Written by Rorri Geller-Mohamed, LCSW
November 22, 2019
The past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to speak to some white moms about issues of race and racism. I talked with white moms of kids of color, white moms of white children, and white moms raising children of color and white children. All of them had an awareness of systemic racism and at least a basic level of knowledge about white privilege. The purpose of these conversations was to gain deeper insight into the challenges that we face when showing up, doing the work, and what prevents us from doing more.
Here’s what I took away from these conversations:
- We feel unprepared when talking to white family members about these issues and stressed about family relationships
- We want more ideas and information on how to best teach and guide our children on this topic
- We worry about saying the wrong thing which often keeps us silent
- We notice a lack of racial diversity and attention to representation in our schools, places of work, faith-based institutions, and community but aren’t sure of how to best work towards making the change for a racially equitable environment
- We often feel caught off guard when something is said and aren’t sure how to respond
This means that if we can figure this out and feel more confident, prepared, and supported in this work, we can make a big impact. This means that if we learn these skills, practice strategies to help us feel confident, access the information we need, and process our emotions we will be able to not only live more aligned with our values of anti-racism and racial equity but actually save lives and create the world we want for our kids. And yes, we can do that.
Imagine if all white moms were dedicated to doing all that we can to eliminate racism, supporting each other in this hard work, and participating in building racially equitable communities. Think about how much closer we could be to future generations having an opportunity to live in a world without racism.
In order to make this happen, we have to do our part. We have to go through the process of understanding our emotions throughout this work, processing it, and using it as a tool to make a change. We need to feel ready to have those conversations, know what to say, and how to deal with mistakes that we might make. We need to have a support system of other moms doing this work, trying to navigate and balance it, and getting advice and guidance from people that get it. Our kids need us to know and do these things. This is what anti-racism parenting looks like.
I’m launching an anti-racism parenting pilot program for white moms who are ready to go into the new year with more tools, strategies, and support for living an anti-racist life, for talking to your kids about issues of race and racism, for building a racially equitable world for your kids to grow up in, and are looking to connect with a supportive community of other moms doing this work too. There is only space for a handful of moms and it starts this Wednesday. If you are interested, you can register here: Anti-racism Pilot Program.
To anti-racism parenting.
In family therapy, we are often working on how to resolve conflict, strengthen family relationships, and improve communication
It can be frustrating and hard when white people just don’t get it. How often this season have you heard white people in your life say you were being too “sensitive” or take things too “seriously” for?
Being racially conscious as a white person also means that you experience many feelings when issues of race show up in your life.