Addressing Anti-Blackness Thread Gathering
Co-hosted with Chestnut Hill Meeting
This thread gathering calls us to unlearn and be accountable to our past and present anti-Black ideologies, institutions, and behaviors. Knowing that this journey has no finish line, we bravely and humbly come together to move forward in our journeys with intention to continue to learn and unlearn, through interrogation, conversation and understanding in ourselves, our faith community, and with each other.
Disengaging from Comfort or Decentering Comfort
As Friends, we lean on our understanding that we need discomfort to learn to be present during silence, and this discomfort is a growing relationship with spirit. This discomfort is the same discomfort we are growing with and building a relationship with when we are uprooting oppressive thoughts and behaviors. Racism and white supremacy means some of us are more accustomed to discomfort than others, as well as that what is comfortable for some is dangerous and violent to others. We invite participants to acknowledge and address that tension and imbalance with us.
- 9:00am Optional worship – led by Chestnut Hill Meeting
- 10:00am Introductions & tech review
- 10:15am Walking with Anti-Blackness – Oskar Castro
- 12:00pm Optional communal lunch
- 12:45pm Interrogating and Weeding out Anti-Blackness – Tenaja Henson and Sarah Willie-LeBreton
- 2:00pm Resources and Closing
Oskar Pierre Castro is a professional with over twenty-five years of service in the social justice wing of the non-profit sector currently serving as the Director of HR and Inclusion at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. A 1992 graduate of Rowan University where they majored in law & justice, over the course of their professional life Oskar’s work has supported BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) young adults in navigating the challenges of corporate culture, served as a national resource for activists concerned with the militarization of young people in the U.S. with an emphasis on the “poverty draft”, and conducted intense research to support local labor campaigns for service workers in Philadelphia. Most recently they provided pastoral care to young adults seeking to challenge themselves through a year of service with Quaker Voluntary Service where Oskar served as the Philadelphia City Coordinator and the Director of Equity & Inclusion for the broader organization. A member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, Oskar is also a writer, artist, and anti-racist activist who is married to a like-minded soul and is the parent of two amazing daughters.
Tenaja Henson, known by many as Ten, uses they/them pronouns. Ten grew up in Pennsylvania and is a member of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. As a queer afro-latinx growing up in a predominantly white space, Ten found it hard to find representation and support in a lot of the spaces they showed up in. This pushed them to search for more in the work they pursued. During the time they were pursuing their undergraduate degree from Guilford College, Ten began to fall in love with community healing and facilitation. Their passions helped them to facilitate groups at Guilford College and return to their roots, and has helped PYM work through some of the challenges of reconciling with a racist past and how to move forward with accountability and love on the front lines. Currently Ten still facilitates around the topic of anti-blackness and Quakerism with PYM, and currently resides in North Carolina as the NC Campaign Coordinator for Reproaction, advancing access to abortion and reproductive justice across the state and the country.
Sarah Willie-LeBreton is the provost and dean of the faculty at Swarthmore College, where she has taught sociology and black studies for more than 20 years. A convinced Quaker, she is a member of Providence Monthly Meeting in Delaware County, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and an alumna of Haverford College. She writes and speaks on education, equity, and racial justice issues.
- T.J. Jourian
January 25 @ 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
February 23 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm