In This Issue:
- From the Director
- Truth School Trainer Gathering
- May Classes
- What Participants are Saying
- Trainer Book Release – Dismantling Racism: Healing Separation from the Inside Out by Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery
- Andrea’s Daily Hampshire Gazette Column: ‘We are with You’
When the Truth School was created in 2017, we cast a wide net and told all the fine movement-building trainers we knew: come on ahead, teach for us, we welcome you, send in a proposal for a workshop and we will turn it into a Truth School class! Open arms! We gathered a wonderful crew of white people and people of color to train for us, and for two years we held classes led by these fine activist/teachers.
Then in 2019, our staff and board of directors had a striking epiphany: Reverse affirmative action has been operative in this country for centuries, relentlessly and perpetually giving white people unearned advantages, job opportunities, and leadership roles—hundreds and hundreds of years of systematically over-advantaging white people and disadvantaging people of color. We recognized that in response to that history of soul-crushing discrimination, our small, feisty, spunky, and scrappy movement-building school should do the right thing and hire only trainers of color to teach our classes. Suddenly it was so obvious.
Soon we paused and said to each other: we cannot completely omit white people from teaching in the Truth School. So we decided we would have all our TS classes taught by people of color or biracial pairs. That decision meant that we would uplift and amplify the voices, leadership, brilliance, wisdom, and experience of BIPOC folks and have people of color (either alone or in pairs) teach every TS class. This decision meant that no Truth School class would ever be taught by a white person alone or a pair of white people.
When a trainer of color heard about our decision, her immediate response was, “This is a small but significant step towards reparations.”
This policy—that all classes are taught by people of color or biracial pairs—has been in place since 2019. It is our policy now and forever. It has changed the school in profound ways—all positive.
Recently I received an email from someone who said that our policy constituted reverse discrimination. I am writing now to say that we stand behind our decision, made three years ago, to have people of color and biracial pairs teach all of our Truth School classes. This is not discrimination, this is justice and fairness given the endless history evident in all walks of life of how people of color were not given the leadership roles they deserved but were passed over constantly for less experienced and less qualified white people.
Our decision is rooted in history, in the recognition that people of color have been the targets of ongoing, endless, painful, costly decisions where the color of their skin spoke louder than their experience, degrees, background, ability, and qualifications.
Our decision is rooted in these simple realities that we address to BIPOC people: we see you; we value your expertise and experience; we honor what you know and we want to learn from you; we know you can teach us, lead us, and guide us; and we are certain that any successful movement for change needs your voice and your leadership.
To all our BIPOC colleagues: Thank You. Thank you for teaching for the Truth School. For as long as the school exists, we will lift up your leadership, value your teaching, compensate your time, and be filled with gratitude for the central role you play in our school.
Thank you Truth School trainers. You are the face, the heart, and the voice of our school. We bow to you with gratitude and hope to amplify your messages for decades to come.
With loving appreciation,
Truth School Spring 2022 Covid-19 Safety Protocols
The Truth School will be transitioning to some in-person classes in April and May 2022. We are committed to protecting your health and safety while you attend Truth School classes so we ask you all to comply with the following COVID-19 safety Protocols.
Masks – We require that all participants and trainers wear masks at all times during the class.
Physical Distancing – We will arrange seating so that there is adequate spacing in between participants, and between trainer and participants. We will limit the number of participants in each in-person class to ensure that we can safely space people.
Ventilation – We will provide ventilation in training rooms by opening windows. If a training site does not have windows that will open, we will provide an air purifier, and will notify participants ahead of time.
Illness – If you have any signs of a cough, cold, fever or are not feeling well, please stay home.
Sanitizing – We will provide hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes at each class.
Our Truth School trainer, Reverend Terrlyn L. Curry Avery, Ph.D., just released her new best-selling book, Dismantling Racism: Healing Separation from the Inside Out.
In her book, Rev. Dr. Curry Avery provides tools and insights that can help you move beyond the symbolic gestures of racial equity. She invites you to fully commit to advocating for social transformation by going inward to connect with your own divine wisdom, a process she calls the sacred intelligence journey of faith. Rev. Dr. Curry Avery has woven together her passion for spirituality and psychology to help navigate the often explosive terrain of racism. Dismantling Racism is a much-needed resource to sustain, uplift, and encourage advocates of racial justice.
Congratulations Rev. Dr. Curry Avery!!
You can find out more about Rev. Dr. Terrlyn Curry Avery and her new book HERE.
Columnist Andrea Ayvazian: ‘We are with You’
Before the horrific, unprovoked, disastrous war Russian President Vladimir Putin is now waging on Ukraine, I used to say that I had, in my lifetime, stood on two places on Earth that no longer exist. READ MORE