white. What stood out about hosting Rod was being in a mixed space in which People of Color were the primary mic holders.
In practice, it’s often the case that that we become aware of something in its absence – or in a contrast of some sort. For example, I might notice that there’s a shift in my experience when, upon reflection, I realize that at one point in time, perhaps before practice, I might have had a different reaction to a particular event.
Many white folks, myself included, find it deeply sobering to be in spaces that are not seeped in and dominated by whiteness. We become aware of qualities of whiteness in their absence. For me, this was one such time.
What we are unconscious to silently governs us. If we can’t see structures of oppression clearly, we cannot let them go. Thank you Rod, not only for your inspiring and wise teachings, but for being part of Presence Collective.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. Sanskrit for “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”
Photos courtesy of Kathryn Kendall.