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  • Writer's pictureCultures Connecting

What's Up with White Women? Unpacking Sexism and White Privilege Over Lunch

Book cover with workshop title, session names, and dates.

Join us for weekly discussions led by Ilsa Govan and Tilman Smith, authors of What’s Up with White Women? Unpacking Sexism and White Privilege in Pursuit of Racial JusticeDuring this lunch and learn series, we will explore four topics on our minds and hearts today as we think about the role of white women in promoting racial justice. Although centering on white women as our audience, all people are welcome to attend. You are invited to register for one, more, or all four. The book is not required to attend. Workshops are $25 per session.

May 3rd: It’s All Too Much: Overcoming White Racial Fatigue in the Era of Authoritarianism and Climate Change

"Hope is not the absence of despair--it is the ability to come back to our purpose, again and again." -Alicia Garza

All one needs to do is scan the headlines to feel overwhelmed by the state of the world today. In addition to active organizing by the right, we can see why so many white people feel personally overwhelmed and may be tempted to disengage from racial justice work since the Black Lives Matter uprising in 2020. This session offers an opportunity to reconnect with one another and explore how centering hope and community can help us stay involved in a variety of actions for social and environmental justice.

May 10th: The Role of Goodness in Anti-Racism Practice

The opposite of racist isn’t good. The opposite of racist is anti-racist. -Rachel Chapman

When a white woman does something racist, we frequently hear – and say – that even though she did it, she is a good person. This session will focus on the heart of this pattern and how we all play a part in it. How is goodness connected or not connected to anti-racism in practice? We’ll explore how our insistence on our goodness can inspire defensiveness, interfere with growth, and cause greater harm to People of Color. And we’ll look at ways white women can have a healthier anti-racist identity that doesn’t rely on understanding ourselves as either good or bad people.

May 24th: Leading While White

Many white women who care about racial equity struggle when it comes to supervising People of Color in the workplace. We want to be cautious about how our privilege and lack of cultural understanding might create barriers, and still hold high expectations and provide the feedback employees need to be successful. Using case studies from our own experiences, we will explore how to put racial equity values into practice when leading while white.

May 31st: Navigating Ambiguity When Taking a Stand

Tilman and Ilsa have had many conversations about the complexity of the Middle East war. Each time we finish there is a feeling of unease and tension, because the many different beliefs and realities don’t lend themselves to tidy answers. Sexism and white privilege lead us to want a yes or no, and when we don’t have a simple solution, we can become paralyzed. This session will examine how to stay engaged in activism while holding multiple truths. We’ll have a chance to reflect on how to listen for understanding to different perspectives and speak up in a way that aligns with our own values.

Have questions? Email Judy at

Cultures Connecting is committed to making our workshops accessible to everyone. We have designed our workshops with accessibility in mind. We invite feedback and suggestions to make our offerings more accessible for all users. Please reach out to Judy Lee with any concerns or ideas regarding accessibility at


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