Race Literacy Book Club

A race literacy book club for White women lawyers + White trans women lawyers.

Screen Shot 2022-07-24 at 1.14.25 PM.png
examine our racism.jpg

Mission

To engage in self-reflection around our internalized racism, explore racism within the legal profession, and work to dismantle White supremacy within our profession.

Add a subheading.jpg

Goals

Provide space to explore racism, engage in meaningful discussions around racism and White supremacy, and discover answers to our questions around racism.

Use the race literacy information we learn from materials we read and watch from people of Color to inform our actions in working with people of Color to dismantle White supremacy within the legal profession.

Add a subheading.jpg

Welcome!

If you're a White woman lawyer or a White trans woman lawyer and you're interested in race literacy work, you've come to the right place. This is a book club for those of us who want to explore our internalized racism, racism within the legal profession, and work with people of Color to dismantle White supremacy within the legal profession.

 

[If you know you want to join the book club and you want to skip to the bottom to find out the details and sign up, click here.]

While we absolutely don't need any study telling us that racism is rampant in our profession in order to believe people of Color that racism exists, multiple studies have shown that racism is experienced by people of Color in a legal organization (and in law school) on a regular basis.

Unsurprisingly, women of Color face greater discrimination due to their race and gender.

15SEP_1L-27.jpg

I've been doing race literacy work since 2015.

My race literacy journey has been pretty solo for

the most part.

 I've read books, watched documentaries, and attended classes, but I haven't had a consistent support system in place to turn to with questions or a place to go to when I wanted feedback on my thought process to see where White supremacy was showing up. I'd usually Google my issue and comb through materials until I had an answer.

As I've spoken up more and more against White supremacy, a lot of White people message me privately with thoughts or questions. They're afraid to go public with their Qs or comments for fear of being criticized, appearing insensitive or ignorant, or - most distressing to them - hurting people of Color.

I completely understand all of this as I've been there -

and continue to be there on my race literacy journey.

But our silence is privilege and it keeps White supremacy in place. I know you know this to be true; otherwise, you wouldn't be interested in a race literacy book club.

So I'm creating a book club for us to start, or continue on, our race literacy journey.

I'm specifically tailoring it for lawyers because we hold so much power and privilege in society simply because we're lawyers. If we can work with people of Color to make some real inroads in dismantling White supremacy in our profession, I don't see how those inroads couldn't possibly flow into other parts of society.

Screen Shot 2022-07-24 at 2.36.48 PM.png

I'm also focusing on White women + White trans women because the way we hold the trauma of racism in our bodies tends to be different than White people who don't have birthing anatomy or White trans men.

We tend to have debilitating guilt and shame. Piles and piles of it.

We need to work with our guilt and shame so we can move beyond it.

Part of this process includes recognizing, accepting, and owning our huge role in upholding White supremacy. For the most part, the vast vast vast majority of White women have never stood with people of Color to end racism. Our allegiance and loyalty have always been to White supremacy.

So we need to work through our trauma around this and the grieving process that comes with it.

For too long, we've expected people of Color (especially women of Color) to soothe us, assure us that we're "a good White person and not racist", and do our emotional work.

I've done this too many times to count.

It's not a person of Color's job to do our emotional work.

It's our job.

This book club is for us to do this work so we can work through our trauma, ask race-related Qs, explore how we're falling into White supremacist conditioning, and then get to work dismantling White supremacy in our profession.

15SEP_1L-23.jpg

I'll be learning with you. If you're newer to race literacy work, you'll quickly learn that there is always more to learn about the experiences of people of Color, always more aspects of our White consciousness to examine, always more to discover in terms of how the White supremacist machine is working against people of Color.

And there's a point when you absolutely know enough to start speaking up against racism and stand up to White people in your organization who shut down people of Color in meetings, decisions, etc.

From what I've experienced, race literacy work takes 5 Cs:

Clarity

Courage
Commitment

Conviction

Compassion

We'll be working with all of these in the book club.

 
Screen Shot 2022-07-24 at 3.02.12 PM.png

Book Club Details
+
Q&A

Screen Shot 2022-07-24 at 3.06.04 PM.png

Below are the details for the book club. The sign up form is below the details.

When: The 1st & 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Time: 8-9pm est / 7-8pm cst / 5-6pm pst

Where: Zoom. The Zoom link will be provided in the sign up confirmation email + reminder emails.

Cost: Free

Will Book Clubs Be Recorded: No. I want you to feel as safe as possible so you can ask Qs and share your thoughts/feelings.

Do You Have to Attend Every Book Club: No, you can come and go as you choose.

That said, one of the 5 Cs of the race literacy journey is Commitment. The more you come, the more you'll learn about yourself and how White supremacy is showing up in your life. Attending sporadically isn't likely to have much impact especially if you're newer to race literacy.

Is this Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Work: No, this is race literacy work. DEI work focuses on organizational structures. Race literacy work, although a crucial component of organizational work, has an individual component because it requires that

we look at our internalized racism.

Race literacy work must be done by White people; otherwise, DEI initiatives in organizations will likely fail because the roots of racism aren't being addressed.

Books We're Reading in 2022 (book club starts in September):

September & October 2022:

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

November & December 2022:

My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem

I hope you join us! 

Alyssa