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 create change. What I didn’t know at the time was that I was missing a big piece of knowledge that would be vital to my anti-racism work. I didn’t recognize the ways that racism also harms white people but not in the way one would traditionally think about it.
Paul Kivel, the author of Uprooting Racism, does an awesome job describing this:
“WE TEND TO THINK OF RACISM as a problem for people of color and something we should be concerned about for their sake. It is true that racism is devastating to them, and if we believe in justice, equality, and equal opportunity for all, then we should be trying to end it…However, the costs of racism to white people are devastating, especially to those of us without the money and power to buffer their effects. They are not the same costs as the day-to-day violence, discrimination, and harassment that people of color have to deal with. Nevertheless, they are significant costs that we have been trained to ignore, deny, or rationalize away….For example, one of the costs of assimilating into white mainstream culture is that we are asked to leave behind the languages, foods, music, games, rituals, and expressions that our parents and/or grandparents used. We lose our own “white” cultures and histories. Sometimes this loss leads us to romanticize the richness of other cultures.” (http://paulkivel.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/thecostsofracism.pdf)
When I learned about how my own humanity and liberation is connected to this, it shifted the way that I show up. It also increased my capacity to help other white people that don’t understand the depth of racial equity and justice to understand. When white people recognize what they lost, what it cost, and how our own humanity is lacking because of racism, we show up differently to anti-racism work.
This is one of the topics that we go deeper into in my Changemakers program. We cover what this looks like in real conversations with other white people to make our conversations changemaking instead of frustrating. We cover how this shows up in both our personal and professional lives and what we can do to break down the systems that continue to uphold this harm. We look at how changemaking is actually part of the healing process.
Here are the ways you can learn from and work with me:
Changemakers program: A 3 month empowerment program to help white women speak up and show up for racial equity and justice. (Starts Jan. 11th)
Love & Liberation program: A 3 month coaching program for moms to align your parenting approach and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) values for your child to thrive.
Brave Talk course: A communication skills course designed to guide white parents to speak up and show up for racial equity and justice. (pre-recorded and do at your own pace)
Thrive course: A racially informed parent education course to guide white moms raising children of color and/or multiracial kids to thrive
To shifting for change.
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Your words and action can create change.