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The Spring 2022 cohort’s shared commitments to continuing their anti-racism journeys

On 21st July 2022, the Spring 2022 cohort of #TheUnlearningCircle with Full Frame Coach completed their three month immersive #antiracism programme. The Unlearning Circle marks the start of a life long journey, and as a group the cohort came up with some shared commitments using two prompts from Layla F. Saad’s Me and White Supremacy.

Would you consider looking inwards as one of your top 3 things to do to understand racism and practice anti-racism? Or perhaps the fear of getting things wrong and hurting people stops you from knowing more about #whiteness and how it shows up for you. If yes, then you might like to know that the Winter 22/23 cohort starts on Thursday, 10th November. You can find out more at

In the spirit of accountability, the Spring 2022 cohort are happy for their #commitments to be shared with you all. The following commitments were developed by Rachel Alvarez-Reyes, Tim Hess and Alexandra Paterson with facilitation provided by me, Liz Price.

"I am committed to showing up for this lifelong anti-racism work because…

  • It’s important - racism and how it has manifested, both historically and now, has a huge negative impact on people from the global majority

  • We’re not powerless in this situation - we benefit from this and we have agency. It’s not an option to do nothing

  • I can see it playing out in front of me - on my friends, my community, people I care about. And I don’t want that to be such a big part of their lives

  • We live in such a divided world - it’s the only way to start building bridges by stepping into this world and owning our part in that division. We need to use our privilege to address that.

  • It could open up a whole new world of meaningful, enriching conversations and connections - all the time we’ve not dealt with this stuff, our relationships with people from the global majority are going to be limited.

  • Really understanding where someone is coming from and understanding what makes up all of their identity, is a duty/responsibility to do this work - people from the global majority have been doing this work since before they were born (taking into account inter-generational trauma of racism).

  • We have a responsibility to use our privilege to try and level the playing field.

  • This is a good time to be stepping up - we are at a point in our society where there are little glimmers of hope:

  • discussions in the mainstream about not tolerating inequalities,

  • discussions in wider society eg attitudes towards immigration and refugees are shifting

  • attempts by our politicians to start culture wars are reducing,

  • people are making their minds up on individual issues, and not following the party line.

  • I want to add my voice and energy to the progress that has already been made in the UK about anti-racism - it’s time to actively contribute to anti-racism and the rights of others

  • This process has inspired me that the little things can make a difference - my privilege is so obvious to me, I can then turn that on its head and use my privilege in a productive way.

  • This feels core to me – regarding global and structural inequality. If we can chip away and make a small part, you never know where those ripples will lead in creating some change in the world.

  • I have a growing, deepening realisation that it all starts with our inner work. And we all need to continue with the inner work to remain active in this area.

  • I don’t want to fall back into the trap of thinking of myself as ‘a good white person’ – for having done this work and the ‘good things’ I do next. That’s why it’s lifelong work.

I am committed to challenging racism in other people with white privilege by…

  • Talking about The Unlearning Circle - having done this work, and my journey before I started this process and what I’ve learnt through this about myself. Using it as an opportunity to talk about it with others

  • Sharing how I want this work to continue in my life - to make it clear that it’s not “I’ve done this and full stop”. It’s not a ‘one and done’, so it’s lifelong work.

  • Having a conversation with my partner – carve out the time to talk about this, even if it’s difficult. I don’t want to wait for it to happen organically.

  • Building the confidence (putting myself out there and taking action) and knowledge (immersing myself in ongoing learning and exposure to material from the global majority) to have a challenging conversation, that involves calling out someone I care about.

  • Starting a process to have longer conversations – I need to get clear in my head before I have them. This means being able to speak about this in a clear and compelling way, so that people who will be open to this but won’t have heard it before, can take it on board.

  • Having conversations coming from a place of authenticity - not letting perfectionism and my inner critic get in the way of wanting to ‘get it right’. Not sounding sanctimonious, intellectual in these conversations.

  • Listening out for white fragility - the other person might not recognise or understand that’s what it is.

  • Being courageous – the build up to something can be more of a thing than actually doing it. I’ve been empowered in the past by taking action. So I will focus on the feeling of taking action, even if I know it could be difficult or have an impact on relationships.

  • By trusting that down the line, perhaps years from now, others will understand where I’m coming from now.

  • Starting from a place of compassion, kindness, love and connection with another person – creating safe spaces to have these conversations. Giving space for people to change their views without being judged for a ‘u-turn’. Giving space for people to add to their understanding without them feeling like I’ve told them they were wrong. Giving space for those that haven’t yet started the work.

  • Recognising where the other person is at - adapting my expectations of them without colluding with their white fragility etc.

  • Acknowledging how I might be perceived by the other person - these people haven’t been on the same journey with me. They might have a new perception of me (that is uncomfortable) and I will need to acknowledge that with them."

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