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What We Do Now—Post-election community space

November 20, 2016


Join us November 20, from 7–9 pm, in Thomas Berry Hall. For a safer arrival and departure, please bring a flashlight and carpool if at all possible.

Dear Community,

In the midst of uncertainty and fear, we reach out to invite you to a space to process, grieve, and strategize in the aftermath of the election. The Whidbey Institute’s commitment to dignity calls us to particular awareness of the pain for those who are primary targets of Trump’s threats.

As ground for moving forward to face the country’s new reality, we must be willing to engage in conversations that challenge us, truly see what we may be unwilling to see, and stretch beyond battles of ideology. This time calls for humility, strength, and fierce love.

Though this may feel counter-intuitive, this gathering is designed particularly for racially white members of our community to look deeply into our role in building powerful multi-racial momentum that will be essential to resist destruction from prejudice—and to nourish liberating, generative, sustaining, and restorative principles. One of our first steps is preparing to receive and hold the pain of those the most at risk. Experienced facilitators Belinda Griswold and Bert Hopkins will guide us in practice and reflection that both honors loss and ignites our will for action.

We are inspired by White Awake who shared this reflection. We hope it inspires you to join us on the 20th.

“If you, like me, are European American, let’s be honest with ourselves. These are our people. We are ‘inside the enemy lines’, and the enemy is us. No one can afford for white people of a progressive persuasion to distance ourselves, freak out, or flail in righteous indignation. We have got to face this—with all our strength, all our passion, and all of our vulnerability. This is the heart of ‘America’ and we are in it. We cannot run away. Organize with your friends and neighbors. Strengthen your bonds with the people of color in your life, and find out how best you can support them. And stay engaged.”

Please join us in deepening collective engagement, knitting together the fabric we need for real change, and honoring the grief and fear that are arising for many of us. This is a beginning of ongoing conversations and commitment to action, which sets a foundation for more loving and aware conversations of multi-race gatherings to come.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact me directly.

Looking forward, even in the most daunting of times. Such work is why the Whidbey Institute exists.

Heather Johnson, Executive Director


“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” —Arundhati Roy




November 20, 2016