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Roots Deeper than Whiteness

2023 Course Participant Page


Welcome! This page is for registrants in our Fall, 2023 Roots Deeper than Whiteness course. Please do not share this page with anyone who is not registered for the course. You are welcome to share specific homework materials, but not the link to the page – which will include links to recordings as they become available.

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Important Information

Are you in the NASW CE Track for this course? If so, you have a different participant page. You can find that page here.

Homework: Homework materials for all sessions will be posted below. Please allow 2-3 hours for homework per session. We ask that everyone do their best to engage with the study materials prior to each session. 

Recordings: Recordings of each live session will be available 2-3 days after it takes place. Links to these recordings will be posted at the top of the homework assignment for the corresponding session. Recordings, along with the participant page as a whole, will remain accessible through February 19, 2024 (three months after our final live session). After this, study materials will be e-mailed to you as a PDF and session recordings will no longer be available.

Have you visited the Logistics Page for the course? Please allow 20 minutes to review this page and take the action steps outlined within it prior to the course. Applications for your personal zoom login must be submitted by the end of the day Saturday, October 14, in order to participate in the first live session (applications are approved manually, not instantly).


Session One: Introduction & Cultivating Resilience

Session Recording (10/15): View Here

Chat Log: View Here

Study Materials


Understanding White Supremacy





  • Matewan “Union Speech” – clip from 1987 film (6 min watch). Note: The term “dago” is a pejorative for Italians, who were recent immigrants during the historical period of the Matewan Massacre.

Reflection Questions:


How did this content impact you? Was any of the content new, or was it helpful to reflect on these things afresh? What a-ha moments arose for you while considering the historical development of white supremacy in the US and the use of racism and antisemitism as divide and conquer tools?

Cultivating Resilience for the Long Haul 


Reflection Questions:


After reading the two pieces linked above, what are your thoughts on resilience and social change? The “Church of Social Justice” piece points out community stances and actions that thwart healthy engagement in social change. Have you experienced aspects of what Lee describes in your own life or within dominant cultural trends? If so, how?

The “Cultivating Resilience” abstract is short, but opens up a window into a more holistic approach to activism and social change through Roubos’s inquiry. What do you think about the antidotes Roubos describes? What kind of approach do you think is best suited for a movement of people to sustain itself long enough to dismantle oppression and create an equitable society?

Session 2

Session Two: What Happened to Us?

Session Recording (10/22): View Here

Chat Log: View Here

Presentation Materials: David's Slides

Study Materials


"The Making of Whiteness"





Stories of Assimilation




Reflection Questions: How do these study materials impact your understanding of your own family’s “coming to America” story? What new forms of clarity do they create and what new questions do they bring up? How do you fit into this deeper historical story of racial socialization?

Divide and Control in the Modern Era




Reflection Questions: How does this content impact your understanding of the underlying drivers of injustice in our society today? When considering these sources alongside content on earlier histories of racial socialization, are there ways you see history repeating itself? If so, how? How have older tactics of divide and rule been modified for our modern era?

Additional Resources on Israel- Palestine and the Current Political Moment


The following resources are meant to help us respond to the current political moment in which the US-backed Israeli military has chosen to weaponize Israeli and Jewish grief about the tragic events of October 7th to carry out an all-out assault on Gaza, cutting off access to food, water, electricity, and fuel, displacing 1 million civilians, killing thousands of uncounted human beings, and turning northern Gaza to rubble. 

Optional group process AFTER Sunday's session (from 6:40-7:00 pm eastern) After taking a short break, we will hold 20 minutes at the close of our upcoming session on October 22, to create space for participant sharing, grieving, and processing about these realities.

TAKE ACTION: Ceasefire Now! Sign the Jewish Voice for Peace petition, and email OR call your member of Congress now asking them to join strong, anti-war voices calling for a ceasefire.  Click here to sign the petition and email. 

Click here to call.


In Gaza and Israel, side with the child over the gun - Naomi Klein (The Guardian)


Israel Has Killed 6 Hamas Leaders in Gaza. It’s Killed More Than 800 Children. - Seraj Assi (Jacobin)


A Textbook Case of Genocide - Raz Segal (Jewish Currents)

Session 3

Session Three: Stepping into a legacy of resistance and self-determination

Optional Self Care Practices: Working with Grief and Sorrow


We are sharing some resources from White Awake’s ancestral recovery course (Before We Were White, which will be held again Jan-March, 2024) that may be supportive if you are experiencing grief or other strong emotions related to the histories we've covered in this course, or to the current events in Israel/Palestine, or anything else. These activities are designed as part of a larger sequence of activities in the course, specifically to help work with grief, pain, and sorrow. View the Practices Here.

Session Recording (11/5): View Here

Chat Log: View Here

Presentation Materials: Eleanor's Solidarity Slides


Study Materials


"The Other America" – 25 minutes total time to read and watch, plus reflection questions


Reflection Questions: Once you have read the Anne Braden quotes and gone through the other materials, please take a moment to notice: How are you feeling in your body? What emotions are arising? What thoughts are arising? You might want to take a few minutes to journal about your observations.

Solidarity Concepts – approx. 45 minutes reading time, plus reflection questions


Reflection Questions:

  • What stands out from these three pieces? What connections do you make between them?

  • Are any of these ways of looking at things new to you?

  • Do you have any questions that warrant further exploration?

Solidarity-Based Organizing & Labor Today  

40-50 minutes total plus reflection questions



Reflection Questions:

  • What stands out to you from the stories these resources bring forward?

  • Do you feel a resonance with anything that relates to work you are currently involved in or might inspire work you want to do?

  • Do these stories give any insight into how the political analysis you just studied might play out in specific situations?

  • Do these stories inspire a shift (or further nuance) in how you might approach people you are in relationship with, want to build relationship with, or hope to influence?

Fully Optional Deeper Study: 


Labor & Working Class Organizing:

Capitalism versus Democratic Alternatives

Session Four

Session Four: Taking Action

The final aspect of our Roots Deeper than Whiteness course involves carrying forward this legacy of multiracial resistance and deeply rooting ourselves in solidarity-based organizing today.

In the homework for our last session, we will dive further into this theme by:

  1. Considering fundamental skills for stepping out of our bubbles and engaging in large-scale movement building. 

  2. Reflecting on how we might join or further our engagement within a community, workplace, or political organizing effort. 


There are many avenues for creating social change, all of which are essential, and no one person can do everything. We encourage you to use this final portion of our course to reflect on the work you feel most drawn to do.

Session Recording (11/19): View Here

Chat Log: View Here

Study Materials


Organizing and Base-Building



Reflection Questions


  • What stood out to you from these resources? 

  • Did anything you read, watched or listened to impact your perspective on how we might organize for social change?

  • Do you feel inspiration or clarity about any work that you are doing or might want to do?

Getting involved:

  • “Chicago Is Leading the Way in Advancing a Real Political Alternative” - Interview with Emma Tai by Micah Uetricht (15-20 min read) | We’ve included this interview as an introduction to the following two, interactive handouts, because it offers inspiration and a real world example of how community & labor organizing go hand in hand. We hope this case study of a very recent, and major, working class victory can help you consider where you best fit in to this type of working class-centered work for social change.

We created the following interactive resources to help participants conceptualize what their political lives could look like in more concrete ways:

Additional Resources Offered in Response to Participant Questions from Last Session


Anti-BDS Laws

Capitalism and the Land

  • Red Skin, White Masks by Glenn Sean Coulthard / recommended: Chapter 2, “For the Land: the Dene Nation’s Struggle for Self Determination”

  • A People’s Guide to Capitalism by Hadas Thier / recommended: last page, section called “Capitalism & Soil” (please do NOT share the link to this Google Drive file with others; purchase of the book is recommended instead OR you can share a link to this publicly available summary, which includes a note on Thier’s section on the land.)

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