Written by Rorri Geller-Mohamed, LCSW

November 18, 2020

If you have read my blogs, are on my email list, or read my posts you may have noticed a recent shift in topics from social justice for families to where I have been trying to speak directly to white folks that care about racial equity and justice but could use extra support, skills, and resources to speak up and take action.  Despite knowing that I have a lot to offer both personally and professionally on this topic I’ve been hiding in this area for a long time.  

 

I was worried about not being able to get across what I’m trying to say and then in turn saying the wrong thing.  I was worried about saying something that unintentionally causes harm.  I was worried about doing the work wrong.   (Side note:  This is what so often holds us as white folks back in anti-racism work.  It may show up differently for you in your life but worry about saying the wrong thing, unintentionally causing harm, doing it wrong can often prevent us from saying anything or taking needed action to create change.)

 

I couldn’t wrap my head around how to share that I help white people, especially white women that care about racial equity and justice to feel more prepared, supported, and motivated to speak up and show up in ways that are aligned with their anti-racism values.  Instead, I hid behind the topics that I felt more comfortable with like multiracial families and families that care about social justice.  I kept thinking it wasn’t my place and that work should be led by BIPOC (Black, Indigineous, and People of Color).  Both are true.  There are many places in anti-racism work that I 100% shouldn’t be leading and where I follow the leadership of BIPOC doing anti-racism work.  And yet, it is my place to support white folks in doing this work and getting over the hurdles that often keep us from speaking up and showing up.  Not only is it my place but I’m also really good at it.    

 

So this is me sharing with you that I finally decided it’s time for me to step up, lean in, and be brave in the same way that I encourage you, my clients, and my community to do so.  I know I will make mistakes along the way and that is part of this journey.  When that happens, please bring it to my attention if I overlook it, know that I care about repairing the harm, and learning from it so it doesn’t happen again.  

If you want to hear to more on this topic or know someone else who might, please join me and invite a friend for a free webinar this weekend: 5 Strategies To Shift Your Racial Equity and Justice Conversations with White People From Frustrating to Change Making

In solidarity.

Related Articles

This 1 thing changed my anti-racism approach

I first got involved in anti-racism work in my late teens mainly because of the personal pain I felt from my brother's experiences of racism as a person of color. It's actually one of the main reasons that I become a social worker because I saw it as an avenue to...

Is it racist to say Happy Thanksgiving?

Is it racist to say Happy Thanksgiving?I noticed that I started feeling uncomfortable saying happy thanksgiving due to the history of the holiday.  From what I’ve learned, it seems like many indigineous people and groups acknowledge it as a day of mourning to remember...