White supremacy is a violent system of oppression that harms Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.
And if you are a person who holds white privilege, then you are complicit in upholding that harm, whether you realise it or not.
This is not my opinion. This is fact. And if you are person who holds white privilege, the question you should be asking isn’t whether or not this is true, but rather, what are you going to do about it?
Perhaps you are a person who has self-identified as ‘colour-blind’. Perhaps you have considered yourself a progressive, liberal person who just happens to be white or white-passing. Perhaps you are a spiritual person who has believed that the divine principle that ‘we are all one’ means that you can’t be racist. Perhaps the fear of being called racist has held you back from taking a real honest look at the way you have caused racist harm. Perhaps you’ve been more attached to being seen as ‘one of the good ones’ than you have to actually practicing anti-racism.
Perhaps you know deep in your heart that something isn’t right when it comes to you and your relationship with race, and you’re ready to look at it.
Perhaps you’re ready to do the work.
My name is Layla Saad and I am the author of the Me And White Supremacy Workbook.
I am a writer and speaker whose work explores the intersections of race, feminism, spirituality and leadership.
Between June and July 2018, I ran a 28-day Instagram challenge under the hashtag #MeAndWhiteSupremacy, for people with white privilege to unflinchingly examine the ways that they are complicit in upholding the oppressive system of white supremacy.
The challenge quickly went viral, with thousands of people from all over the world (including USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Russia, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Qatar, among others) diving deep for 28 consecutive days to examine and take responsibility for the ways in which they uphold white supremacy. The challenge catalyzed a worldwide awakening for thousands of white-privileged people to begin to take ownership of their personal anti-racism work.
This workbook was born out of that challenge.
“As a Black woman entrenched in anti-racism work, Layla’s #meandwhitesupremacy offering was a game-changer. Layla channels Spirit to get to the heart of the matter and holds white folks accountable, drawing on deep reserves of loving anger and fierce compassion to press them far past their comfort and reveal ugly, but common racist truths. Witnessing this work was both painful and liberating. Seeing white wxmen held to task and called upon to share the toxicity residing in their heads and hearts was akin to an exorcism in action. I know she has and continues to change many lives with her work. Mine included. I am so grateful for her work, her friendship and her daily inspiration. This world is forever changed for the better because of her offerings and presence.”
Rachel Ricketts - Sweden
Who is the workbook for?
This workbook is for any person* who holds white privilege**.
*Any person: Meaning persons of any gender-identity, including gender non-conforming persons.
**Who holds white privilege: Meaning persons who are visually identifiable as white, white-passing or holding white privilege. Therefore this includes persons who may be biracial, mixed race, or white-passing people of colour, who benefit under systems of white supremacy from having lighter skin colour than visibly Brown, Black or Indigenous people.
This workbook is also for people who:
Are looking for a way to begin or deepen their personal anti-racism work
Are ready and willing to take a good, hard look in the mirror and see the ways in which they have consciously and unconsciously been upholding white supremacy
Want to understand what ‘doing the work’ actually looks like
Are willing to take responsibility for their complicity in white supremacy, so that they can learn how to become anti-racist
Are more interested in being anti-racist than looking anti-racist
Want to learn how to do less harm and become part of the change
The Me And White Supremacy Workbook is a powerful personal anti-racism tool to help you get started on that journey.
“The process of this work created massive shifts of consciousness and perspective in me, totally changing the way I see black, indigenous and people of colour, and myself. It gave me the tools to get out of white guilt and apathy by bridging the gap between ignorance and action. I now have the language to name the violence I see (or commit) - like white silence, for example - and in naming it start conversations with white people, many of whom have since started them on their work. I feel much more okay challenging racism when I see it now, especially in my authority figures (parents, boss, and my local government). I am also learning not to dominate black spaces with my need to be seen as a “good white.” Layla is masterful and a true teacher. All white people should use this workbook as a place to tangibly start anti-racist work.”
Stephanie - Toronto, Canada
What does the workbook include?
130+ pages that will serve as an important companion for your life-long personal anti-racism work
28 simple yet powerful writing prompts that hold up a mirror for you to examine the different nuanced and complex ways you have been complicit in upholding white supremacy
A glossary of more than 20 terms to that will give you the language to understand how white supremacy operates within you and within society
Tips and resources on doing the #MeAndWhiteSupremacy work in groups - whether at home or in the workplace
Advice for how to continue your personal anti-racism work after completing the workbook
Six bonus lecture videos to support you in taking the work deeper as you move through the workbook
Advice on self-care, support and sustainability to ensure you continue doing the work with focus and commitment
Access to a community of thousands of people around the world who are doing the work, using the hashtag #MeAndWhiteSupremacy
“Layla’s challenge helped crack me open in ways that would have been impossible on my own. You don’t know what you don’t know, right? Layla says that doing this work helps you reclaim your humanity, and I experienced that. My heart grew three sizes because I finally saw (and could start shedding) so many of the oppressive layers that a white supremacist society laid on me as I grew up with all of its conditioning. Her prompts helped teach me what to even look for inside myself so I could begin to unearth and expunge my internalized racism. The work I did (thanks to her work in crafting this experience) has been life altering in all the best ways. A fantastic boot camp for the life long mission of dismantling oppression. I don’t want to think how much longer it would have taken me to get oriented to this work without Layla’s leadership.”
Jennifer K - Seattle, USA
How will this workbook help you?
Thousands of people from all over the world have found the #MeAndWhiteSupremacy work life-changing in the way they see themselves as people who hold white privilege, but more importantly in the way that they treat and are in relationship with Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC).
It goes without saying however that this change only comes from actually doing the work. It is not enough to download the workbook. It is not enough to do a few prompts, or skim read. The workbook will only help you to the extent that you fully invest yourself in the work. If you’re truly ready to do the work, the workbook will change the way you Think and the way you Act when it comes to white supremacy.
Change the way you think about black people, indigenous people and people of colour
Develop critical thinking skills to help you examine, interrogate and unpack what it means to be white within white supremacy
Develop the language to identify different white supremacist behaviours that you and others engage in (e.g. white fragility, white centering, tone policing, white exceptionalism, etc.), and how to interrupt them
Develop a more nuanced understanding of yours’ and others’ complicity in white supremacy beyond racist (bad) vs not racist (good)
Develop the ability to go beyond feelings of racial guilt and apathy to thinking more expansively about how you can be more actively anti-racist
Learn how to question what you have been taught is ‘normal’ and ‘right’ and open up to ways to ways of thinking and being that are not white-centered
Build the understanding that this work is your responsibility, and commit to this work for life
Change the way you act towards black people, indigenous people and people of colour
Develop the ability to talk about racism and white supremacy with less white fragility and more resiliency, confidence, honesty and depth
Develop the courage to use your voice when needed, and listen when needed - and know when when your voice is needed and when it isn’t
Show up differently in your whole life, whether as a parent, leader, employee, business owner, friend, partner or simply as a human being - to do less harm and be more anti-racist
Take greater ownership of your personal responsibility to live and work in ways that are anti-racist and anti-oppressive
Follow the leadership, uplift the voices and support the work of Black, Indigenous, People of Colour
Initiate change in your families, in your friendship groups, at your workplaces and your other communities
Lessen the burden of emotional labour on Black, Indigenous, People of Colour by taking responsibility for doing your work
In short, if you really do the work and you stay committed, you will learn a completely different way of being the world. A way that does less harm to Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and that helps you become more action-oriented in your approach to anti-racism work.
“Months laters, I am still referencing and resorting back to these questions and my answers on a regular basis. The 28-day challenge woke me up to realizing that I need to hold myself more and more accountable to anti-racism work every single day. I have more conversations to call people in, I’m buying anti-racist education from women of color, I’m writing and engaging more in anti-racist conversations on social media and doing it with less discomfort every single time. This challenge forced me to see that identifying as one of “the good ones” means nothing, especially if I’m not actively doing the labor to dismantle the white supremacy in both well-meaning people and not, myself included. Deep, deep gratitude to Layla for sharing these prompts with us. It’s completely changed my life and the way I live it.”
Kate Scoggins - San Diego, USA
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this workbook only for white people?
This workbook is for any person who holds white privilege. This includes people who are visually identifiable as white, white-passing or as holding white privilege. Therefore this includes persons who may be biracial, mixed race, or white-passing people of colour, who benefit under systems of white supremacy from having lighter skin colour than visibly Brown, Black or Indigenous people. However, it is important to note that the experience of this workbook while be different for a person who is white vs a person who holds white privilege or white-passing privilege, but isn’t fully white.
Is the workbook really free?
Yes, it really is. The book is 100% free, with no strings attached (except that you actually do the work!). The only thing you need to do to get the book is sign up with your name and email address (this will also add you to my email list, but you can subscribe at any time). If you do want to make a donation for this book, you can do so here. However the workbook is definitely free.
Does the workbook cover the same writing prompts as the original #meandwhitesupremacy Instagram challenge?
Yes it does, however it takes the work deeper. I have expanded on each day’s prompts as well as included a helpful glossary of terms. I have also included more chapters to help you prepare for the work, and advice on what to do after you complete the workbook.
Do I have to complete the workbook in 28 days?
While the original #meandwhitesupremacy challenge was run over 28 days, you do not have to complete the workbook in 28 days. You can go at the pace that suits you. My only request is that you continue to do the work consistently.
Can we go through the workbook in groups? (e.g. book clubs, work groups, etc.)
Yes, you can and I have included very clear instructions on how to do this in Chapter 10 of the workbook.
“#MeAndWhiteSupremacy was a momentous exercise in unlearning and de-centering whiteness. The reflections shed light on my complicity in systemic racism, and gave me the language to identify when and how my personal complicity causes harm. For any white person here to do the work, this workbook is foundational to getting out of the way. Now, with this basis, my focus is on action, whether that be in the form of support, donations, speaking with other white people, working with organizations that are already leading the work, etc. I will always be in the learning process, but I wouldn’t be nearly as up-to-speed without the mirror Layla provided.”
Conner Carey - USA