In 2020, Be the Bridge released a long-awaited new resource specifically for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC).  This guide, We Need to Talk: A BIPOC Guide to Healing Ourselves, was created exclusively for BIPOC to center BIPOC voices in the conversation around dismantling white supremacy and the work of collective healing.

This guide offers BIPOC the chance to have essential conversations around issues of race and the impact it has on ourselves, our communities and our faith.

This will be the first in a series of blog posts about the guide and BTB’s online space to process the information contained in it.  It is our pleasure to introduce you to Patricia Taylor, Be the Bridge’s new BIPOC Educator. Patricia is a passionate advocate and anti-racism educator who created the space for BIPOC to gather online.  This is what she has to say:

Can you tell us a little about the BIPOC course you led this year?

In October, I had the opportunity to facilitate a discussion group for our newly released guide, We Need to Talk: A BIPOC Guide to Healing Ourselves. As we encourage others to go through this guide (safely) with a group, we wanted to do other same. Via zoom, we had approximately 50 participants for the six weeks of discussion (covering all 6 sessions), and it went incredibly well!

What does it offer BIPOC?  

The BIPOC guide and discussion group offers us a very important opportunity to look within and identify the ways we too have been impacted by the racialized society in which we live. We do this by confronting the harmful ideas we  have internalized, addressing the ways we have contributed pain and/or lacked understanding for our brothers and sisters interracially, and taking steps that mark a clear path towards the absolute necessity of self-care and healing. 

What has been the most rewarding thing about leading it?

I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Doing so over Zoom with a group of strangers, I wondered if we would connect enough to really dig deep. We absolutely did! I learned a tremendous amount about leading with vulnerability and how important it is to have communities of affirmation. Ones that truly understand you, all of you, without the need to explain yourself before you even show up. As much as I wanted to provide a space for others to grow and heal, it was a profound gift for me as well.

What was the most challenging?

Ending it! I truly mean that. For so many it was evident that we met a need and provided something that they didn’t have otherwise. We hope that this can be a launching pad for more groups that will do the same. We also encourage our BIPOC members to join us on Facebook in our BTB BIPOC Care Group.

Do you plan to offer the course again?

Yes, absolutely! The dates for our first 2021 session are TBD, but stay tuned. There is definitely another group coming!

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