Frequently asked questions
Who is this program meant for?
- White adults and predominantly white teams
Folks who are awakening, or reawakening to racial justice work
Folks who want to say something
Folks who want to do something
Folks looking for their "lane" for change
Who is this program not meant for?
White folks who choose not to look to Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and others Leaders of Color as the leaders of this movement
White saviors (
White folks who want to center themselves in this work
White folks looking for an anti-racism book club (
White Folks who are unwilling to go beyond "All Lives Matter"
If this is an anti-racism program, why are the facilitators white?
When white people are awakened to the pervasive and persistent racism that exists, they often look to their BIPOC friends, families, and colleagues for education and action. EMERGE was created out of a need for many more white folks to become antiracist, learning from, compensating, and centering Black voices through a variety of media, without diminishing the energy of BIPOC folks by asking them to counsel them through their self-discovery. While the majority of the work we do at CoAct is intentionally intersectional, EMERGE is an intentional white affinity program.
As Ali Michael and Mary C. Conger note in Becoming an Anti-Racist White Ally: How a White Affinity Group Can Help,
Somehow, white people discussing race together can seem wrong or threatening. Because of this inherent fear, white people often wait to talk about race until we are in interracial dialogues. This is problematic, however, as many white people are frequently hindered in such conversations by our inexperience discussing race, ignorance about the legacy of racial injustice in the US, and underdeveloped racial identities. Many people of color, on the other hand, arrive at interracial dialogues with an intimate understanding of racial dynamics and experience talking about race with friends or family…
Bringing white people and people of color together to discuss race can be like placing pre-algebra students in a calculus class. The people of color are often so far ahead of the white people that they would have to slow down in order to let us catch up. And since “catching up” involves extensive emotional processing, it does not happen quickly. This can be endlessly frustrating to everyone involved. People of color may feel cheated out of their own growth around race while white people may shut down or feel inadequate, scared, and intimidated.
In order to be full participants in interracial dialogues and multiracial communities, white people need to understand how racism privileges us, to recognize how racism injures our colleagues of color, and to consider our responsibility and role in responding to racism in our environment. Much of this work can be done in a white affinity group so that, in time, white people can be productive members of interracial conversations on race, rather than requiring constant and remediated attention.
This program offers that affinity space to facilitate essential self discovery for white folks that will help them acknowledge who they are, their identities, their culture, and their histories so that they will have information and context for a meaningful role in their antiracist work.
How much time/effort/energy is recommended to facilitate meaningful change?
Participants will have a mix of reading, viewing/listening, fieldwork activities, and reflection exercises to complete. Approximately 2-3 hours in between meetings is recommended, including time inside and and outside of cohort sessions, to facilitate meaningful progress throughout the process.
Why is the full program 12 meetings over time as opposed to a 2-day workshop?
Skill building and behavior change take time. Throughout the program, participants will be asked to practice what they are learning and participate in coaching and cohort discussions tailored to what they are experiencing as they try on these concepts and skills.
What if I have to miss a meeting?
If you are going to miss one of the live meetings, you can catch up with your EMERGE partner to get what you need. If you know you will need to miss more than two, you may want to consider joining a future cohort. Feel free to fill out the interest form and we will keep you in the loop about future opportunities!
What is the fee for the program and what does it include?
In each Session, you will:
- Experience facilitated learning and discussion
- Participate in four (4) 90-minute EMERGE group meetings, with interactive learning via videoconference
- Meet one-on-one for individual coaching with a facilitator
- Select and practice weekly fieldwork activities to bring discussions to life
- Engage in peer dialogues with EMERGE partners to build your habits
* Session 1 also includes a pre-inventory assessment, individualized learning plan, and book Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
Payment plans are available. We are committed to making this accessible, so if you are interested and able to meet the time commitment, but are not able to meet the program fees, please
contact us for possible options.
What if I want to do this with my work team?
We'd be happy to to talk about bringing this program to your workplace. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your inquiry.