Announcement March 2020
We (members of the Council) have received feedback about how white-dominant Interhelp events are, and also on the high impact of that factor, as well as racism in general, in Interhelp spaces – especially on black, indigenous, and people of color.
We have made the choice to act on that feedback and move toward healing, greater safety and inclusion. In addressing racism, we seek to apply the Work That Reconnects as a tool of connection and repair. We see this as being in alignment with the foundational focus of the Work on reconnecting what has been torn apart and needs healing.
In February we developed this statement:
We, the Interhelp Council, commit to becoming an anti-racist organization. We will incorporate anti-racism into all aspects of Interhelp, including Interhelp Council, action circles, Interhelp-sponsored events, facilitator training/support, and Work That Reconnects community education. This is a long-term path of learning and action, that will bring change to the organization.
Council members are beginning by 1) undertaking shared study and dialogue, such as delving into the book How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and 2) laying groundwork to work with a consultant well-versed in anti-oppression issues and organizational development.
Likely on the near horizon are 1) study opportunities and trainings open to anyone in the Interhelp community** and 2) training and support for regional Work That Reconnects facilitators.
Please consider joining us in this commitment. We can all support each other. Your input and ideas are needed. As a start, you are welcome to respond to this message. We want to open doors to fruitful cooperation and co-creation.
* The Interhelp Network exists to connect and support people in the northeast US who are interested in Work That Reconnects, whether as workshop participants, facilitators, or simply folks who want to know more about the Work. Current members of the all-volunteer Interhelp governing Council are Aravinda Ananda, Rosalie Anders, Anne Goodwin, Carol Harley, Paula Hendrick, Daniel Kieval, Kristina Orchard, and Joseph Rotella.
** The Interhelp community includes all whose interest in the WTR has led them to the Interhelp website, newsletters, Interhelp-sponsored events (specifically Fall Weekend, Conversation Day, Practice Days) as well as regional Communities of Practice.