White People in Interracial Relationships
Are you wanting to be more supportive of your BIPOC partner when they share their needs, fears, experiences of racial exhaustion, micro-aggression, and discrimination?
Do you want to increase your knowledge about racism, your white privilege, and what it means for you to be anti-racist?
Has your partner asked you to change how you respond to their race-based needs and concerns?
Do you get angry, quiet, cry, minimizing, rationalizing, or avoidant if your partner points out racist things you may say or do?
Do you take it personally if your partner is talking about their experiences of white people or white culture?
Decentering Your Whiteness | Skill-building | Increasing Understanding and Compassion | Strategizing | Problem-solving | Being Actively Anti-racist
Common Goals & Issues:
- Learn how to really listen to your BIPOC partner’s race-based experiences and needs.
- Understand what blocks you from being more supportive of your BIPOC partner.
- Support your BIPOC partner without getting defensive, numbing out, avoiding, being overly-protective, being shocked, minimizing, or patronizing.
- Face your white privilege and learned racism.
- Address your white guilt, white shame, white fragility, white denial, white perfectionism, white exhaustion, white violence, and white entitlement.
- Increase your racial literacy.
- Get clearer about how your white privilege shows itself within your relationship dynamics.
- Learn how to de-center your whiteness in conversations with your BIPOC partner.
- Learn how to listen to your BIPOC partner’s needs, experiences, and concerns related to how your white family, friends, work colleagues, neighbors, etc. treat them.
- Share your experiences (and blocks) with wanting to be supportive of your partner, while also challenging the dynamics of racism within your family of origin.
- Discuss your fears, successes, and concerns in dealing directly with whiteness in your white family of origin.
- Learn effective ways to address racism, anti-Blackness, whiteness, white privilege, and white supremacy in your family of origin.
- How are issues of race at play if you have children together, or plan to have children?
- What are the different types of power and privilege in your relationship, and how do they intersect? For example, in relation to wealth, class, education, sex, gender identity, sexual identity, family of origin support, job, religion, mental health, physical health, immigration status, first language, etc.
- Be open to understanding and building a relationship and family that fosters and celebrates multi-culturalism, justice, and liberation.
- Explore how race and power-based dynamics play out within yourself and your relationship: The Characteristics of White Supremacy by Tema Okun | Showing Up for Racial Justice
‘Below is a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture which show up in our organizations [in our relationships, families, in ourselves]. The characteristics listed below…are damaging because they promote white supremacy thinking. They are damaging to both people of color and white people.’ – From Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups, by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, ChangeWork, 2001 |
- Sense of Urgency
- Quantity Over Quality
- Worship of the Written Word
- Only One Right Way
- Either/Or Thinking
- Power Hoarding
- Fear of Open Conflict
- Progress is Bigger, More
- Right to Comfort
For more information, contact Irene.