Reflections on Talking About Race from a White Woman
I share these reflections & truisms as a learner and leader.
And as someone who refuses to stay silent.
I watched this impactful Ted Talk on being “Color-Brave”, by Mellody Hobson, the very same week I was doing some deep reflecting on the anniversary of Philando Castile’s murder. So, I felt the need to flex my “color-bravery” muscle.
As a white woman who walks through the world with blankets of privilege (sometimes visible, other times invisible), I am very clear on a few things:
1) It’s my responsibility to own my story–the good, the bad, and the ugly.
2) It’s my responsibility to do my own racial identity development work (reading, learning, skill-building, etc) so that my awakening process is NOT a burden for People Of Color (aka folks in the global majority).
3) I must reflect on what it means to be a white, female, queer leader during these times.
4) I’m living and learning my journey in public, in hopes that it supports others on their journey. AND I don’t ever claim to have it all figured out. By any means.
5) Silence is not an option when racial justice is a matter of life and death for millions of Americans.
6) There’s not just one way to speak up. There are myriad ways to speak up and stand up for what’s right. Especially for the #blacklivesmatter movement. Researching different movements and connecting with folks in person is so critical.
7) Being experienced as an “ally” is nothing I can or will ever claim–it will always be aspirational, because I will always have blind-spots. That means I work everyday to be experienced as someone who’s in alliance with my non-white colleagues, family, and friends. It’s my responsibility.
8) I commit to being brave and bold on this journey, because it is my responsibility. FOR and TO the next generation. For my nieces and nephews. To my future children.
9) This work is messy. This work is not for the faint of heart. And this work is necessary.
10) Silence is a luxury.
So if you’re with me, make a commitment with me today. Commit to working on being more comfortable with the uncomfortable.
FIRST, make a commitment to yourself. Commit to holding up the mirror and reflecting on who you are and how your racial identity impacts how you walk through the world. Which number above resonated the most or stood out to you? Reflect on that.
If you need support, comment below or send me a private message. I’m committed to holding space for folks doing this work alongside me.
THEN, say and write down the names below. Copy/paste them into your newsfeed AS A START.
I will not stop saying their names and doing my part to work toward creating a more equitable and just system….and I hope you’re with me.
If this post resonates, feel free to share it, comment, and/or PM me.
Thank you for being with me on this journey.
I will keep saying their names:
S.P.A.R.K. was founded in 2016 by Rachel Rosen, a seasoned facilitator, racial equity leadership coach, and LGBTQ advocate. S.P.A.R.K. offerings sit at the nexus of Rachel’s personal and professional passions, and she is on a mission to bring more empathy and compassion to the world, one conversation at a time. With a Masters from Stanford, and extensive training in leadership, coaching, team and organizational development, S.P.A.R.K. experiences are grounded in theory and practice. S.P.A.R.K. offers experiences that support leaders and teams to unleash their potential to facilitate powerful experiences, collaborate, and build trust.
If you’d like to work with Rachel or learn more about how she can support you, fill out this form and she’ll get back to you within 48 hours!