Unpacking Race:
A 5-Part Workshop Series

Part 1 • Part 2 • Part 3  Part 4 • Part 5

Our Winter 2013 Workshop Series
Co-facilitated by Ariel Morales
and Morgan FitzPatrick Andrews

Theatre of the Oppressed combines experiences, images, sounds, movements and dialogue into ideas and actions for making social change.  For 5 weeks in the winter of 2013, we focused on the topics of race and racism.  Our aim was to create a safe space where participants could speak their own truth and start to do the important work of unlearning the systemic racism we’ve been taught our entire lives.  In our hope to offer participants healing from racial privilege and oppression, we offered some starting points for making structural and personal changes to undo racism in ourselves, our communities and our world.  Each 2-hour session mixed theatrical games and techniques with discussion, supplemented by take-home readings and practical assignments to be enacted in everyday life.

Curriculum, Week by Week

In this first session we establish a positive learning environment and explore definitions of race and racism to build a shared understanding of systemic racism and how it affects each of us.
This second session delves into the material consequences of racial construction for people of color.  We will also explore immigrant experiences in adapting to U.S. racial constructs.
February 18:  Institutional Racism
For this third session participants identify cultural and institutional privileges and advantages attached to “Whiteness,” and how institutional racism within housing, education, labor, media and the criminal justice system target people of color.  We also identify the myth of  “post-racial institutions.” 
In this fourth session we go deep into concepts of white privilege, internalized racism, collusion, microagression and also empowerment, examining how all of these things crop up in our own lives.
In this final session we strategize ways to take action against racism in personal, work and community settings by identifying our spheres of influence and how to empower ourselves to take action.

About the Facilitators:

Ariel Morales is a Puerto Rican and Ashkenazi American activist, facilitator and organizer currently working with Philadelphians Allied for a Responsible Economy and Mariposa Co-op's Food Justice and Anti-Racism working group.  He is trained by the Multicultural Resource Center in Ithaca, New York to lead dialogue on race and racism. He is also a stone mason and holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning.  Ariel has been doing T.O. since 2011 and has been with Philadelphia Theatre of the Oppressed since the summer of 2012.

Morgan Andrews is a Ukrainian-Irish-American activist-artist from a Muslim-Jewish-Catholic-Unitarian family.  He co-founded Philadelphia Theatre of the Oppressed in 2008 having trained at TOPLAB in New York, with Jana Sanskriti in India, and with T.O.'s late founder Augusto Boal. In addition to hosting workshops in West Philly, Morgan has jokered T.O. extensively for LGBT youth in Philly, with activists in Brazil, at student co-ops around North America, and for German citizens involved in reconciliation work.  Morgan also teaches at Studio 34 and Maha Yoga, and creates plays with the Medium Theatre Company.

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