Dancing on Live Embers
DYNAMIC, Dancing on Live Embers investigates how racism,
White power, and privilege operate in the ordinary
moments of organizational life. It holds up familiar
workplace interactions for scrutiny, and looks for
openings to advance racial equity and justice. Through
stories, it offers concrete examples of racial justice
work by a range of experienced activists.
This is a hands-on book for people who are trying to
create more equitable organizations-front-line staff,
managers, administrators, political leaders, union and
community educators and activists, boards of directors,
teachers, human resource staff, equity officers, and
university and college faculty. This book is one of ten
selected for a 2007 Myers Outstanding Book Award presented
by the Gustavus Myers Centre for the Study of Bigotry
and Human Rights in North America. (www.myerscenter.org).
theory, personal critical reflection and hands-on tools,
this book is
a powerful resource both for understanding how racism
pervades and how to act against racism (and for equity)
in organizational contexts.
The core of Dancing on Live Embers is divided into
three key “phases” of anti-racism work
in organizations: the phase Getting Beyond Training
is about moving effectively
past the characteristic crisis response to creating an
anti-racist process; the next phase is about applying
anti-racist practices to organizational behaviours, structures
and processes which leads to the third phase of staying
committed to the goal of racial equity in the face of
contradictions, set-backs and other hurdles.
Each section centres around a few brief scenarios and
one substantive case study from which theory and practice
are articulated. The next section takes things up a level
from the context of single organizations to that of national
organizations and coalitions. And, to round things off,
the authors courageously document their own dialogue
as a racialized woman and a white woman working together
both in the various experiences recounted in this book
and in the writing of the book itself. It is this dialogue
that makes the book exceptional in the field.
is an educator, storyteller, writer, artist, co-founder
of the Catalyst Centre popular education worker co-op
and , frequent rabble reviewer
book is available for purchase
at the following retailers:
Between the Lines (www.btlbooks.com)
A Different Booklist (www.adifferentbooklist.com)
Another Story (www.anotherstory.ca)
ISBN # - 1-897071-04-3
studies are excellent, as is the analysis which is ¬subtle
and complex. I recognized many situations and dilemmas,
and found myself revisiting lots of experiences of my
Nora Allingham, educator and equity worker, former Access
Initiatives Co-ordinator at York University
" This book is grounded
in a wide variety of experience, and encourages readers
to adapt it to their own particular conditions."
Don McKay, Staff Rep, Communication,
Energy, and Paperworkers Union
Lopes' book, Dancing On Live Embers, has completely
my approach to community development. Like putting
on night lenses, I can now see patterns, behaviours,
systems, and structures that were much less visible
to me before. Moreso, I can respond to these patterns
in clever ways that seek to diminish their stranglehold."
Avi Zer-Aviv, Community
brave book. I can't wait to refer it to others and
use it in my
own work. Just as you shift the paradigm from people
of colour as the problem, to 'racism and white privelage'
as the problem, so this book should be directed to
those it seeks to empower."
Charles C. Smith, anti-racism
activist, educator, writer, and organizational change
the perspective of white labour educator I found this
book full of
moments of revelation. It made me feel like an awkward
teenager again, as though I'd learned to navigate using
a bad map and nw it's time to learn again."
Adriane Paavo, Education Officer,
Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union
excellent, really excellent. The case scenarios are
because they give you that experiential sense. And
there are so many different ways of looking at the
issues-through charts, diagrams, points, cases."
Janet Wilson, Executive Director,
Bereaved Families of Ontario, Toronto Chapter