Seacoast Peace Academy and The Truth-Telling Project Presentation-September 16, 2017

The Seacoast Peace Academy and the Truth-Telling Project teamed-up to hold a workshop presentation on how our stories around oppression need to be shared with others-this is where a healing process may start, and from there may be sustained to be a ‘moral imperative’ in our collective narrative around racism and “other-ism.”

The Seacoast Peace Academy, co-founded by Melinda Salazar, has as its mission the creation of an “online consciousness” that is as close at your fingertips, and may be an educational & supportive adjunctive to those seeking conflict resolution support and a way to express their traumatic experiences check out:

Although, there is concern that re-telling our stories may trigger retraumatization to the tellers, the benefits of this social media revolution appear to outweigh the possible risks.

We’ve got the model of Truth & Reconciliation Commission in South Africa in dealing with the after-affects of Apartheid, but this isn’t a “cookie-cutter” process where one size fits all.  As Dr. David Ragland pointed out, our culture probably wouldn’t be the best to initiate a Truth & Reconciliation process.  Each situation needs to be aligned with the appropriate approach for the specific culture in mind.  We’ve got to pick up the narrative where & when others take us through their stories.

Seacoast Peace Academy saw the direct educational benefits through an organization like The Truth-Telling Project.  A very unique part of this program is that it can be used in community & personal settings by going online to and showing the storied videos and expressions of pain due to racism.  This is an ideal model for small group meetings where a computer can be used to run the stories.

Our White Privilege needs to be excavated, explored, acknowledged and worked with on a continuous, ongoing way.  As Jack Kornfield, a well-known Buddhist teacher, writes:

If you think of happiness only as gaining one pleasurable experience after another—a great dinner, a good bottle of wine, a night of sex followed by a morning where you have a successful jog and a delicious latte, or you hop on a plane to Bali—it’s exhausting! These material things can’t feed the heart. These things are lovely, and they’re a part of the life that people of privilege can have. But I’ve met people in the poorest refugee camps around the world who have an incredibly joyful spirit. You also can have tremendous privilege and wealth and still be miserable. (unknown source).

Now, that’s a “true that” statement, if I’ve ever heard one!

white supremacy culture

by Tema Okun . dRworks .

■ I dedicate this piece to the late Kenneth Jones, a long-time colleague, mentor, and

friend who helped me become wise about many things and kept me honest about

everything else. I love you and miss you beyond words.

■ These sections are based on the work of Daniel Buford, a lead trainer with the People’s Institute.  These sections are based on the work of Daniel Buford, a lead trainer with the People’s Institute .  This piece on white supremacy culture builds on the work of many people, including (but not limited to) Andrea Ayvazian, Bree Carlson, Beverly Daniel Tatum, M.E. Dueker, Nancy Emond, Kenneth Jones, Jonn Lunsford, Sharon Martinas, Joan Olsson, David Rogers, James Williams, Sally Yee, as well as the work of Grassroots Leadership, Equity Institute Inc, the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, the Challenging White Supremacy workshop, the Lillie Allen Institute, the Western States Center, and the contributions of hundreds of participants in the DR process.

This is a list of characteristics of white supremacy culture that show up in our organizations. Culture is powerful precisely because it is so present and at the same time so very difficult to name or identify. The characteristics listed below are damaging because they are used as norms and standards without being proactively named or chosen by the group. They are damaging because they promote white supremacy thinking. Because we all live in a white supremacy culture, these characteristics show up in the attitudes and behaviors of all of us –people of color and white people. Therefore, these attitudes and behaviors can show up in any group or organization, whether it is white-led or predominantly white or people of color-led or predominantly people of color.

  • perfectionism


  • sense of urgency



  • worship of the written word



  • only one right way



  • paternalism



  • power hoarding



  • i’m the only one


  • the belief that there is such a thing as being objective or ‘neutral’
  • the belief that emotions are inherently destructive, irrational, and should not play a role in decision-making or group process


  • right to comfort
  • _______________________________________________________________________________________


I enjoyed the easy flow of the gathering; it was so cool to be a part of a Racial Healing group, where there was a common understanding to dismantle racism, and diverse ways of how to do it.  My sincere compliments to the organizers of the event.  Thanks for giving us more accurate information to “do this work.”

Contact Info:

David Ragland is a co-director of The Truth Telling Project of Ferguson. He is also a visiting professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute in the Community Liberation and Ecopsychology program, and serves on the National Council for the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Reach him on Twitter @davidragland1.

Cori Bush is a co-director of The Truth Telling Project of Ferguson. She is a nurse, pastor, mother of two, and candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the First Congressional District of Missouri. Follow her on Twitter @CoriBush.

Melinda Salazar is a co-director of The Truth Telling Project of Ferguson. She is also the co-founder of the Seacoast Peace Academy. Reach her at

Copyright: Christopher Bear-Beam September 17, 2017

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