Regenerative self-leadership work is in essence about being and relating from wholeness, a journey of integrating fragmented parts of ourselves and taking radical responsibility for our actions.
It’s about intentionally clearing distortions about who we are, our socialised mindsets, choices and behaviours that are causing unintentional harm, so that we can show up in right relation to everyone and everything in life.
This is how we become good ancestors.
‘Me and White Supremacy’ is a book and a 28-day journey created by the Global Changemaker and Good-Ancestor activist, Layla F. Saad.
It is an intentional, transformative learning and unlearning process designed for white people to explore our personal relationship to White Supremacy: a system that we, alive today, didn’t create or invent and, if you are reading this, likely don’t want anything to do with – but which we have been born- and unknowingly- socialised into. It is also a system that those of us who are pale-skinned unconsciously uphold and contribute to – whether we agree or understand that we do or not. We cannot see the subtle workings of this system, as we are immersed in it and benefit from it. It is the only way of life we know.
Whilst we can remain oblivious to the workings of white supremacy, simultaneously, this degenerative system continues to hurt, exclude, kill and marginalise Black, Indigenous and People of Colour everywhere. It is this very system that also is hurting our living planet and threatening life on Earth. It prevents all of us from living from a place of interdependence, wholeness and thriving.
Learning to see and dismantle White Supremacy in ourselves and the world around us takes commitment and courage to face ourselves. But if we are truly committed to a regenerative future for us all, and want to operate and lead with integrity, then this work is non-negotiable.
Layla Saad’s immersive 28-day ‘Me & White Supremacy’ journey was first created as an Instagram challenge in 2018. It quickly grew into a global movement for cultural change. To date, ‘Me & White Supremacy’ and Layla’s Good Ancestor Podcast have positively impacted the lives of thousands of people. We’d love for you to become one of them. When you heal and grow through the power of this work, you have the power to become an agent for change in the world.
In Layla’s words, this is love-work.
Rather, it is deep, courageous heart-wrenching and heart-opening work that requires you to show up, even when it feels utterly uncomfortable.
It takes guts to come face to face with our own internalised white supremacy, understand that racism isn’t binary (that is, something we either are or are not) and look at where we unconsciously perpetuate harm, even when we have the best of intentions. This is particularly hard for any of us who feel we are ‘good people’, ‘haven’t got a racist bone in our bodies’ and ‘treat everyone the same’ – which is why it is even more important for us to show up fully and accept the invitation to look ourselves in the mirror. What makes it possible is doing it together. Layla has gifted us with a process that enables us to do this safely and bravely.
Emily is a self-leadership coach to changemakers. She believes in a world where everyone thrives. This vision depends on deep self-leadership work where active anti-racism, de-colonial and allyship work is integral. Emily is an experienced space-holder who creates safe, boundaried and loving spaces where accountability, healing and integration is possible
The immersion begins with an introductory session where we will come together to talk about the carefully developed process by Layla F. Saad, what to expect and how to prepare for the immersion.
We will look at how White Supremacy was formed and how it is kept alive, both as a system and an ideology, feeding the colonial mind (past and present) and climate breakdown, and how it underpins our present day global economy. We will also talk about White Fragility – what it is, how it is constructed and how to acknowledge it in ourselves.
We will look at how White Supremacy is expressed and normalised differently in different countries.
The intention with having no break is for us to understand that for BIPOC there is no break in having to navigate, think about or deal with the system of White Supremacy and racism in every day life.
You will also have access to additional curated resources, such as videos, articles, podcasts and memes by BIPOC anti-racism educators for each day of your immersion.
You can access these after we have completed the process for as long as you need.
You also have access to a community forum where we share reflections and support each other.
The essence of this work is about telling the truth. A very uncomfortable truth. We will be vulnerable with ourselves and others. We will come to see that we are not perfect and yet worthy of love and belonging, and there is room for growth. We will come to know that this immersion simply marks the very beginning of a life-long journey of unlearning, detoxing and dismantling White Supremacy, within and without. Embracing active allyship and learning to become an accomplice.
This is a space for people who hold white privilege only. It is designed this way because of the fragility this immersion may activate. It is simply not safe for BIPOC to be part of this circle. This may be difficult to comprehend or accept right now, but you will understand why as you begin the process.
We will work with a non-negotiable Agreement of Trust to make our space both safe and brave.
You are also invited to hold yourself.
You will be practising regenerative self-leadership skills throughout this immersion.
You will come to know what it means to say yes to truly being the change.
Your past, present and future ancestors ask this of you. Your community, workplace, neighbourhood ask this of you.
You will come closer to unconditional love.
You are the one you have been waiting for.
Wish Tree exists because of our commitment to wholeness. Wholeness is essential to our ability to thrive. It is key to resilience, balance, creativity, innovation and aliveness: it is intrinsic to how life itself works. Intentional anti-racism work is wholeness work.
As a person carrying white privilege, we cannot claim to centre wholeness and regenerative culture, or safely facilitate diverse groups of people without engaging in anti-racism work. If we want to contribute to a more whole and thriving future for the whole world, we must become committed to dismantling white supremacy, inside-out.
If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for. here, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly help!
This is a donation based immersion. Wish Tree is not seeking to capitalise on the existence of White Supremacy. We are not charging for the emotional labour holding white fragility, daily support in our community forum or the curation of additional learning materials (videos, books, articles) to support your unlearning journey. This is the 3rd consecutive year we hold space for this immersion without asking for a donation. Unfortunately, it has meant that some participants do not take this work seriously or have the opportunity to understand the importance of this work and the essential nature of investing in active anti-racism work with BIPOC educators moving forward. Therefore, this year, we ask those who can, for a small donation to cover the costs of the technology and administration behind the scenes to make this immersion possible and for you to practise investing in unlearning White Supremacy. We also strongly encourage you to make an anonymous donation to a BIPOC – led organisation and/or anti-racism initiative in your region. You can see the process of researching such an organisation or initiative as the first step preparing for this wholeness immersion. If you can only afford to make one donation, we urge you to make it to the BIPOC led organisation.
6 x 90-min weekly live sessions on zoom, facilitated in alignment with the Circle Way. We follow and honour Layla’s instructions for how to move through the process. In addition, we have curated support materials for you to dive into for each day of the process, to learn more. These can be looked at after the immersion has ended too. We also have a community forum where we will be sharing reflections and support each other in the process.
The 28-day process designed by Layla. F. Saad stipulates that this work is for people who hold white privilege only. The process is specifically designed to enable white people to become aware of how White Supremacy shows up in ourselves: in our minds, behaviours, attitudes. language and choices. It is very traumatising for BIPOC to be in a space where this takes place. The fragility that is activated through this process is also traumatising for BIPOC to be around. A mixed healing space can only be facilitated once the deeper layers of fragility have been addressed and softened.
Note to anyone suggesting that you ‘don’t see colour’ or believe that making a difference between ‘white and black people’ is perpetuating separation: these two attitudes are both symptoms of unconscious White Supremacy and both there to protect the individual and collective ego from looking at the internal and external system of White Supremacy. Both attitudes are seeking to bypass rather than engage in root healing. Engaging in this wholeness immersion will support you in understanding how this all fits together.
Yes, all meetings are recorded and automatically uploaded to our platform. Attending live is necessary in order to fully engage with the process. It is when we are witnessed unconditionally and with loving accountability and can share truthfully, that healing takes place.
The process is designed to be intense as a way for participants to notice our white privilege. BIPOC do not get to ‘have a day off’ navigating racism and the system of White Supremacy, whereas people with white privilege get to move through life without. This is why Layla F. Saad designed this to be a 28-day straight reading and journalling process. Engaging with Layla’s prompts daily for this duration (longer than 21 days) also allows us to develop our skills of noticing and acknowledging the system of White Supremacy within and without, also after the immersion has ended.
White Supremacy and our climate emergency come from the same degenerative origins. Our economic system was intentionally built on the notion of making some people and nations (in the Global North) wealthy and other people (in the Global South) to enable it. It still works this way.
The climate emergency is disproportionally affecting non-white peoples (especially women) across the world. In many places, thousands of Black people and People of Colour are already dying due to climate breakdown. Yet, they have contributed very little or nothing at all to the situation we find ourselves in.
If we want to contribute to a regenerative, more thriving future for the whole world, that seeks to move beyond ‘sustaining’ what is not working, we must become conscious of how White Supremacy is played out through our own unconscious actions, language and systems.
Simply put, we cannot be ‘for the Earth’ and not do anti-racism work (or else we are not seeing the whole picture). We cannot claim to be anti-racist without also embracing climate justice (or else we are not seeing the whole picture).
And as such, anti-racism work and regenerative futures initiatives must be part of the same whole-systems ‘solutions’.
Two of the key principles of Laura Storm’s teachings around the ‘Logic of Life’ are the principles of DIVERSITY and RELATIONSHIPS.
Life thrives on diversity, and the species who have survived the longest on our planet are the ones with the strongest relationships, rather than the fittest, as the fierce and false neo-Darwinism has led us to believe.
We may pride ourselves on organisations that attract a diversity of talent, but regenerative culture that centre wholeness in diverse groups of people cannot be facilitated without engaging in anti-racism work first.
Otherwise that culture is likely to be unsafe for BIPOC and filled with unconscious micro-aggressions, normative thinking, code-switching and exceptionalism. All degenerative ways of being and relating that erodes belonging, innovation and hinders the release of an organisation’s evolutionary purpose.
Becoming intentional about detoxing White Supremacy and engaging continuously in anti-racism work is restorative wholeness work. It is regenerative leadership work. It is essential for every white-bodied person living in these times wanting to become a better ancestor.
Emily is a space holder and self-leadership coach to changemakers. She has over 20 years experience in the field of human development, learning and growth, and leads the coaching and consultancy company Wish Tree since 2011. Her work centres around wholeness – whole humans, whole communities, whole organisations, whole ecosystems. A whole world. Her changemakership is therefore dedicated to clearing distortions and fragmentations that relate to our perceptions of separation.
Emily has been exposed to and ‘sat with’ systemic issues around race, racism, privilege and injustice her whole life. She was born in Camden, London, in the late 1970s to a Swedish immigrant single mum and spent her first formative years in a highly culturally and ethnically diverse setting. As a baby, Emily and her mum lived in a bedsit in a shared house with a Black British family. Her first memory of Father Christmas was of him as a Bangladeshi man. Emily’s mum worked with refugee families and in Children’s Homes in inner city London, and since she had no access to child care opportunities, Emily joined her at work. For a while, Emily had an older Black British foster sister called Debbie. She was very often the only white child in the community of children of which she was a part.
Emily moved to Sweden with her mum as a child and as a teenager became involved with, and led, antiracism youth work in her local town through her school and council-initiated networks in the 1990s.
Her mum, who was active in the peace-and- environmental movement and who had been involved as an ally in the civil rights movement in the US on her travels there, introduced her to Black feminist and activist writers such as Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and Audre Lord, and actively taught her about white privilege, white supremacy and the truth of colonialism. She was also taught about the importance of learning from Indigenous wisdom keepers in order to heal and evolve as humanity, and to (in those days) stop climate change.
In contrast, on her father’s side, Emily is of British Colonial descent. Emily’s grandmother was born in Zimbabwe to Scottish sheep-farmers. Her grandfather came from a poor English background but won a scholarship to Cambridge University to study law. As many young British men of his time who sought “adventure, a good job and travel”, Emily’s grandfather joined the colonial service in the final days of the British Empire, and served in several African countries as a high-ranking colonial officer. He spoke Zulu and Emily’s father spoke Swazi and Swahili before being sent to Britain as a child to attend boarding school, thousands of miles away from his parents.
Although Emily did not grow up with her father or his family, she eventually came to know them and have a relationship with them, which involved taking responsibility for understanding and healing her own familial and ancestral relationship to colonialism and white supremacy.
In this process, she came to see, feel and understand first hand and close up, the deeper psychological workings of the system of white supremacy, the colonial mind and its intimate links with narcissism, perfectionism, patriarchy and extractive economies and behaviours.
Between 2003-2015, Emily worked as a learning researcher and Access, Diversity and Inclusion enabler in the Arts & Cultural Sector, deeply rooted in the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the Human Rights Convention. She worked across the U.K and Scandinavia contributing to a number of large scale change projects, self-evaluation initiatives, conferences and trainings such as “Access for All”, “Inspiring Learning for All”, “Belonging – the Voices of London’s Refugees”, “The West Indian Front Room”, “Kultur och Fritid för Alla”, “Vidgat Deltagande”, “In this curriculum I don’t exist”, “In between two worlds – London teenagers’ ideas about Black History, Belonging and being British” to name a few. She worked with a wide range of marginalised communities as well as with leaders and directors holding white privilege, facilitating necessary and brave conversations challenging the status quo.
Emily has worked across many cultures and languages around the world from Sri Lanka to South Africa, Costa Rica and India to Romania and Denmark, continuously reflecting on and challenging white saviour tendencies. In this process has come to observe how white supremacy and racism works differently in different countries depending on context and history.
In 2020, in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Emily became a loud voice in the Wellness industry by calling in leaders bypassing white supremacy through ‘love and light’ rhetoric, exceptionalism, colourblindness and virtue signalling. She closed down several online coaching circles because white participants were unwilling to dive deeper into their own internalised white supremacy, and rendered the spaces not only additionally unsafe, but traumatising for BIPOC clients. Her platform and large facebook community for coaches and wellbeing facilitators centred BIWOC-led anti-racism conversations as a response.
Emily is a skilled and fiercely loving coach and space-holder with many years experience of creating safe spaces for accountability, healing, integration and growth to take place.
She is dedicated to her own ongoing learning, healing and unlearning of covert white supremacy. Examples of this are continuous learning from a wide range of anti-racism educators, authors and activists from around the world.
This bio has not been written with the intention of centring Emily in the context of Me & White Supremacy, but to transparently share about her background, values, skills and experience in order for you to make a conscious decision to choose her as a space-holder, or not.