Mary Frances Winters, long an icon in the space of training and transformation for diversity, equity and justice in corporations, has coined the term 're-imaginaction.' As the word implies, she and her team believe we are at the precipice of unprecedented change in the space of anti-racism, but only if we collectively re-imagine what is possible and take action.
That's initially hard to fathom given our escalating divisiveness and historic need to categorize, label and demean so that one community of humanity may feel more superior to other communities. White versus Black, Asian, Hispanic, Indigenous. Resident versus Immigrant. Male versus Female. Heterogenous versus LGBTQ+. Othering is deeply embedded in our DNA, as if that is the only way to make sense of the world, through hierarchical categories that diminish or elevate.
So how do we disarm those either/or, us versus them mindsets? The stories we tell each other and ourselves matter. Narrative has power. It embodies the opportunity to build awareness, understanding and empathy. Such is the north star of Out of Hand Theater's creative intervention for racism. Launched initially in person in 2019, dozens of actors would perform monologues in the homes of volunteers on the same night. Then diverse strangers, sharing a meal, would explore their responses to the material, deepening their understanding and opening the conversation to topics they may never have touched on before. During COVID, the venture went virtual under the name Equitable Dinners. We highly recommend that you check it out - once a month they offer a free public experience. The next one is Sunday, Sept 19, 2021.
What are you up to re-imagining these days?