Anti-oppression work requires great introspection and learning of self and habits. According to Brenda Herrera Moreno, the role that we have to play in combating oppression is equivalent to the life journey of getting to know ourselves better.
In our conversation today, Brenda explains how white supremacy invisibilizes and intentionally creates distance from the systems it exploits and extracts. The journey is for people to see the paradigms that shape language, humor, and interpersonal relationships. As we look deeper, we can see that these are the same paradigms that inform policies, institutions and regulations. Once we see them, then we have the opportunity to find alternatives or antidotes. Brenda is the founder of ‘In.Visible Paradigms’, an anti-oppression organization committed to informing and transforming white allies in order to deepen their commitment to the ‘work’, community and movement of anti-oppression.
Listen to hear us talk about
- The ‘Great Unlearnings’ that white participants experience when they start down this path
- What do we mean when we say ‘the work’
- Inherited ideologies that show up in everyday language
- The importance of spaces where white people can be held accountable
- Safety, comfort zones, reactivity
- Events that make white people jump into this work, without necessarily understanding the context of the movement they’re apart of
- Analyzing power and privilege in comfort zones
- Windows of tolerance (how much we can handle before nervous system is activated)
- How ‘love’ and ‘hate’ are shaped systematically and historically.
- THESE activities from Brenda’s ‘In.Visible Paradigm’ program
website: http://www.invisibleparadigms.com | Facebook and Instagram: @in.visibleparadigms Company: https://www.linkedin.com/company/invisible-paradigms Personal: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendahm/
Breakup Letter Dear ________, When you show up, I notice you ________. I _______________. Thank you for what you’ve shown me and committed to instead feel __________________________. I know we will cross paths and that’s okay. Best, Your name
Brenda’s Example from podcast:
Dear perfectionism, When you show up, I notice you override my body, I get caught up in self doubt and rigid thinking, you displace my ability to be present, and instead push me to set my value with my self worth. I want to practice lowering your voice and voice of urgency. Thank you for what you’ve shown me, I committed to instead feel detachment both in thinking and self healing. I know we make some cross paths and that’s okay. Best, Brenda.
Crush Letter Prompt: Dear _________, I’ve been putting this off for weeks now. I noticed I feel ______________writing to you. You have inspired me to_______________, your __[qualities]________ and __[ability]________ has taught me _________________.
I look forward to getting to know you better. See you soon, Your name
About In.Visible Paradigms In.Visible Paradigms is an anti-oppression organization that is committed to informing and transforming white community members to better integrate themselves into the anti-oppression community, work, and movement.
About Brenda: Brenda identifies as an anti-oppression practitioner. Born in Mexico City, but partially raised in India, traveled the world, middle school in South Carolina, high school in Wales, and college in Massachusetts. After Hampshire College, Brenda experienced diverse roles in advocacy as a youth program coordinator at a refugee resettlement organization, later as a bilingual counselor for survivors and victims of intimate partner violence, and finally as a peer recovery coach.