2018 ROOTS Week UpROOTing Oppressions. Photo by Melisa Cardona
Welcome to the 2019 model of Alternate ROOTS’ very own organically grown, custom-made anti-racism/anti-oppression workshop series. A team of ROOTS members has spent the last year designing this experience, building on learnings from the UpROOTing workshops of 2017 and 2018, as well as all 42 years of ROOTS’ existence. ROOTS has a long history of anti-racist and anti-oppression learning and work.
This year, we’re tackling the UpROOTing process in two ways: morning keynotes and afternoon cohorts. The keynotes will be brief talks (about 30 minutes) offered by long-time ROOTers on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings. The topics: Power, Class, and Racism. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons designated co-facilitators of your consistent, small-group cohort will provide opportunities for you to actively engage in creative processes to dig more deeply into and share your responses to the morning’s topic.The cohorts are organized around ROOTS Week attendees’ arts and activism practices – music, spoken word, multi-lingual performance, to name just a few. People indicated their preferences for cohort membership during the registration process.
The UpROOTing team recognizes that power, class, and racism are not the only issues we need to uproot. We are crafting an arc of these sessions over multiple years at ROOTS Weeks, to investigate different kinds of oppression, understand how they intersect, and repeatedly ask: what are we liberating ourselves to, and how will we do it together?
On Saturday, we will hold a final UpROOTing session for the whole ROOTS Week community, where people will have an opportunity to learn from what has happened in other cohorts. The agenda for that meeting will respond to what has happened during the week.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions
Can I join a cohort if I get to the meeting on Wednesday or Thursday?
Yes, absolutely. Look for the big colorful graphic recordings on the wall in the Faith Center to learn about what was conveyed in the keynotes before you got here.
Do I stay with my cohort the whole week?
Yes, please, unless you recognize that it’s just not a good fit. Then you’re free to ask another cohort’s co-facilitators if you may join theirs.
I’ve been doing this anti-oppression work for a long time, and have a lot of information to offer to the group. How can that happen?
That’s great! The cohorts are definitely the place for sharing tools, techniques, and insights. Please also be willing to learn and listen, to gain even more knowledge from your fellow cohort members.
I’ve never done any of this kind of anti-oppression work. Should I still participate?
Absolutely! Everyone is on a journey with this work. It’s not important where you are on the journey, it’s important that you’re on the journey. Please be willing to learn and listen, and participate as you are able and inclined.
How were the cohort co-facilitators chosen?
Many are part of the design team for the UpROOTing workshops, many volunteered to be part of the UpROOTing process after last year’s ROOTS Week, and others were recruited early in 2019 to make sure the facilitation teams represent multiple artistic disciplines and that there’s a balance of racial and gender identities among co-facilitators.