How might we imagine and create new futures?
The systems we live in today were imagined and created by people; everyday our choices can perpetuate these systems or support the creation of pro-Black futures.
“It is important to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world."
Sample Agenda for Imagining and Creating New Futures
As you gather with your team or group, the agenda below can serve as a template that you are encouraged to refine and adapt to your needs.
1. Check-in: Prior to this imagination workshop, it may be valuable to ground your meeting with a check-in that prepares the group to tap their imagination. Check out this resource to find a check-in that works for your group. 2. Start with the Future: Break people into groups of 3-5 and then invite them to imagine that it is 2032. The philanthropic community has decided to pool their $1 trillion of resources to give reparations to Black people in America. Your organization has been invited to join a Reparations Council that will decide how to disburse reparations. Each group is being asked to write a pitch as part of the process to join the Reparations Council. In your pitch, tell the story of what you’ve done over the past 10 years (2022-2032) to make you eligible to create a reparations plan, as well as the story of what you want to do going forward. 3. Groups make their pitch to each other about what they have done between 2022-2032 to make them eligible to join a Reparations Council. 4. What Had Happened Was…: Once pitches have been made, participants come together as a larger group, assuming they are the people who make up the Reparations Council. 5. Group discussion: Now we’re a council responsible for co-designing a reparations plan. Tell the story of how we learn to leverage our individual and collective power to make the following visions a reality by 2042: - A reparations plan is implemented - Our council is considered legendary - Our council has led to the normalization of deep partnership between communities of color and public sector - Our council has created leadership opportunities for community members to be active in government decision-making roles - Our council has sparked regional collaborations that are beginning to disburse reparations locally
Some questions to consider in the creation of this plan include: - How should we create norms in this council to prepare us for the next 10 years? - What activities should we do to prepare us for the next 10 years? - In 2042 once our plan is executed, how will America feel? What will we do with our powers then?
6. Dreams Become Reality: After you go through this activity together, give people space to process how it applies to their work today. If you knew a Reparations Council would exist in 2032 and you were preparing yourself for having the power to radically redistribute resources, would you change the way you’re working today? How might this exercise inform the ways you can make those changes and lean into the possibilities?
More resources for undoing internalized racial oppression
Undoing Internalized Racial Oppression
Internalized Racial Oppression manifests itself in two forms:
- Internalized Racial Inferiority: The acceptance of and acting out of an inferior definition of self given by the oppressor is rooted in the historical designation of one’s race. Over many generations, this process of disempowerment and disenfranchisement expresses itself in self-defeating behavior.
- Internalized Racial Superiority: The acceptance of and acting out of a superior definition is rooted in the historical designation of one’s race. Over many generations, this process of empowerment and access expresses itself as unearned privileges, access to institutional power, and invisible advantages based upon race.
- Leary, Joy, Post-Traumatic Slavery Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, Uptone Press, 200
- Freire, Paulo, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Herder & Herder, 197
- What Is Internalized Racial Oppression and Why Don’t We Study It?: Acknowledging Racism’s Hidden Injuries
- Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome
- The Racial Healing Handbook by Dr. Anneliese A. Singh
- My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies by Dr. Resmaa Menakem
- So You Want to Be a White Ally: Healing from white supremacy
Radical Imagination is one practice for undoing internalized racial oppression.
- Gumbo Magazine
- Reckoning With Race
- Lessons from Social Movements: Six Notes on the Radical Imagination
- Prophecy in the Present Tense: Harriet Tubman, the Combahee Pilgrimage, and Dreams Coming True
- Frames for Life, Liberation & Belonging
- A few artists who inspire us: Rashaad Newsome chivita espacial Alexis Pauline Gumbs Firelei Báez Nicole Dixon Evan Bissel Micah Bazant Shanna Strauss Brett Cook Fernando Marti Favianna Rodriguez
PUTTING IT IN PRACTICE