I recently went to a recruitment meeting for an activist group. I didn’t know anybody there, as is often the case when I go somewhere to volunteer. And I was really struck by the different impression I got as opposed to many of the recent majority white group meetings I’ve attended.
So what was different?
1. People acknowledged me. When I walked in, people called out to me and introduced themselves.
2. Everyone appeared to be included in the discussion. People were encouraged to share their opinions.
3. People physically opened the group when other people came in. They pushed out chairs, they motioned for others to sit, they moved their own belongings. When people were standing in groups talking and others approached, people moved to open the circle.
4. The organizer of the group asked everybody for contact information. She then checked to make sure she had the information from all attendees. I suspect I will get a call or an e-mail or both.
5. Afterwards, a number of people stood around talking. I did not see any single person standing outside of a group, being excluded.
I felt so popular and good looking I could hardly stand it. Quite a contrast.