Workshop Title: "BLIND SPOT Speaking of Race"  

Workshop Presenter: Russell G. Jones   

Length: Three Salon Series, each 2 and half hours, negotiable                            



Workshop Description:  Race matters.  In this your community is no different than most places in America. How we speak about race matters too.  In order to recognize and critically discuss both systemic and internalized racism we need to practice speaking through our own racial lens.  We believe that by acknowledging, engaging with, and opposing white supremacy we can all make more conscious decisions as empowered members of the school community.

BLIND SPOT curates a content rich environment to practice this discourse. Our salons are a series of facilitated discussions where videos spark small and large group conversations that lead participants to build new skills to confront racism in our community and throughout their lives.  Through these discussions, participants learn to articulate their thoughts and feelings about race, recognize systems and ideologies that contribute to racism, and analyze their own actions as contributing to, or working against, White supremacy.

Our primary identities also intersect with our race, gender, sexual orientation, and myriad other characteristics and histories that make us who we are.  The better we understand those intersections, and the more practiced we are at talking about these issues, the better community members—indeed, the better collaborators—we will be. 

Action Plan: As a large group, participants are introduced to the idea of the American racial system and its history.  The presenter will speak to the invisibility of Whiteness and the representations and interpretations of Blackness in our culture.  The presenter will introduce short videos, and then pose questions for discussion.  Participants will break into small groups to grapple with those discussion questions.  Throughout the workshop, volunteer participants in pairs will be interviewing each other on camera in a separate space.  There they will pose questions to each other about their experience with race and privilege.  These recordings will join an archive of past participants’ conversations about these issues. 

After a series of videos and small group discussions, the presenter will close with a large-group discussion about the themes explored during the workshop, and provide resources for further learning.

Target Audience:  Artists, educators and the organizations and communities that support them.


Educational Objectives:

Participants will be able to use precise vocabulary to speak accurately about race, power and privilege. 

Participants will be able to think critically about privilege in all its forms.

Participants will be able to articulate their personal relationship with White supremacy.

Promotional Summary: Race matters.  How we speak about race matters too.  Many of us speak about race only after our emotions have been ignited.  BLIND SPOT creates a healthy environment to practice our racial discourse.  By acknowledging, engaging with and opposing White supremacy, we can all make more conscious decisions as collaborators and community members.  BLIND SPOT Salon Series is a set of three facilitated discussions where videos spark small and large group conversations that lead participants to build new skills to confront racism in our work and our lives.

Equipment Required: Projector and screen.  Movable chairs to form small and large groups.  One or more break out rooms for private on-camera interviews. 

Presenter Bio: Russell G. Jones has worked as teaching artist for nearly two decades.  He works on stage, film and television and is an Auldeco, Obie and SAG Award winning actor.  Russell has been a member of The Labyrinth Theater Co. since 1995, and through that community he is also known as a facilitator, an emcee and director.

Mr. Jones is the creator of BLIND SPOT and has hosted salons in New York, Los Angeles and Boston.

Rates: Please Contact Us for rates and costs.