Over the last 2 years, the Southwest Organizing Project has partnered with Still We R.I.S.E., LLC to host a series of Black and Brown community healing workshops. Topics focused on race, identity, bias, anti-Blackness, unity, and more. The goal is to come together to learn more about what we can do to move towards establishing more equitable communities. As part of this initiative, black and brown SWOP leaders and staff visited the DuSable Museum of African American History for a guided tour. The group learned about many different facets of Black history from before the slave trade, the roles they played in wars, the race riots, and the fight for equality. Participants touched on the tension that still exists between Black and Brown communities which is in part a lack of understanding of each other’s communities and cultures.
The tour included an interactive virtual experience such as “The March” which allowed them to experience what it was like to be a part of history as well as hear Dr. Martin Luther King’s infamous “I Had a Dream” speech. There were also the Equiano stories that tell the childhood story of writer and abolitionist Olaudah Equiano, the first formerly enslaved person to write and publish his own story. It reimagines his story with a contemporary twist: via Instagram stories.
The experience concluded with a delicious soul food lunch and guided reflections. Next, a similar trip will occur where staff can engage and learn about Latin American culture and history. Each of these trips are happening outside of the Chicago Lawn community to bring folks out of their comfort zones and to expand the meaning of what Black and Brown unity can look like in Chicago.