What is Racists Anonymous?
Racists Anonymous (RA) is a support group, based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model. Its goal is to end Racism, one person at a time, starting with ourselves.
What is Racism?
For the purpose of Racists Anonymous, Racism is defined as bias towards others on the basis of race, class, gender, physical attributes, abilities, nationality, sexual orientation and more. RA uses a broad definition of Racism because our focus is on learning to acknowledge our individual biases and change our individual actions with regard to all human beings.
Is Racism really an addiction?
In strictly scientific terms, we may not be “addicted” to Racism, but we may as well be. In every country in the world, cultural norms exist that reinforce prejudice and discrimination by individuals and groups of people over other individuals and groups. In that sense, none of us can escape the continued impact of Racism any more than a fish in the ocean can escape getting wet.
How does Racists Anonymous work?
RA’s approach to confronting Racism is centered in a community conversation and focused on personal change. Learning from one another and assessing our own behavior, we become intensely mindful about the ways we perpetuate racism or bigotry in any form. As we become more mindful, we develop an intense distaste for this pattern of behavior in ourselves, with the desire to eliminate it. As we exchange old behaviors for new, we become companions on the journey to such transformation for all who want to cultivate safe expression, open communication, and unwavering mutual hospitality amid external differences. The 12 Steps of Racists Anonymous serve as a road map for healing and changing the world, beginning with ourselves.
What happens at a Racists Anonymous meeting?
The general format for each 1-hr Racists Anonymous meeting is listed below. For a glimpse of an actual meeting, see: This is Racists Anonymous
- A participant acting as meeting moderator calls the meeting to order with a brief moment of silence followed by the Serenity Prayer.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
- Note: All are welcome to participate in Racists Anonymous. Some people believe in a supernatural being they call God or another name. Others don’t believe in beings. They may see the universe or nature or group consciousness as a higher power. For the Serenity Prayer, atheists or anyone should feel free to omit the word “God” or replace it with their “higher power” word.
- The “Problem of Racism” is read by a participant (definition encompasses hurtful thoughts, words, & actions related to physical appearance differences such as skin color, eye shape, and gender as well as religious differences)
- The “Solution to Racism” is read by a participant. (hint: it starts with each of us individually)
- “The 12 Steps of Racists Anonymous” are read by multiple participants.
- Everyone introduces themselves by first name.
- A member of the group, who has prepared in advance, provides a brief presentation or exercise to prompt discussion.
- Participants share thoughts, feelings, and insights as they choose. What is shared by others remains confidential within the group.
- Group stands, joins hands, and prays the Lord’s Prayer or the Serenity Prayer.
- learn how Racists Anonymous began,
- take part in an abbreviated RA meeting, and
- get an overview of best practices for starting new RA groups.
This Introduction to Racists Anonymous is not a prerequisite for attending ongoing RA meetings. You are always welcome to attend any RA meeting that you wish.
How can I start a Racists Anonymous group in my community?
Racists Anonymous has a Quick Start Guide to help with new group formation. The guide includes copies of the materials listed in the meeting outline above, as well as a script for the meeting moderator. The guide suggests a formative group commit to meeting for a minimum of 4-6 weeks, at the end which time they can decide whether to continue meeting or not.
If you would like to start an RA group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to introduce yourself and let us know of your interest.
Racists Anonymous is now using Meetup – a web and mobile app – to provide information on RA meetings at: https://www.meetup.com/Racists-Anonymous-Meetup-Group/events/. Anyone can view the events list or calendar from the web – no login needed. If you want to use the mobile app, you will need to create a login.
Click on any event to open its full description and you will see an “Add to Calendar” link, which will let you save the event to the following types of electronic calendars: Google, Ical, Outlook, Yahoo. Because the RA Meetup Group was set up with a location of Sunnyvale, CA, event times listed in Meetup default to Pacific Time, but your calendar program will translate to your time zone. Also, meetings that originate from other time zones will provide that time zone in the description. You are welcome to attend any meeting that is convenient for you.