by Michelle Cassandra Johnson
The first comprehensive guide for leading BIPOC affinity groups for challenging white supremacy, healing racial trauma, and taking collective action
Meeting in racial affinity groups is a common practice in anti-racist, social justice, diversity, and similar forms of educational endeavors. These groups provide a structured space in which participants can explore how racism personally impacts them, process specific experiences of racism, receive validation and support from their peers, heal, and strategize next steps for challenging racism, white supremacy, and internalized racial oppression.
In A Space for Us, Michelle Cassandra Johnson brings her over 20 years of experience leading dismantling racism work to provide the first affinity groups guide made for BIPOC communities. This essential guide will:
- Provide an understanding of the racial hierarchy and how it has impacted Black, Indigenous, and People of Color differently.
- Define and share common manifestations of internalized racial oppression.
- Define anti-Blackness and provide skills to interrupt and address it.
- Share rituals, practices, and sample agendas for affinity groups.
- Explain when it is useful to meet as one BIPOC group and when it is useful to meet based on one's specific racial identity.
- Provide rituals and tools for healing in BIPOC affinity groups.
- Provide information about how to come back together as BIPOC and white people to strategize and take collective action.
Comprehensive and accessible, A Space for Us offers practical guidance for facilitating effective BIPOC racial affinity groups and will be an important resource for BIPOC communities.
"What an incredible body of work for Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color to center healing and restoration. Important. Vital. Right on time. A Space for Us is a beacon of light and love for those most directly affected by systemic racism who seek a way and place to heal, recover, and thrive. Read this book with your whole heart if you are ready for real, true liberation" -- Justin Michael Williams, author of Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us
"A Space for Us is a helpful introduction for bodies of culture seeking to facilitate affinity spaces for other bodies of culture in an inclusive, emergent, and trauma-informed way. Johnson provides tools, strategies, and practices for fostering the communal healing spaces that in turn ignite community action and liberation." -- Resmaa Menakem, best-selling author of My Grandmother's Hands and Monsters in Love
About the Author:
Michelle Cassandra Johnson has over 20 years of experience leading dismantling-racism work and working with clients as a licensed clinical social worker and has a deep understanding of how trauma impacts the mind, body, spirit, and heart. She has a bachelors of arts degree from the College of William and Mary and a masters degree in social work from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She published Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World in 2017 and Finding Refuge: Heart Work for Healing Collective Grief in 2021. Her upcoming book, We Heal Together: Rituals and Practices for Building Community and Connection, will be published in April 2023.