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Navigating Sexism and Benefiting from White Privilege

In What’s Up With White Women? Ilsa Govan and Tilman Smith explore their gendered roles in systemic racism and the opportunities for action. Positioned between white men and BIPOC, white women are in a unique place of the power hierarchy. Today, in an excerpt from their book, we share their thoughts on navigating sexism and benefitting from white privilege.

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What's Up with White Women? is a guide for white women to strengthen their anti-racism practices. A powerful model using self-reflection and real-life stories of white women's experiences with sexism and white privilege gives them the tools to cultivate genuine partnerships with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

FEATURED AUTHORS

Ilsa Govan

Author Ilsa Govan

Ilsa Govan is an anti-racist facilitator, consultant, leadership coach, activist, and the co-founder of Cultures Connecting, which has helped countless organizations put their vision of racial equity into practice. She lives in Seattle, WA.

Tilman Smith

Author Tilman Smith

Tilman Smith is an educator, consultant, facilitator, and activist focused on racial justice, white privilege, internalized sexism, and internalized white superiority. She lives in Seattle, WA.

AUTHOR EVENTS

Oct 25 | What's Up with White Women | Ilsa Govan & Tilman Smith | Third Place Books

Third Place Books is thrilled to welcome Ilsa Govan and Tilman Smith—educators, social justice activists, and Seattle-based workshop facilitators—for a presentation on their new book, What's Up with White Women?: Unpacking Sexism and White Privilege in Pursuit of Racial Justice.

Host: Third Place Books
Location: Zoom link

Date: October 25
Time: 7pm PST (both days)
Cost: Free

Oct 28-29 | What's Up with White Women? | Ilsa Govan & Tilman Smith | Cultures Connecting

Unpacking Sexism and White Privilege in Pursuit of Racial Justice

In this 2-day workshop (October 28th-29th) we use a developmental model to examine how our identities change as we grow in our understanding of personal and institutional oppression. Given the virtual platform, we will still use highly interactive methods including reflective writing, video clips, small group conversations, and storytelling to take a deeper look into our learned patterns of behavior.

Recognizing these patterns with compassion rather than shame helps us name and practice strategies to better collaborate in multicultural settings. During our time together we will co-create a community where our spirits are renewed and our commitment to social justice is strengthened.​​

Host: Cultures Connecting
Location: Zoom link

Date: October 28-29
Time: 9am - 12:30pm PST (both days)
Cost: $50 - $350

Nov 3 | The Artisan Herbalist | Bevin Cohen | Dexter District Library

The Artisan Herbalist: Crafting Custom Herbal Tea Blends

Whether you live in the city, suburbs, or countryside, take back control of your health and begin your journey towards independent self-care as a budding artisan herbalist. Join Bevin Cohen, the Artisan Herbalist, and learn the uses and benefits of herbal teas. Sample some tea blends and craft a custom tea blend to take home. With the holidays approaching teas can make unique and appreciated gifts for everyone on your list.

Bevin Cohen is an herbalist, gardener, educator and author of The Artisan Herbalist: Making Teas, Tincture and Oils [at Home].

Host: Dexter District Library
Location: 3255 Alpine Street
Dexter, MI

Date: Wed, Nov 3
Time: 6:30pm CST
Cost: $50 - $350

Nov 4 | The Market Gardener | Jean-Martin Fortier | 2021 S.D. Local Foods Conference

South Dakota Local Foods Conference (SDLFC)

The annual SDLFC is scheduled for Nov. 4-6, 2021. This year’s SDLFC is a three day, virtual event celebrating local food production and use in South Dakota. All supporters of local food are invited to attend, listen to, and discuss presentations on specialty crop production, industry challenges, new technologies & opportunities, and local food projects happening in South Dakota and neighboring states.

Our Friday Keynote speaker is Jean-Martin Fortier, a farmer, educator and award-winning author of the best-seller “The Market Gardener- A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming.” Fortier is a recognized authority on small-scale organic vegetable production whose work has inspired hundreds of thousands to embrace a vision of agriculture that is human-scale, ecological and profitable.

Host: S.D. Local Foods Conference
Location: Zoom

Date: Thurs, Nov 4
Time: 4:30pm PST
Cost: $35

Full Event Date: Nov 4 - Nov 6
Full Event Time: 4:30pm-10am

Nov 4 | What's Up with White Women? | Ilsa Govan & Tilman Smith | Book Launch

A healthy space for a difficult conversation with authors Ilsa Govan and Tilman Smith in conversation with Delbert Richardson and Lisa Doi

When tackling topics of systemic racism, it can be easy to build narratives centered around white men and toxic masculinity. But white women have long been actively complicit in upholding these systems of white supremacy throughout history, from actively buying and selling enslaved people in the 1800’s, to currently engaging as one million strong women in white supremacy movements. We cannot skirt around naming the gendered roles of white women in systemic racism if we, as a society, hope to dismantle systems of oppression. We need to make space for deeper understanding and calls for action, and Seattle racial justice educators and activists Ilsa Govan and Tilman Smith offer such a space in their new book, What’s Up with White Women? Unpacking Sexism and White Privilege in Pursuit of Racial Justice.

This book launch event will feature a conversation between the authors and two visionary historians, Lisa Doi, Community Organizer with Tsuru for Solidarity, and Delbert Richardson, community scholar and founder of national award-winning Unspoken Truths American History Museum. We’ll explore the historic and current role of white women in relation to the anti-oppression work being led by these organizations, as well as illuminate patterns of behavior present in white women that both uphold and undermine their efforts.

Host: New Society Publishers
Location: Zoom

Date: Thurs, Nov 4
Time: 4:00pm PST
Cost: Free

Nov 9 | The Artisan Herbalist | Bevin Cohen | Living an Herbal Life

Author Visit with Bevin Cohen, Living an Herbal LIfe

Bevin (Ben) Cohen is an author, poet, herbalist, gardener, seed saver and wanderer. He lives and works at Small House Farm with his wife, Heather, and two sons, Elijah and Anakin, on their family homestead in Sanford, Michigan.

The Cohen family grows seed crops, herbs and flowers and also keeps a small flock of laying hens. Bevin is also the founder of Michigan Seed Library, a community seed sharing initiative that has worked closely with a number of communities to help establish seed library programs across his home state and beyond.

He spends his time outside of his gardens offering workshops and lectures across the country on the benefits of living closer to the land through seeds, herbs and locally grown food. In July of 2018, Ben published his first book, From Our Seeds & Their Keepers: A Collection of Stories. He'll be discussing his newest book, The Artisan Herbalist. Participants will have the opportunity to make a custom tea with herbs Bevin will provide.​

Host: Briggs District Library
Location: Briggs District Library

Date: Tues, Nov 9
Time: 6pm - 7pm EST
Cost: Free

Nov 9 - Dec 7 | What's Up with White Women? | Ilsa Govan & Tilman Smith | Collective Praxis Book Club - Weekly Meetings

Collective Praxis Book Club

Authors Ilsa Govan and Tilman Smith are excited to offer a five-week series exploring how ideas in our book apply beyond the pages. Our hope is that participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the intersection of sexism and white privilege in their experiences and new ideas for living into anti-racist values.

Each session will stand alone and be accompanied by recommended pre-reading. Participants who commit to growing our community by attending all five sessions will receive a discount and be paired with another participant, an accountabilibuddy, for added connection and reflection.

We are two cisgender white women who offer a model that examines the harmful impact of white supremacy and patriarchy within a society that promotes a false gender binary. The content will center on cis and trans women and non-binary folx who have internalized white feminine gender norms, as well as multiracial women who present as or are perceived as white and want to interrogate internalized white superiority. People of all races and genders who want to engage in conversations about what’s up with white women are welcome to attend.

Host: Cultures Connecting
Location: Zoom

Date: Tuesdays November 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th, and December 7th
Time: 12pm - 1:30pm PST
Cost: $100 per session / $400 all sessions

Nov 12 | Sami Grover | We're All Climate Hypocrites Now | Live Stream: Janisse Ray and Sami Grover in Conversation

Live Stream: Janisse Ray and Sami Grover in Conversation

Join us for a conversation with Janisse Ray, author of Wild Spectacle and Sami Grover, author of We're All Climate Hypocrites Now. Moderated by Danna Smith, Executive Director and founder of Dogwood Alliance.

Host: Malaprop's Bookstore / Cafe
Location: Virtual / YouTube

Date: Fri, Nov 12
Time: 6pm ET
Cost: Free

MORE NEW SOCIETY NEWS

Today, Fern Johnson and Marlene Fine share stories that didn’t rise to national attention. How many of these were you aware of?

In What’s Up With White Women?: Unpacking Sexism and White Privilege in Pursuit of Racial Justice, Ilsa Govan and Tilman Smith explore their gendered roles in systemic racism and the opportunities for action. Positioned between white men and BIPOC, white women are in a unique place of the power hierarchy. Today, in an excerpt from their book, we share their thoughts on navigating sexism and benefitting from white privilege.

What's Up with White Women?

llsa Govan and Tilman Smith, authors of What's Up with White Women? Unpacking Sexism and White Privilege in Pursuit of Racial Justice, explain the "Karen" phenomena and how it is at the intersection of sexism and white privilege.

Describing how white women act out and use their proximity to institutions and systems run by white men to exert power and control over black bodies. They explain how "hurt people, hurt people" and how white women can do the work to overcome their past experience with sexism to heal and uplift all women.

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