The Racialization of Accompaniment

Join the March 2014 IFOR Delegation!

There’s no better way to improve your understanding of active non-violence in Colombia, to demonstrate international solidarity, or to get to the heart of the global issues that are effecting the organizations and communities we work with, than by coming over and visiting!

We’re very pleased indeed to announce the International Fellowship of Reconciliation Delegation to Colombia, happening in March 2014. This is an unequaled opportunity to meet human rights activists, to build bridges and partnerships in Colombia, and to see first hand the impacts of structural violence and armed conflict in Colombia, all guided and translated (into English and German) by members of our Peace Presence team.

If you would like to join the delegation, please see this page for more information, fill out this form to apply, and send it to these email addresses: irmgardehrenberger[at]versoehnungsbund.at (for Europe) or spimiento[at]forusa.org (for America). Please send this page to anyone and everyone you think may be interesting in this truly amazing experience.

Looking forward to seeing you in 2014,

The Peace Presence Team

The Racialization of Accompaniment

Can Privilege Be Used Transparently?
By Sara Koopman
The Racialization of AccompanimentAccompaniers often say that they “make space for peace.” I recently finished a Ph.D. in human geography, which is the study of the relationship between society and space – so my dissertation is an attempt to think about how accompaniers “make space” and the role that privilege plays in that work.

“Mona, mona!” I am regularly called out as “white girl” when I walk down the street in Colombia. As a lighter-skinned person I am hyper-visible in Colombia, and regularly reminded of my color. It is the opposite of how invisible whiteness can be to me at times as a “white” person in the United States. As in the global North, though, whiteness is considered desirable and attractive, and thus all the more important for women. The models in Colombian beauty ads are almost always light-skinned, even blond, as are the news announcers. Hair straightening is common. Green contact lenses are another popular form of whitening.
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