There is a workshop on the 2014 Smash It Dead schedule that reads:
12:15pm-1:30pm POC Caucus w/ Suzy X and Discussion// Anti-Racism Discussion (happening at same time!)
Some of you might be wondering what this is, or what this is going to be like during the fest. This post is hoping to clarify some of your questions and highlight some of why it is important or significant for as many people to participate as possible!
Essentially, there will be two facilitated discussions happening at the same time at the Democracy Center in two separate rooms.
One room will be held as a space for POC (People of Color) ONLY and will be facilitated by Suzy X. White people are not to enter the room during this time unless invited.
Suzy’s description of the discussion:
There have been many articles, essays, comics, zines and workshops for white people on unpacking white privilege. But how often do people of color in punk communities get to address each other and share their experiences? This ranges from hearing racist jokes at shows, to seeing white supremacists allowed to play at your favorite venue; from getting your hair touched by strangers to being excluded from spaces and in publications. This is an affinity group for those who identify as people of color, and who would like to use the space to discuss cross-cultural solidarity-building, the meaning of “POC” itself and strategies for combating racism. (Or, of course, we can just talk about feelings.)
Taking place in the other room, will be a facilitated white-privilege and anti-racism discussion for those who do not identify as POC.
The description is as follows:
Do you benefit from white privilege? Let’s talk about it! This discussion will be a space for white folks to talk about ways we’re working on becoming better allies to POC, practice healthy self-criticism, seek advice, and learn more about what anti-racist organizing is going on in our scenes and neighborhoods. This will also be a space to practice talking about our privilege in an honest, unguarded way, which isn’t always easy. White folks are strongly encouraged to attend — discussing oppression and understanding your role in dismantling it is a responsibility for all white folks and an important part of the Smash It Dead weekend!
We hope to have a mini-debrief altogether at the end of the allotted time slot if possible.
As a general disclaimer, we recognize that the two categories of racial identity created by these workshops are inadequate — No one will be questioned or turned away from attending either discussion.
We are really excited about these separate, but coinciding discussions surrounding race and racism, and how to implement anti-racist strategies within our scenes and lives.
AS ALWAYS during the fest, we ask everyone to be respectful of the space and practice safer space policies, but we also want to highlight being especially mindful during the workshops and discussions that are being held during Smash It Dead Fest.