What People Are Saying
I recently participated in Brian’s workshop and would recommend that anyone with a genuine interest in their own personal place on this spectrum, do the same. The two-part session was well designed to broaden your understanding of our country’s un-taught Race history, and its ongoing impact on our society. Brian’s approach is sincere, patient, and passionate, and the small class setting was comfortable for viewpoint and experience exchange. Thanks for the great workshop, Brian – looking forward to the next offering.
Excellent and informative interactive worship! Brian Smith brings clarity, candor, and grace to the table while presenting facts and facilitating meaningful dialogue around racial injustice and reconciliation. I left informed, moved, and determined to continue engaging. I learn from you every day and I’m grateful for your voice.
I found the workshop to be very informative as it brought more to my awareness of 3 major areas in regards to racism:
- How I have contributed to the continuation of racism through unawareness and inaction.
- How I have been and currently am privileged by just the color of my skin.
- What my black brothers and sisters deal with on a daily basis and the associated stress.
I truly appreciate the work and the willingness of Brian to patiently share, not only facts, but his personal experiences growing up and living in this white privileged, non-equal country.
Thank you SO much for generously gifting us with such a deep, personal, thought-provoking, and emotional workshop on race in America! I cried, learned a lot, and feel deeply motivated towards action.
I recommend this class highly for anyone interested in understanding, increased compassion, along with a decrease in shame and guilt for our participation in the problem we all face. I am deeply grateful.
It was a great presentation. I learned new things and I felt moved. I think you have a course in the making. I think that this could be course required in high school or freshman year in college. There is so much to expound on and even bringing in speakers along the way. I even think required course for employees at companies.
I attended Brian Smith’s online course The Racial Reconciliation Experience. He set everyone at ease, right away, and created a space where we felt comfortable asking any questions.
I learned some things about our history that I had never been taught. I now feel the need to find out what else I don’t know. I teach 4th graders and feel an urgency to get the information correct. I am unlearning and relearning. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is ready to do the work of becoming an active antiracist. Thanks Brian!
I deeply appreciated your course!
I found you to be very open and patient with everyone but also real in your responses. The material was so well organized and you were able to cram quite a lot of valuable information into the 3 hours. Impressive! But the biggest thing I walked away feeling was how loving you were with us, encouraging us repeatedly to avoid dropping into white shame and guilt, knowing that we have been programmed to think about race in certain ways and to be unaware of all the privilege we have been given, based solely on the color of our skin.
I walked away from the first class last night recognizing just how deeply the concept of “race” has been ingrained in me, and it was both humbling and healing to face into. You helped me get that “race” is paradoxical—it isn’t real. It’s a social construct! Yet simultaneously, it is very real as far as how we, as whites are treated in contrast to how blacks are treated. This was a blessing for me.
You are doing such great work! Thank you!!!
I am grateful for taking this class. I have learned several aspects of US history and its reasons of developments where it has educated me.
This class is necessary for everyone to take. Where ever you are from originally place, religion, etc…
It doesn’t matter …Brian Smith’s class is necessary!
Thank you, Brian!
I am so grateful to Brian for this profound series of workshops titled “Overcoming Racism.” I was ready and open for whatever Brian felt we needed to see, hear, feel, share, discuss…and it was so much more than I could have ever anticipated.
Each week’s program included challenging-to-watch videos of real-life experiences, historical and present day. My jaw dropped, my heart broke with the shock and reality of what the black community has endured…and what I was so unaware of. As a white woman, I wanted to know more.
This class was absolutely life-changing in the most important ways. Thank you Brian for this exceptional opportunity to grow. My awareness and my heart have been opened up by the history of racism, of the present challenges and complexities of life for black men and women, mothers and fathers, families, and children. There is tremendous vulnerability, yet such courage running through all this.
I see it, I honor it, and will carry my new awareness into every day of my life. We must see more to be more…to do more.
More Comments From Participants
This was a phenomenal experience. It’s a new kinda-workshop created by Brian Smith. I spent 90 minutes on Saturday and 90 minutes on Sunday and I learned so much! I got to know some people- and whoa! we had some different opinions and we got to talk about them in the light of fact and feeling.
I found myself emotional at times. I also felt really good about investing just this little bit of time finding out more about what this is about. I’ve heard if you want self-esteem- do esteem-able things. I think this is one of the more important things I’ve spent my time on lately.
I am glad I took the course, it has taught me that there is so much more to learn about racial reconciliation. “You can’t see the experience of color” is akin to “you can’t understand the depths of my grief.” You uncovered a deep collection of realities to look at, which unless I am black, as a white woman for example, I had no understanding how the perception of words can be hurtful or condescending when the intention is the opposite.
Learning about Implicit bias and white fragility opened up new meaning about our sociology today.
James Baldwin said: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced” Your course opened the door for how to change and I look forward to the next class. I have new courage now to help influence change, thank you for your teaching!
I spent three hours over two days last weekend with Brian Smith in his “Racial Reconciliation” workshop. It was one of the most interesting and informative presentations I have heard on the subject, both in terms of the history of racism and how it relates to our present lives.
As a retired teacher, I had a lot of knowledge about this subject, but Brian was able to broaden my views and give me a better context within which to operate. Brian’s willingness to invite tough questions and address the tough issues was particularly helpful. Having worked with the curriculum at the K-12 level, I would additionally recommend this for in-service workshops for teachers as well as classroom presentations to high school students. There is not a person in my life who would not benefit from Brian’s insights.
This is a gritty and uncomfortable subject, I could not be more grateful for your webinar. You brought up subjects I’ve had questions about but could not ask them of the people in my life most likely to be able to answer without appearing either ignorant or uncaring.
As each subject would progress I would find i had the knowledge just needed to have license to cross over to feelings and a consciousness i previously felt somehow guilty for just being in.
As a white woman, for me, without the comfort of a clinical setting It is difficult to imagine oneself in a role so foreign as putting on black skin. That’s why everyone can’t be an actor. It sounds easy but the application is a little more difficult.
Brian was able to hear these sensitive insulting questions with grace and guide the asker to their own answers.
For me, white privilege, white fragility and institutional racism will be with me for life and I want to understand these issues in order to make and support the changes that will improve life for myself, my family as well as my country.
This was a five-star webinar!
I feel blessed from having been part of this very moving and clarifying experience and I want to continue learning more, so I can become more fully aware, to truly be part of the change.
This workshop has impacted me deeply and on many levels:
1 – First, through following Brian’s daily video and posts, culminating with this workshop, I am feeling more closely connected (to the extent possible for a white person) to the daily living experience of being black in the USA, and how I am part of this systemic racism.
2 – Clarification, connecting the dots, filling the blanks, seeing the bigger patterns, and the deeper roots of systemic racism. Understanding just how being the silent majority simply perpetuates this horrendous harm.
3 – A path towards becoming and Anti Racist – knowing I don’t need to stay stuck in guilt for my privilege. I was brought up in Brazil, a very unequal society with a slavery history, and what I saw around me triggered lifelong feelings of guilt for being privileged. I used to feel overwhelmed whenever I thought of this, always trying to help and give, but not really feeling effective (it was never enough). Now, and living in the US, I feel I can stand and act, one action at a time, for the transformation of this. Trusting that every action counts.
While there is so much I need and want to learn, I now have more of a perspective on how I can be part of the solution.
I want to continue, Brian, and I look forward to Part 2 and Part 3.
Thank you so much for offering this at this time!
You have been my best guide through this growing and deepening of awareness.
I recently attended Brian’s seminar on Racial Reconciliation. I was lucky to be part of a session that was small enough to accommodate discussions on the topics presented, which made it even more meaningful and satisfying.
The seminar addresses the vexing problem of racism in America – its origins, causes, continued prevalence and methods to recognize and address it – from Brian’s perspective of being a black man in America over 50 years. It is thoughtfully arranged and sequenced and lays out candidly how racism displays itself in our society. Brian did not shy away from the tough questions and provided actionable and empathetic responses to issues raised by the participants in our group. I will say confidently that any thinking person who attends this seminar cannot fail to be moved by it. It was an excellent use of my time, and I thank Brian for taking the time out to do this. I am sure that he spent hours preparing this.
I hope more and more of us will take the opportunity to listen to Brian’s voice (and others like him) and equip ourselves with the tools to be an anti-racist. Three hours on a seminar may seem like a luxury you can’t afford, but I would argue that this is neither a luxury nor a matter of personal convenience. Please find the time. I highly recommend it. Thank you.
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the Racial Reconciliation Experience. I originally followed you on Facebook to gain insight into how to better hold space for my friend after the murder of her son. Following the death of Ahmad Arbery, I came to your page daily for your encouragement and insight regarding race relations in our nation.
I was instantly interested in the workshop when you first shared it and am so incredibly thankful I was able to take part in this eye-opening and heartbreaking introduction to the ins and outs of systemic racism. The material is presented in a powerful and thought-provoking way and your commentary is so enlightening. You have a gift for presenting heavy information in a loving manner and creating a safe space, free of judgment, to allow us to process the material. There was so much light flowing through you as you shared such dark realities. I can not thank you enough for offering this and it is my hope that many more will take this step on their journey to becoming Anti-racist.
Katina L. Willey
I am so grateful to Brian for this profound series of workshops titled “Overcoming Racism.” I was ready and open for whatever Brian felt we needed to see, hear, feel, share, discuss…and it was so much more than I could have ever anticipated. Each week’s program included challenging-to-watch videos of real-life experiences, historical and present day. My jaw dropped, my heart broke with the shock and reality of what the black community has endured…and what I was so unaware of. As a white woman, I wanted to know more. This class was absolutely life-changing in the most important ways. Thank you Brian for this exceptional opportunity to grow. My awareness and my heart have been opened up by the history of racism, of the present challenges and complexities of life for black men and women, mothers and fathers, families, and children. There is tremendous vulnerability, yet such courage running through all this. I see it, I honor it, and will carry my new awareness into every day of my life. We must see more to be more…to do more.
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