Content by the collaborators of The White Feather Project and its participants! Keep up to date on our process and feel free to interact with us in the comments. 

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

Hello, hello!

I'm Ang: playwright and collaborator for "The White Feather Project"

"Inequality and racism exist not because of evil but because the unaffected majority put their interests above all others, and their inaction allows inequality to flourish. That is why I believe that silence in the presence of injustice is as bad as injustice itself. White people who are quiet about racism might not plant the seed, but their silence is sunlight".

Inspired and invigorated by Michael Harriot's words in his article "White People Are Cowards", I applied for Ursinus' Diversity and Inclusion grant. I knew wanted to explore and challenge whiteness in a creative piece. I also knew that I wanted to explore cowardice and inaction in white circles. As a queer, POC college student, I especially wanted to explore those things at Ursinus.

I specifically looked outside the Ursinus community for my second collaborator. A long, rigorous interview process lead me to Rachel Ceciro-- a dynamic, passionate theatre maker and anthropologist and recent college graduate of a predominately white institution like Ursinus. Ironically, Rachel is white. Unironically, this will serve our process.

"The White Feather Project" aims to lift the veil of "don't talk about it"-syndrome that permeates conversations of race on our campus. Rachel and I aren't interested in surface-level conversations, pandering, or hypothetical. We are, however, interested in honesty and, to quote Rachel, "urgent tenderness". In addition to remarkable talent and passion, as a white collaborator for "The White Feather Project" Rachel has a better sense than I have to facilitate these kinds of conversations and environments. Working with them is truly a gift.

Like Rachel, I believe that we all are cowards. "The White Feather Project" will challenge our audiences and ourselves as we swan-dive into discomfort.

This is how I know this work needs to happen. I am equal parts excited and terrified.

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Updated: Jan 2, 2019

My name is Rachel Ceciro, active dramaturg and collaborator on this project with Ang. I am honored to be working on the project with them and to provide everything I can to ensure its success.

Going into this, everyone should know that one thing is certain:

We are all cowards.

White people, especially, are cowards.

As white people, there is a certain stability we are born with. It is soaked into our newborn skin as the doctors handle us with care, waiting hand and foot on our white mothers. We grow up with a safety that is profound and invasive.

As someone who was born a woman into a low-income, patriarchal family, I still treated every space as though it belonged to me. There were circumstances that excluded me, belittled me, battered me, but there was always a safety I could rely on that is as skin-deep as the crust of this planet. This world was made habitable for me.

Even with this wealth of privilege and ability, I am still a goddamn coward. You are, too.

Of course, there are those who are not. There are people out there— mostly people of color and especially women of color— who are braver than myself or you could ever be. And there are people like us, who are closed off in our whited sepulchers. As long as we’re nice, then we are not the problem; as long as we stay up-to-date on the woke vocabularies, surround ourselves with our own people, cry at the right times, share all the right articles on facebook, we are not the racists. Right?

Too much is broken, too many people are dying from our destructive, racist system to afford behaving like cowards— and it is not our job to be overwhelmed by it. It is our job to shut up, speak up, and fix it.

This project will be challenging because it will entail destroying the facade of an entire people. We excuse ourselves through silence. Instead of helping, we have gummed up our language with cowardice. The White Feather Project will work to unknit it from our tongues.


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