Madison Wisconsin Institute for the Healing of Racism, Inc.
Non Profit-Tax Exempt Non-Religious Non Partisan 501-C3
Richard Davis / PRESIDENT
Caters to the general public no matter what nationality, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
INSTITUTES FOUNDED IN 1989
HEALING RACISM IN AMERICA
A prescription for the disease/by Nathan Rutstein
Establishing an Institute for the Healing of Racism
In Coordination with Cherry Steinwender (Center for the Healing of Racism/Houston Texas) National Resource Center for the Healing of Racism
An Institute for the Healing of Racism is founded in the belief that racism is the most powerful and persistent obstacle to the attainment of a just and peaceful society. An Institute recognizes the essential oneness of the human race; that all human beings share common ancestors; and that all of us share the responsibility to realize in our personal and social lives the oneness of humanity.
An Institute seeks to create an environment in which men and women of all races can address each other in a spirit of open and honest discussion, free of blame and victimization. The principle of trusting consultation, grounded in the belief that truth lies not in the individual perspective, but in the unity of diverse souls, is fundamental to every aspect of an Institute.
An Institute recognizes that racism is, above all else, a social and spiritual disease, a disease woven into the moral and spiritual fiber of society. It is born of ignorance and fear, which feed upon each other in a monstrous cycle. That of which we are ignorant becomes a source of fear. Fear itself breeds greater ignorance, which further magnifies fear, and so on.
The hope of breaking this cycle lies in the recognition that racism is a disease which takes little account of laws and statutes, but which reaches deep into the individual heart and mind. It is felt that only through addressing racism in our own hearts can men and women of all races generate a compelling power to eradicate this pernicious disease which so cripples our nation and retards its progress toward true peace and justice.
To accomplish its mission, an institute must foster an understanding of how it affects all people. An institute is based on the notion that whites suffer from an inherent and at times subconscious feeling of superiority, and that ceaseless exertions are required to over come this attitude. In turn, the suspicion harbored by people of color, resulting from a legacy of oppression, must also be addressed. An Institute faces these challenges in a sensitive and non-threatening manner.
Honest and frank dialogue involving all races must occur so that individuals may help heal each other. In the process, mutual understanding develops, which evolves into genuine and sincere friendship and love
An Institute for the Healing of Racism has two major purposes:
1. To help individuals heal their disease or wound and,
2. To become a center for social action, whose aim is to foster racial unity within the community.
How an Institute Functions
The purposes of an Institute are ultimately inseparable.Neither can operate as a complete remedy, for the wisdom gained through personal reflection must be coupled with action in order to have useful results. At the same time, becoming involved in social action without embracing the therapeutic process could be irresponsible.
Since denial is a major obstacle, participants in an Institute begin with group discussions designed to help identify and understand how racism is manifested and how it impacts all levels of society. With this knowledge, participants become motivated to rid them~ selves of the main elements responsible for perpetuating the disease and retarding the healing of the wound. They become ready to attack the problem.
In a trusting atmosphere, individuals do not hesitate to share their true feelings. They feel comfortable, as their views are shared, not as a form of confession, but with the realization that they are afflicted with a disease or a wound and want to become better.
In this trusting and helping atmosphere, it is easy to recognize that an Institute provides women and men with an opportunity to make a sincere attempt to cure their sickness or heal their wound. The sharing is not only a way to relieve inner pain, it is also an appeal for help. When people of color reveal what it is like to be patronized or rejected because of skin color – treatment which in turn fuels deep seeded suspicion – whites gain valuable insights into the ugly effects of the disease. Conversely, when whites openly describe their struggle to conquer feelings of superiority, people of color observe a meaningful effort to deal with deeply-ingrained emotions. Members of all races respond to each other with appropriate compassion and support, founded upon unconditional love. In this way, an Institute fosters a real attempt to destroy the root of a serious, pernicious social ill.
When genuine friendships are forged in this manner, the group evolves into a dependable force for social action. Armed with the knowledge of how hurtful racism is to a person and a community, members of the Institute become highly motivated to work to foster racial unity. Many Institutes involve themselves by promoting their principles through working with their local school systems. Others may choose another means of action for promoting social action. The key is that the Institute has galvanized its members into taking concrete action.