Deconstructing white power

POWER FLOWER is a tool that identifies where Canadian stand in society's power structure.
POWER FLOWER is a tool that identifies where Canadian stand in society's power structure.
Published November 1, 2012

The Canadian Council of Churches has published an in-depth exploration of colour-based power in Canada. Cracking Open White Identity towards Transformation: Canadian Ecumenical Anti-Racism Network Examines White Identity, Power and Privilege, offers a kaleidoscope of perspectives by writers lay and clergy, white and non-white, from different Christian denominations.

The book’s premise is that the dissection of white privilege is a fundamental requirement for the success of anti-racism efforts. “It is impossible to do anti-racism work without examining white identity and the unearned power and privilege that flow from that identity,” write the editors in the foreword.
This large-print, easy-to-read, soft-cover resource raises questions about oppressive hierarchies, social structures and worldviews, and demonstrates how we all participate in them.

Each chapter ends with a section connecting its content to a relevant biblical text, and provides questions and activities to provoke reflection and stimulate change. These workshop exercises will help participants dig deep and recognize their own subtle race-based assumptions and actions.

One interesting resource is the Power Flower, a graphic tool for self-awareness developed by Canadian social-change educators in the 1990s. The multi-petalled image is designed to help different people identify where they stand in relation to the dominant and powerful identities at our society’s centre.

For more information, contact the Canadian Council of Churches at 416-972-9494, ext. 22, or email: [email protected].


  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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