Ms. Joyce Washington comes to this work through growing up in a small rural community in northwestern Tennessee, where she witnessed subtle and insidious forms of racism, seldom in-your-face and mostly right under the skin. She moved away for more than three decades, living in Germany, St. Louis, and Northern California. She eventually returned to her hometown years later, hoping that things would have changed. To her dismay, they hadn’t.
Because her peers and colleagues weren’t speaking up about it, she felt alone in her experience. If fellow People of Color were seeing what she was seeing, they were not saying so. Frustrated with the unspoken stay-in-your-lane and go-along-to-get-along social contract that surrounded her, she decided to use her voice. However, when she tried to engage people on the subject, she was met with silence, which ultimately made her question her own clarity of perception. She thought, “Maybe I’m not seeing this right. Maybe I’m crazy.”
Luckily, she stumbled on Dr. Amanda Kemp’s work and realized she was anything but.
Aligned with Dr. Amanda’s vision, Joyce knew that her community could do better and that it would take love, compassion, empathy, and most importantly, courageous conversation to get there. She knew that she needed to help people unpack the past to move into a liberated future.
Finding the Racial Justice from the Heart community has given her strength in her time of need. Having a community to draw from and be supported by allows her to stay in the fight.
She is here to do the same for others.
This interview features Joyce's beautiful laugh and deep heart. Enjoy!