Anti-Oppression Session 21st July 2020

Each week we hold an Anti-Oppression Session, Tuesday morning, 10am – 12pm GMT+1. This is an open space to work together on navigating anti-oppression and anti-racism thinking and doing. Cass will publish a short blog following each session, this is the first post in the series.

This morning was the third week of logging on to focus on the anti-oppression session, the plan for the morning was to to continue working on my Race Reflections’ anti-racism reflective booklet, begin to publicise the weekly event, and to check in on the progress of the Gender Recognition Act, the Government response to which is now delayed until Parliament reconvenes in September.

This week, another person found and joined the session, and although I hadn’t expected somebody to drop in before the event had taken shape, they were a hugely welcome and valuable addition.

Here’s a little summary of what we discussed:

  • We talked about COVID-19, the disproportionate deaths and complications facing Black, Brown and other racialised and marginalised people, and the factors behind this, from environmental factors shaped by systemic racism, to key workers and representation in these roles. We shared the Centric Lab study on COVID-19 and Biological Inequalities.
  • We discussed the language we use when talking about race and racism in the UK, about white fragility, and experiences of group settings were further harm has been caused.
  • We spoke about trauma-informed care, and trauma-informed facilitation, and the power dynamics in digital spaces. We talked about how sharing vulnerability in these groups should always be an explicit invitation to share, with no judgement, rather than a demand. I am a passionate advocate for trauma informed practice, and will be doing more exploration on trauma informed facilitation in the coming weeks.

Outside of the session, I have been working on a tentative piece of work looking at perinatal mental health services for families whose baby dies. Bringing anti-oppression and trauma informed principles from the outset was discussed in the initial meeting, and I want to draw attention here now to the FiveXMore Campaign, addressing the significant maternal death and stillbirth rates for Black mothers in the UK.

This week, we are highlighting the following three funds, and would encourage you to donate and share what and where you can.

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