Please see the following information about our community calls for Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, etc (LGBTQ+) in our online courses. We believe that inclusion of these two weekly culturally welcoming spaces throughout each of our courses can support participants who too often encounter additional barriers to easeful, culturally welcoming learning experiences.
These calls will be anchored respectively by BIPOC or LGBTQ+ course supporters, typically who are also specifically trained in racial equity and/or queer-friendly cultural norms and, by extension, how to hold an inclusive group space. In the event that these usual supporters are not available during any given call, our second choice will be to have a non-BIPOC or non-LGBTQ+ small group leader with cultural competencies at holding an inclusive space. We ask course participants to mindfully self-select for each of these options rather than have our team presuming to draw strict lines between who and who is not invited.
BIPOC spaces are complex and include mixed-race people, people who optically present to others as white, and others from around the world who directly experience racism in ways that may not resemble the dynamics of oppression in North America. That said, if you’re almost entirely of European ancestries and have not suffered from racism as a formative experience, please honor that you are not among the folks that this space is intended to serve. For people who perhaps don’t understand the benefits of a distinct BIPOC-only gathering space, there is an abundance of good information on this from BIPOC educators (one example here).
LGBTQ+ spaces may also include people who are intersex, two-spirit, asexual, pansexual, etc. The intent is a space that is especially culturally inclusive around ways that especially (but not only) trans and genderqueer folks still encounter substantial discrimination and marginalization. These groups will include and warmly welcome cis-gendered folks who are other-than-heterosexual and anyone who wants the additional layer of safety with respect to their bodies, identities, etc. Again, no one will be asked to justify their opt-in to this space, and please only select this option if you feel it will enhance your personal experience of the course.