Digging up dirt and putting it in a container is as old as human history.
Several years ago, I was sitting at the feet of some powerful women in a workshop called the Watershed. This workshop was a part of the programming at Alternate Roots Week in Arden, NC. I was knew-ish to Roots, but not new to the race conversation amongst activists. When I walked in, I knew I had walked in to an experience that would shift my understanding.
As the workshop progressed, a white female participant/observer looked at one of the leaders of the group, and said, in great pain, "What can we (white people) do?"
She was not having it, the leader. She paused, face still, something else beneath it, looked down at me and said directly to my heart, "Why don't you stop looking over the fence and coming in to my yard? Why don't you turn around and go back to your yard. THAT is where your work is."
At that time, I was teaching theatre at an HBCU in South Carolina. I was about to have a Tedx talk with my all black student cast on stage (yep, it's on youtube). I knew I had learned something that could not be applied immediately, as I was currently standing in 300 years of yards that were not my own.
But I didn't forget it.
I thought about that conversation a thousand times. I thought about it during my teaching, during the Ted talk, during the career shift to working in reproductive health access and the #whatshesaidproject..
The Dirt project is the next step in this work. It's also a community invitation.
Are you interested in joining us?
Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.