The following is an excerpt from our Camp Guidelines document, created by the Teaching Team for the 2017 Hekate Tejas Web WitchCamp. Members of the teaching team were: Juniper, Sayre, Gwion, sisalfierce, Teri Parsley Starnes, Matthew, and Cat Dancing. The Guidelines were edited and additions made during camp to reflect experiences and feedback. Make sure to take advantage of the resource links listed below the main text.
FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE WHITE
We bring all of who we are and where we come from: race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, body/mind ability, culture, place of origin, personal and family history. We have all inherited historical relationships that must be sorted out for us to become whole.
We have all been affected by the dehumanizing consequences of oppression. We express these consequences in complex, often internalized and unconscious, ways that impact our sense of self in the world, and how we relate to others.
As a community immersed in a dominant culture, we commit to studying our varied histories, honoring cultures, and learning to see and disrupt behaviors of racism and dehumanization. This is particularly important for folks who inhabit culturally dominant categories: white, man, upper class or affluent, college educated, cis-gendered, or straight.
- We work to identify and dismantle superiority, purity, competition, individualism, binaries, and suppressed emotion with compassion and humility.
- We listen to people of color first and make our contributions after carefully considering what was said.
- As a community of mostly white witches from the United States, we are part of a globally-dominant culture. We understand cultural appropriation to be when those of us who are part of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group. We understand that it is impact, and not our intention that is important. We pledge to work mindfully with cross-cultural elements in our rituals, to respect and acknowledge the people and cultures that have contributed wisdom, practices, and forms that we use, and to understand that, individually and collectively, our ritual practices bind us in relationships with those cultures and their members.
Hi, I’m White. . .
I pledge to understand that I have been carefully, and without my consent, taught to believe the following. I pledge to notice, be open to feedback, and interrupt these assumptions.
1. I have the right to have the world reflect me: my culture, my values, & my beliefs.
2. I have the right to take what I want.
3. I have the right to be comfortable.
4. I have the right to be in the center and assume things are about me.
5. I assume the value of my insights, perspectives, and opinions to the group.
6. I have a right to take up the time and attention I need to feel understood and seen.
7. I have the right to ignore this poster and not think about whiteness.
All beings are sovereign and have a right and responsibility to choose how (not whether) we engage. We engage with others only with consent: a clear and unambiguous agreement expressed through mutually understandable words or actions. Consent can be withdrawn by any party at any point. Past agreements cannot be presumed to constitute consent in the present. Consent cannot be given by a being or person who is incapacitated or in the presence of behaviors that elicit emotional, psychological, physical, reputational, financial pressure, threat, intimidation, coercion or force. It is the responsibility of the being or person initiating engagement to get consent.
The Reclaiming Principles of Unity – the one document that we all agree to abide by as members of Reclaiming: http://www.reclaiming.org/about/directions/unity.html
For White Folks:
On Respecting Indigenous Ways: https://healingmnstories.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/joining-camp-culture-final.pdf
On Cultural Appropriation: http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/cultural-appropriation-wrong/
LGBTQ perspectives: http://www.safeschoolscoalition.org/RG-all_youth.html
Journey to becoming an Ally-Megan Callaghan: http://www.cct.umb.edu/callaghan.pdf
Exploring Gender : https://www.genderspectrum.org/resources/
Seeing the Earth as Alive and of Value: http://wildethics.org/essays/
masculinity and violence in our culture: http://michaelkaufman.com/1999/10/the-7-ps-of-mens-violence/
Tools for White People: http://www.cwsworkshop.org/pdfs/CARA/AOYP/TFRA/5_Making_It_Concrete.PDF.
People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond: http://www.pisab.org
Undoing Racism Austin: www.UndoingRacismAustin.org
Undoing White Supremacy Austin: www.UndoingWhiteSupremacy.org
Social and economic class: http://www.classmatters.org/