Last week the Brewpoint team underwent anti-racism training led by Equity Trainer, Reesheda Graham Washington. Reesheda helps individuals, communities, and organizations recognize the actual and realize the ideal through speaking, coaching, training, consulting, and facilitating. We're fortunate enough to know Reesheda through the coffee world (as she also owns LIVE Cafe and Creative Space in Oak Park).
In short, it was excellent.
Discussing race, bigotry, power and injustice isn't easy for anyone, but it's absolutely necessary for everyone. She didn't take us through a powerpoint, or hand out worksheets. She instead led us through discussions and reflections on our own experiences and understandings of power and justice. We, of course, did not "solve" or "eradicate" racism from this single training, but she gave us incredibly useful tools to do better moving forward.
It reaffirmed our commitment to being actively anti-racist as a company and as individuals. While blatant displays of public racist behavior in Elmhurst may be uncommon the fact remains that the structures on which our community is built on still segregate, discriminate and harm Black and other marginalized people. It's a stark reminder that the ideals of normalcy and the status quo are oppressive and exhausting for not only our neighbors, but also ourselves. There is much more work to be done to build a better world. Most importantly she reaffirmed that anti-racism work is communal work. It requires that we build relationships, get to know people from outside of our bubbles and work together. Some might find this daunting, but we find it encouraging. It means together we will see it through.
Thank you so much Reesheda Washington! If you are interested, learn more about her at https://rgwashington.com/.
Design: Jessy Woolsey
Photos: Jony Tanase