Queries - Virtual Worship for White Friends Confronting Racism
Resources for newcomers: 

9/22/2023 Queries 

Elizabeth Acevedo, Afro-Latina:

  • Whiteness teaches us to think in terms of either/or. 
  • What do you notice in your personal reaction to this poet’s claiming and navigating her mixed heritage? 
  • In your meeting, does your anti-racism work include acknowledging mixed heritages? 
  • What helps you to be able to allow racial and cultural identities to be complex?

7/20/2023 Queries 

“…we need not insist that discussions of race, sexuality, and gender adversely affect the appearance of harmony or cause it to disappear. The notion that acknowledging lived experience is misaligned with spirituality is something we've made up in our minds, and not the natural reality of things. We must study the self in order to discover harmony in our own lives. We must listen to the earth right under our feet no matter what. We must constantly be attuned to the unfolding of life as it presents the multitude of variations in which harmony manifests in nature as oneness... If we carry awareness of the body as our inheritance of nature, as tender as a maple leaf or a small hummingbird, then the experience of complete tenderness can rise and swell within our ever-evolving relative reality.”
― Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender

“A society that is fearful of self-examination and exploration can't believably say that it trusts in God. Nor can it believably say that it values every living being. We must trust the totality of our nature, in terms of both its multiplicity and its oneness.”
― Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, The Way of Tenderness: Awakening through Race, Sexuality, and Gender 

  • How have you found oneness in multiplicity?
  • How has embracing or resisting your tenderness effected your ability to grow around whiteness and racism?  

6/22/2023 Queeries 

Zenaida Peterson is; nonbinary, a poet, Quaker, alumni of the Quaker Voluntary Service(QVS) program and now serves QVS as the Director of Equity & Empowerment and as the Boston Coordinator. 

If safe, pause, how does this poem make your body feel?

  • When has gender, sexuality or whiteness been a place of silence/politeness for you? 
  • What had to be sacrificed of you and others to confine these identities in silence/politeness? What can be liberated when we don't? 
  • How has connection to your body changed your relationship to your whiteness, gender or/and sexuality?

6/16/2023 Queeries 

"We spend vast amounts of our time and emotional energy in learning how not to be natural and in eluding the trap of our own nature and it therefore becomes very difficult to know exactly what is meant when we speak of the unnatural. It is not possible to have it both ways, to use nature at one time as the final arbiter of human conduct and at another to oppose her as angrily as we do."- James Baldwin 

“My fullest concentration of energy is available to me only when I integrate all the parts of who I am, openly, allowing power from particular sources of my living to flow back and forth freely through all my different selves, without the restrictions of externally imposed definition. Only then can I bring myself and my energies as a whole to the service of those struggles which I embrace as part of my living.” —Audre Lorde 

“When we define ourselves, when I define myself, the place in which I am like you and the place in which I am not like you, I'm not excluding you from the joining—I'm broadening the joining.” —Audre Lorde 


  • What is your relationship to the word ‘natural’? How have systems of oppression intentionally shaped this definition? How has your definition of ‘natural’ shaped you?
  • How do we create spaces that see naming our own similarities and differences as ‘broadening joining’ vs excluding joining? Why can this be so hard?
  • How do you hold the importance, and intersection, of both the queer rights and racial justice movement?

6/8/2023 Queries