Seminary of the Street

West Oakland Reconcilation & Social Healing Project

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Winter Solstice

Seeking Racial Reconciliation and Solidarity in the Service of Justice

The West Oakland Reconciliation and Social Healing Project is an experiment in true racial and economic reconciliation. We’re not satisfied with a superficial “can’t we all get along” kind of reconciliation, but instead are wrestling what we call the “death systems”—systems, structures, and ways of being that destroy physical, emotional, and spiritual lives in the service of money and power for a few. We recognize that these death systems exist both outside in the world and inside each of us, and in both white people and people of color (though they manifest differently). We are committed to supporting each other across every line of difference as we root out the death systems both externally and internally and live into an alternative way of being, right here in the belly of the American empire.

Our work takes several forms, and new expressions are emerging all the time. So far, it looks like this:

Intentional Community Six of us live in intentional spiritual community at 1724 Filbert Street in West Oakland, trying to be good neighbors and seeking to be transformed by our interactions with each other, with our neighbors, and with the Spirit of Life (which we understand in various ways, and very imperfectly). We are a kind of “halfway house” for people in recovery from classism; racism; internalized oppression; addictions to status, work, and perfection; and other aspects of the dominant culture that separate us from each other and limit our aliveness.

Alternatives to Gentrification: We host discussion series on issues related to gentrification and the related economic and cultural consequences for our neighborhood, and we dream together about what alternative models of economic development might look like.

Racial Reconciliation Circles: We are also starting up small group conversations in which white people and people of color share deeply about our lives and commit to staying at the table for honest conversations that confront white supremacy in its many guises.

Service Opportunities: We make connections with local organizations led by people of color, such as Causa Justa::Just Cause, and place volunteers with them, especially in positions of humble service—giving rides, doing childcare, answering the phone. We believe that putting one's self in service to a leader of color is one of the best ways for a white person to confront his or her internalized racism. We provide support and debriefing for our volunteers.

Email info@seminaryofthestreet.org to get involved or to be added to our mailing list.