In the Face of Resistance - a Lay Facilitator's Experience"


  • Barbara Beckwith White People Challenging Racism


Privbilege, education, race, teaching, strategies, tools,


I’ve been co-leading, since 2001, an adult education class called White People Challenging Racism: Moving from Talk to Action. Our facilitator group chose that title deliberately, to draw participants who accept that racism is real, and who want to end it. But our course sometimes draws people who resist its basic premise.

As “lay” facilitators, our knowledge comes largely from self-study, from the White Privilege Conference (for some of us), as well as from our own anti-racism activism. We’ve discovered that it can be a challenge to respond to those who are resistant. We turn often to each other, to our past experiences, or to the class itself, to find ways to deal with difficult situations that come up in class.

Author Biography

Barbara Beckwith, White People Challenging Racism

Writer, author of What Was I Thinking? Reflecting on Everyday Racsim; National Writers Union-Boston Chapter co-chair; co-facilitator of White People Challenging Racism: Moving fromTalk to Action classes at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, Cambridge, MA. Degrees: BA (Wellesley College), MEd (Tufts University), MS-Print Journalism (Boston University).



How to Cite

Beckwith, B. (2014). In the Face of Resistance - a Lay Facilitator’s Experience". Understanding and Dismantling Privilege, 4(2). Retrieved from