Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Quakers' Reflections on the 2013 White Privilege Conference

The 2013 White Privilege Conference took place in Seattle with more than 40 Friends and 2,100 people total attending.  This was the fourth year FGC has sponsored a group of Friends attending. Three of these Friends, Liz Oppenheimer, Joan Broadfield, and Kitty Taylor Mizuno, have shared their reflections on their experiences at the conference.

A few years ago, I began reflecting on how much "talking" I did about my anti-racist views and how little actual "walking" I did to demonstrate them. Switching the paradigm from talking the talk to walking the walk required a conscious choice on my part. But telling myself "I'm going to take more action to bring about equality" is nothing like doing the actual work. I had no idea where to start, so I started with me.

Learning about white privilege is about accepting some responsibility/to respond in new ways, to breathe, to listen/It’s about knowing we cannot all do the same thing at the same time,/but we can all do something in our lives/and make room for more as we go step by step together

The most important lesson I bring home from the conference is a renewed conviction of the obligation that all people, but especially White people like myself, have to take actions, large and small, to create the kind of economically and racially just world that we say that we want. I remember clearly when my husband, Takashi, told me that it was time for me to not just go to trainings and workshops, but to DO something.