The Responsibilityof White Wealth
The Responsibility of White Wealth is a year-long transformational learning and redistribution circle for white women committed to collective liberation and economic justice who are ready to understand how to use their wealth as a catalyst for change.
Facilitated by Toi SmithApplications are currently closed. Add your name to the waitlist below to be the first to learn when they open again in 2024.
The numbers are staggering but not surprising.“In 2019, the median wealth of Black households in the United States was $24,100, compared with $189,100 for white households. Therefore the typical Black household had 12.7 percent of the wealth of the typical white household, and they owned $165,000 less in wealth.”Maybe the numbers don’t mean that much to you, but they definitely should. These numbers highlight the startling fact that we live in the most extreme wealth inequality in modern history, and this inequality fuels the continual oppression and trauma of all marginalized communities, especially Black communities.Wealth inequality in the United States is structural, systemic, and purposeful. As a white person who wants to stand on the right side of history, you have a responsibility and role in making things right and a responsibility and role in the process of healing.
HOW TO KNOW IF THIS THIS FOR YOU
Wealth and money are tools.Tools that aid in protection, tools that aid in sovereignty, tools that support flourishing, tools that support relationships, and tools that have been concentrated, guarded, and kept in the hands of white people and their families at the expense and through the exploitation of Black and non-Black people of color for far too long.If you want to be a part of creating a more expansive, equitable, and peaceful world as a white person with wealth, you have a responsibility to understand how and why wealth is as unbalanced and divisive as it is. You are also responsible for making commitments to be a part of a radical change in how we view, relate, share, and use wealth.Wealth should flow and not accumulate because wealth is collectively created.As a white person, you have been socialized to believe that wealth is yours for the taking, that you have no responsibility to share your wealth, and that your wealth is individually created through luck or "hard work." This is your programming under whiteness. At any time, you can do the work to shift the tides, embody a different way of being and demand, and work towards a different legacy…a legacy that considers and honors collective well-being and nurturance.You can exist in a different, more truthful, more balanced way.You can reject the socialization of white supremacy delusion, capitalism, and patriarchy, which has taught you to prioritize domination, extraction, and hierarchy instead of relationships with yourself and others.You can shift the tides and use your wealth as medicine, and that’s what we’ll explore together in The Responsibility of White Wealth.During your time in this space, you’ll have hard but necessary conversations about your wealth with other white women who are dedicated to being agents of change.
The Responsibility of White Wealth is an intimate and deeply intentional circle that supports critical conversation and real material change. This circle is cultivated for white women who can have fierce, truthful, and embodied conversations.We'll gather twice a month (bi-weekly) on either Wednesday or Saturday. Wednesdays or Saturdays are offered as gathering days to accommodate more schedules. Upon enrollment, you get to choose which gathering schedule works best for you. As we journey together throughout the year, there is some flexibility to shift your gathering days to accommodate life.The first gathering of each month is the Connection Gathering. This 60-minute session, taking place from 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST, is about building relationships with fellow members, emphasizing connection, personal exploration, storytelling, listening, and shared experiences.The second gathering of each month is the Deep Dive Gathering. This 2.5 hour session, from 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM, explores that month's topic. This gathering is meant for conversation, witnessing, challenging, and a place for truth to be shared and honored. During these sessions, we review the monthly topic in detail and discuss the content presented in the syllabus.At the beginning of each month, you’ll receive a short syllabus containing content to explore. The contents of this syllabus will help to guide our month together.The main thing to understand about the structure of The Responsibility of White Wealth is that every member of the circle is expected to show up with integrity and encouraged to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and radically honest with themselves and others.
The Responsibility of White Wealth is for white women who are actively engaged in their anti-racism work, those who understand and acknowledge their unearned privilege, and those who are ready, willing, and able to do the deeper work of understanding how they have a responsibility to use their wealth as a tool of collective healing and liberation.All participants of The Responsibility of White Wealth pay a program fee in addition to making a minimum committed donation of $2k to my organization Loving Black Single Mothers, which directly supports lower-income Black single mothers and their children.This payment structure represents solidarity and presents an opportunity for participants to practice wealth redistribution and embody transparency...right here and right now.
The program fee is $3,600, and the committed donation varies for each participant because it’s based on your net wealth or income. The donation scale is as follows:If your net wealth or income is up to $299,000, your donation is $2,000
If your net wealth or income is $300,000 - $499,000, your donation is $3,000
If your net wealth or income is $500,000 - $699,000, your donation is $4,000
If your net wealth or income is $700,000 - $899,000, your donation is $5,000
If your net wealth or income is $900,000 or above, your donation is $6,000
The total for your participation will be the base program fee of $3,600 plus whatever your donation rate is based on your net wealth or income.Program Fee ($3600) + Donation Rate (varies) = Total CostFor example, if your net wealth is $350,000, your total participation rate would be $6,600 ($3,600 program fee + $3,000 donation).You can break your payment into up to 10 payments, but If you have the resources to pay in full, I would appreciate it if you did. I am the sole financial provider for my family, and as a Black woman-owned business, we are undercapitalized, which means that I am self-financing & bootstrapping my business & living expenses out of cash flow. I am thankful to Kelly Diels for this language.
A FEW NOTES
Your donation to Loving Black Single Mothers is tax deductible, but your program fee is not.
You can make your donation to Loving Black Single mothers through a DAF or a gift of stock.
You are welcome to make a larger donation than the one listed above if that feels aligned
The first step in the application process is to fill out a short questionnaire and schedule a 30-minute virtual chat with me.The conversation and questionnaire will allow me to get to know you, your why, and help me determine whether this circle is a good fit for you. I'm really intentional about who joins, and I like, as best as I can, to bring together a group of women who will journey well together.A $600 application fee is due when you schedule your call with me. If you're not invited to join this cohort, your deposit will be refunded within 72 hours of our call. If you are invited to join, your application fee will be applied to your total program fee.
"The Responsibility of White Wealth felt like a sacred, intentional container that was softly and fiercely held by Toi. We explored a lot of different topics that interrelate to create the web of whiteness and privilege in this world. Toi encouraged us to dig into our histories, geographies, relationships, and finances to get honest about what our behaviors and actions reveal as our actual, lived-out values vs. our ideal values. I'm taking away a new vision for the world - one where we take care of each other because we can and should, both from a place of deeper relationship than I'm used to as a white person AND understanding that relationship isn't a prerequisite to community care."
-Whitney"As a Boomer-era woman, I was nervous about taking this class. I can now say, without any exaggeration, that it's one of the best "risks" I've taken in the last 50+ years. Toi has masterfully crafted the course content and is a skilled facilitator of the material discussion and the participants' growth. The weekly materials challenged us all in different ways. Toi gave us each space to look solidly at the truth and pivot towards the possibility of what could be different. I highly recommend The Responsibility of White Wealth."
-Jacque"I recommend The Responsibility of White Wealth to white women who feel called and are ready to confront something but have trouble identifying what it is, how to respond, or where to begin. Our time together was about so much more than wealth; it was about oppression, attachment, addiction, and all the ways those keep us alone and exhausted. It's also about redefining your self-worth, finding your community, and experiencing connectedness."
- Kate"The Responsibility of White Wealth was, in my experience: dynamic, very generous and spacious, often fun, very often humbling, deeply thought-provoking, informative, and effectively facilitated to encourage our focus and receptivity. What’s most present for me right now is how much more grounded and sure I feel in understanding my story as one tiny (sensible) thread in the vast tapestry of racial capitalism/America/the right now here. For maybe the first time, I feel confident I belong to this collective story, and not as a villain or a princess or a failure but as one of many weavers. I feel more agency than I have in recent memory. And I have a huge collection of resources, for continuing to expand my knowledge and awareness, and imagination."
-Ledlie"I joined The Responsibility of White Wealth because I desired a facilitated space where I could connect with other women and unpack white wealth while also learning, unlearning, and better understanding of how to be in right relationship with my community and resources. Coming across this program felt divine, and I immediately knew that I wanted to apply to join.I'm in awe of how this space was held. Toi provided educational resources which allowed me to deepen into the material and a space to unpack what was coming up. I was fully honest in this space, and Toi encouraged us to be honest with no shame, no blame, no guilt.I'm walking away with the importance of relationship, that resources can mean many things, that I can really honor my seasons and not just talk about it, and that we aren't meant to do this work alone. This work is meant to be done in community, and Toi provided that gift. She's an incredible facilitator who holds so much wisdom and knowledge. I am deeply grateful."
I'm Toi Smith. My work centers on doing life, business, and motherhood differently. I work with people whose work is countercultural, liberatory, and revolutionary in nature...or people who desire and are committed to moving their work or lives in that direction.“Don’t talk about it, be about it” is probably the saying that best encapsulates my perspective and how I work with people.I work with people and businesses/organizations who are trying to do away with the old status quo, which benefits from the oppression and extraction of people for profit. Rather, the people and businesses/organizations who I work with are creating lives that are born from consciousness, awareness, possibility, relationship, and a deep belief in not perpetuating norms that are harmful and hurtful.The people who choose to partner with me in any capacity, know that in order to create a regenerative world together, we must hold a shared vision that considers more than just ourselves. Our shared vision must be vast and wide, hold space for the full spectrum of life + relationships, and also include emergent ways of being and doing.The spaces that I hold, the initiatives that I start, and the programs that I create are always liberation-focused and about giving people the tools, the words, and the understanding that so much is possible as long as we continue to hold the collective at the core.You can learn more about me here.
Below are some of the books that inform this program, my analysis, and my political lens.
APRIL / WELCOME & WEALTH TRANSPARENCY STATEMENT
How we begin is essential. During this month, the group will connect and get to know one another, and you’ll spend time setting intentions for your year-long journey in understanding what it means to become responsible with your wealth. Also, this month, you’ll present your wealth transparency statement, which is an honest look at how much wealth you have and where it came from. It’s a radical act to be transparent about your money, and this month we’ll be getting radical.
Welcome Gathering: Wed, Apr 12th or Sat, Apr 15th / 1 PM EST - 2:30 PM EST
Wealth Transparency Gathering: Wed, April 19th or Sat, April 22nd / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
MAY / BECOMING WHITE
Whiteness is a socially constructed and violent identity that has historically harmed not only people of color, but also white people themselves. This identity has forced white people to adopt values, beliefs, and practices that promote hierarchy, domination, and exploitation, which have led to the perpetuation of systemic inequalities. In order for white people to become racialized as white, they had to sacrifice their cultural, and ethnic identity in order to assimilate into a homogenized notion of white American culture. The construction of whiteness has also created a false sense of unity and homogeneity among white people, which has led to a disconnection from their own cultural roots and barriers to true involvement in social, change.By exploring the process of becoming white, white people can begin to understand the harmful effects of whiteness on themselves and others, and work towards dismantling the system of systemic inequality. This month, we will delve into this topic to help you better understand the role of whiteness in our society and your family.
Understand the historical origins and social construction of whiteness and how this identity has perpetuated systemic inequalities.
Recognize how the adoption of white cultural norms and values has caused a disconnection from one's cultural roots and barriers to involvement in social change.
Develop strategies for dismantling the systemic inequality perpetuated by whiteness and promoting racial justice and equity.
Connection Gathering: Wed, May 3rd or Sat, May 6th / 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST
Deep Dive Gathering: Wed, May 17th or Sat, May 20th / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
JUNE / CAPITALISM AT A GLANCE
Before we can pledge to handle wealth responsibly, we need to grasp the workings of the capitalist system, which is fundamentally built upon the accumulation of wealth or capital. This month, we will delve into the origins of capitalism and its links to forms of oppression, racism, and exploitation. Only by examining this history can we truly appreciate the complexities of wealth and its place in society, and begin to chart a more just and equitable path forward.
Develop an understanding of the origins of capitalism and its foundational principles of wealth accumulation and exploitation.
Recognize the historical connections between capitalism, oppression, and racism, and the ways in which these structures have perpetuated inequality in society.
Analyze the role of wealth and capital in modern society and its impact on social and economic justice, in order to identify strategies for promoting a more equitable distribution of resources.
Connection Gathering: Wed, June 7th or Sat, June 10th / 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST
Deep Dive Gathering: Wed, June 21st or Sat, June 24th / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
JULY / ANTI-BLACK RACISM
As Da'Shaun L. Harrison said: "At the nucleus of all these violent structures is anti-Blackness, on which the World is built. This means that unless and until we are committed first and always to destroying anti-Blackness, these institutions will always find a way to reinvent themselves. After reading this, some of you may ask, 'So what comes after we destroy the World?' And my answer is that that's not a question I can answer alone. Individuals don't create new realities alone." This month we’ll dive into how anti-blackness (not just racism) is woven into all aspects of our culture and what that means for how white people think about wealth.
Understand the concept of anti-Blackness and its historical and contemporary impact on marginalized communities, particularly Black individuals.
Recognize the intersectionality of anti-Blackness with other forms of oppression and how it is woven into different aspects of society, including wealth and economic systems.
Learn about strategies and approaches to dismantling anti-Blackness and building a more equitable and just society, including the importance of collective action and community-led initiatives.
Connection Gathering: Wed, July 12th or Sat, July 15th / 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST
Deep Dive Gathering: July 26th or Sat, July 29th / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
AUGUST / WHITE FEMINISM AINT IT
Wealthy white women who are interested in social change need to understand and disavow white feminism because it perpetuates a narrow and exclusionary approach to feminism that prioritizes the experiences and perspectives of white, middle-class women, while neglecting or marginalizing the experiences and struggles of Black women, poor women, disabled women, and other marginalized groups. By failing to acknowledge the intersectionality of various forms of oppression, white feminism can perpetuate systems of inequality and oppression that are harmful and violent. This month, we will understand the problems with white feminism, how it’s been used to uphold hierarchy and exploitation, and study the alternatives rooted in intersectionality, collective care, and economic justice.
Identify the problematic nature of white feminism and its impact on perpetuating inequality.
Gain an understanding of the intersectionality of various forms of oppression and how the failure to acknowledge it perpetuates systems of inequality and oppression.
Explore alternative approaches to feminism that are rooted in intersectionality, collective care, and economic justice, and will be able to articulate how these approaches can contribute to building a more equitable and just society.
Connection Gathering: Wed, August 9th or Sat, August 12th / 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST
Deep Dive Gathering: Wed, August 23rd or Sat, August 26th / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
SEPTEMBER / PATRIARCHY, WEALTH, & THE NUCLEAR FAMILY
The nuclear family model has historically reinforced patriarchal values and gender roles, limiting women's economic and social mobility. This model restricts white women's ability to participate in movements for collective liberation since they often lack control over family resources. This month, we'll explore how patriarchy, wealth, and the nuclear family intersect to hinder white women's potential to effect change.
September Learning Intentions
Understand how the nuclear family model has reinforced patriarchal values and gender roles, limiting women's economic and social mobility, and how this impacts white women in particular.
Analyze the ways in which exclusion from financial decision-making has historically made it difficult for white women to be sovereign.
Examine the intersection of patriarchy, wealth, and the nuclear family, and how these factors have worked together to restrict the ability of white women to participate in movements for collective liberation, and explore potential strategies to overcome these barriers.
Connection Gathering: Wed, Sep 6th or Sat, Sep 9th / 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST
Deep Dive Gathering: Wed, Sep 20th or Sat, Sep 23rd / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
OCTOBER / DIVESTING FROM WALL STREET
Wall Street has long served as an instrument of oppression, complicit in perpetuating the economic systems of capitalism and exploitation. This month, we will delve into the history of Wall Street and examine the reasons why divesting from this structure is essential. Through our exploration, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of Wall Street on society and explore pathways toward more equitable economic systems.
October Learning Intentions
Understand the history and impact of Wall Street as an instrument of oppression and its role in perpetuating economic systems of capitalism and exploitation.
Explore the reasons why divesting from Wall Street is essential for creating more equitable economic systems and addressing systemic inequalities.
Identify pathways towards more equitable economic systems that prioritize social and environmental justice and to consider strategies for divesting from Wall Street.
October Gathering Dates
Connection Gathering: Wed, Oct 4th or Sat, Oct 7th / 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST
Deep Dive Gathering: Wed, Oct 18th or Sat, Oct 21st / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
NOVEMBER / SOLIDARITY, NOT CHARITY
Charity often reinforces existing power structures and maintains the status quo. Charity allows wealthy individuals to decide where their resources go, without necessarily addressing the root causes of social issues or involving those who are most affected by them in decision-making processes. On the other hand, solidarity recognizes the interconnectedness of all people and seeks to build collective power to address systemic issues of oppression and inequality. This approach involves centering the voices and experiences of marginalized communities and working alongside them to challenge existing power structures and create lasting change. Solidarity emphasizes collective action and mutual support, rather than individual acts of charity. This month, we will look at the history of philanthropy in the US, unpack how you’ve been socialized to be charitable, and understand what it means to stand in solidarity and struggle with historically marginalized communities.
November Learning Intentions
Distinguish between charity and solidarity as two different approaches to social change, and identify the shortcomings of charity in addressing systemic issues of oppression and inequality.
Examine the historical context and cultural influences that have socialized individuals into relying on charity as a means of giving and how this has reinforced existing power structures and maintained the status quo.
Define and apply the principles of solidarity, including centering the voices and experiences of marginalized communities, working alongside them to challenge existing power structures, and emphasizing collective action and mutual support as an effective approach to building collective power and addressing systemic issues of oppression and inequality.
November Gathering Dates
Connection Gathering: Wed, Nov 1st or Sat, Nov 4th / 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST
Deep Dive Gathering: Wed, Nov 15th or Sat, Nov 18th / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
(We are off in December for rest, integration, and holiday celebrations.)
JANUARY / EMBODYING VALUES
During this month, you will have the opportunity to explore and clarify your personal values while also examining how white supremacy can influence and create conflicts with your desire to participate in collective liberation. Through this investigation process, you'll better understand how societal systems and structures can shape individual values and how you can align your values with the pursuit of a more equitable and just society.
January Learning Intentions
Understand the concept of personal values and how they can shape individual actions and decisions.
Analyze the ways in which white supremacy can influence and create conflicts with an individual's desire to participate in collective liberation, and develop strategies to navigate these conflicts.
Examine societal systems and structures that shape individual values and explore ways to align personal values with the pursuit of a more equitable and just society.
January Gathering Dates
Connection Gathering: Wed, Jan 10th or Sat, Jan 13th / 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST
Deep Dive Gathering: Wed, Jan 24th or Sat, Jan 27th / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
FEBRUARY / UNDERSTANDING ENOUGH
To effectively share resources and support social justice and liberation, it's crucial to clearly understand what "enough" means and decide what comforts you're willing to part with to live into your values.Those with direct access to wealth and resources often struggle to use them in service of liberation because they haven't taken the time to reflect on how their comforts have become needs. They also haven't taken the time to understand how they view their wealth through the lens of scarcity and not collective responsibility or possibility. This month, we'll focus on the crucial work of understanding enough and how to better align actions with your desire to positively impact society.
February Learning Intentions
Understand the concept of "enough" in relation to personal wealth and resources, and how it can shape an individual's ability to contribute to social justice and liberation efforts.
Analyze the factors that can hinder individuals with direct access to wealth and resources from using them in service of liberation, and developing strategies for overcoming these obstacles.
Reflect on personal needs and priorities in relation to a desire to be involved in social justice and liberation work, and explore ways to align these values and priorities with actions that support positive change in society.
February Gathering Dates
Connection Gathering: Wed, Feb 7th or Sat, Feb 10th / 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST
Deep Dive Gathering: Wed, Feb 21st or Sat, Feb 24th / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
MARCH / UNDERSTANDING REPARATIONS
Understanding reparations is important for those who would like to use their wealth for social change because it recognizes the harm that has been inflicted on marginalized communities and seeks to provide them with restitution and repair. By acknowledging how wealth has been accumulated through systemic oppression and working to redress these injustices, individuals can help build a more equitable and inclusive society. Furthermore, a deeper understanding of reparations can enable individuals to support meaningful, community-led initiatives and organizations that are working to address historical and ongoing inequities.
March Learning Intentions
Understand the concept of reparations and its importance in addressing systemic oppression and historical injustices toward marginalized communities.
Analyze how wealth has been accumulated through systemic oppression, and how reparations can work to address these inequities.
Identify and support community-led initiatives and organizations that are working towards reparations and social change, and exploring strategies for effective allyship and advocacy.
March Gathering Dates
Connection Gathering: Wed, March 6th or Sat, March 9th / 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST
Deep Dive Gathering: Wed, March 20th or Sat, March 23rd / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
APRIL / THE SOLIDARITY ECONOMY
The solidarity economy is important for white people who want to use their wealth for social change because it offers a framework for building a more just and equitable economy that is grounded in principles of cooperation, mutual support, and sustainability. By understanding the solidarity economy, individuals can learn about innovative economic models that prioritize the needs and well-being of historically and purposely marginalized communities and promote economic democracy. This understanding can help individuals recognize the role of wealth and power in shaping economic systems and can guide them in using their resources to support initiatives and organizations that align with these values. Moreover, by engaging with the solidarity economy, individuals can contribute to building a more inclusive, democratic, and resilient economy that benefits everyone.
April Learning Intentions
Understand the concept of the solidarity economy and its significance in promoting economic justice and equity, particularly for historically and purposely marginalized communities.
Analyze the role of wealth and power in shaping economic systems and explore strategies for using personal resources to support initiatives and organizations that align with solidarity economy principles.
Identify and support innovative economic models that prioritize cooperation, mutual support, and sustainability and explore ways to contribute to building a more inclusive, democratic, and resilient economy.
April Gathering Dates
Connection Gathering: Wed, April 3rd or Sat, April 6th / 1 PM EST - 2 PM EST
Deep Dive Gathering: Wed, April 17th or Sat, April 20th / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST
MAY / CLOSING & CONTINUED COMMITMENTS
Learning that sparks change must be genuinely followed by action and commitment. A lot of anti-racist work stops at the learning part and doesn’t ask for a commitment. Here I am asking for a commitment. During this final month, each participant will present the commitments they’re willing and able to make with their wealth.
May Gathering Dates
Closing Gathering: Wed, May 1st or Sat, May 4th / 1 PM EST - 3:30 PM EST