For the first time since February because of COVID-19 restrictions, the performing arts program and education organization WEAVE will be holding a virtual event called Confronting Racism through Roots Music.
The interactive workshop will help participants confront their own internalized racism using roots music.
The workshop costs $150 for eight weeks. The sessions run for 90 minutes with 10 participants the maximum amount for a workshop. If slots fill up easily, WEAVE will consider opening another session either concurrently or after the first series is completed. The first workshop will be Dec. 1 running each week through Jan. 19.
The workshops will be facilitated by Joe Seamons, who began work as an anti-racist activist with his partners in Seattle’s Black & Tan Hall. The work led him to become board chair of the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center in Oregon. Seamons has completed multiple trainings for anti-racist work from institutions such as The Dialogue Company, and this year he was certified as a conflict transformation facilitator.
“The musical history of the U.S. constitutes a unique and powerful lens for deepening our grasp of how culture has sometimes confronted—but too often reinforced—oppressive systems that terrorize historically disenfranchised communities,” WEAVE’s website states. ”With an emphasis on women, nonconformists, artists of the African diaspora, each week of this workshop and discussion group explores stories about the true roots of American culture. Each artist profile will serve to ground participants in historical knowledge as we engage in facilitated, constructive discussions about how participants can use their knowledge and power to effect positive change in their families, workplaces and communities.”
Each workshop session will consist of:
- A brief overview of the current week’s story, musician or song.
- A facilitated discussion about the lessons and themes drawn from the presentation.
- The development of individual or group stratagems for uprooting racism in our own families, workplaces and communities. These strategies will be tailored to each individual’s situation, and then implemented over time.
- Starting in Week 3, we begin to support and hold one another accountable to the implementation commitments grown from our sessions.
- A focus on one bedrock principle of anti-racist work.
After eight weeks of workshop sessions, WEAVE hopes each participant will gain:
- A deeper grasp of how to effectively address issues of race and social justice in personal and professional life.
- An expanded, enduring network of friends and collaborators willing to serve as trusted supporters in the work of forging a more just and compassionate society.
- A greater knowledge of the history and evolution of American music and culture.
- A toolbox of strategies for uprooting racism and recognizing invisible bias in one’s family and society.
- A wider knowledge of institutions and resources that exist to help us challenge systems of oppression.
WEAVE is based out of Rolling Bay Hall on Bainbridge Island, hosting international musicians, showcasing local independent arts community, and inviting audiences to celebrate the multi-racial, multi-ethnic roots of American culture, their website states.
Typically, WEAVE serves 400-600 island residents per month for activities such as weekly open mic nights, music education, multi-cultural performances, internships for island teens, access to renowned artists, exposure to under-represented voices, cutting-edge theatre, and dance or lounge parties.