Recently a European American woman I mentor told me that she's working to desegregate her life. I love it that she put it this way. Desegregating implies that she's aware of the systems of segregation that have kept her in a white bubble and that she's responsible for desegregating her whole life.
Desegregating your life means consciously looking for places to support the leadership of African American, indigenous, or colonized folks. Segregation is not just about separation. Segregation...
I was recently mentoring someone who freezes and panics when she hears or sees overt racism.
I could hear the shame as she apologized for letting me down.
Here’s what I told her:
Start with getting your feet on the ground and conscious breathing.
The first step in having a strong voice is merely staying present.
You may have all kinds of good reasons why your body adrenalizes or shuts down in the face of racism.
Instead of shaming and blaming yourself, I suggest you make a commitment to...
You can check your implicit racial bias if you are willing to do the work.
A lot of folks have written or are talking about implicit bias. I recommend Jerry Kang’s excellent Ted Talk "Immaculate Perception" and this NPR story on the Yale study of Racial Bias Amongst Pre-School Teachers.
The data on implicit bias in health, criminal justice, education, employment is so consistent that it can be daunting. There’s very little readily available information on how...
When Franklin and Marshall College asked me to address the entire college join at their common hour I was terrified. Seriously, every time I thought about it I would get sick to my stomach. After I said yes, I avoided emails about the engagement. This started to shift one week before the event when I moved from terrified to merely scared. It helped when my husband Michael agreed to accompany me. But the biggest shift came when I heard a speaker the day before I gave my...
I just got off the phone with an amazing African American woman leader. She is in the style of Black women who keep the movement going. The reliable worker bee who always picks up the phone. You know, the women who type up the agenda, set up the registration, clean up, bring food, help transport people to the event, etc. They are amazing.
We couldn't do (fill in the blank) without them.
If you need something done, call this woman because she never says no, and...
I just got back from vacation a few days ago and I wanted to share two non-fiction books that I’m currently reading.
(Okay, let’s be real, I’m currently reading three books, one of which is a paperback thriller--but I’m only gonna share about one in this email. I’ll share about non-fiction number two next week.)
This was recommended months and months ago, but I must admit I’m finicky about my books. I don’t like to read what...
I’m on a spiritual retreat for the summer solstice led by two wise African America women and I feel blessed!!! We are in the bosom of our mother in Mississippi, allowing ourselves to grieve, set new intentions and transmute our fears and distractions. Please hold me and our group in prayer/heart!
This week I want to remind you to love on yourself.
I’ve got two minute long meditation videos that build your capacity to love you EXACTLY as you are.
Do these once a day for...
Starbucks held their one day anti-bias training last week.
I offered them a few tips on how to use this moment to do some systemic work but ... you know how that goes! Not to be deterred, I offered my own racial bias training in my community. Two coffee shops came on as sponsors and we brought more people into the conversation.
Here are a couple of takeaways:
1. We can't talk about bias without first placing it in the context of racism and the systemic...
Last week I promised to share with you how to tend to yourself. Below are 3 suggestions that can take 3 to 20 minutes. Let me know your favorites!
Here are some suggestions:
1. Read. I recommend literature that takes you out of our difficult stressful world but that stretches your imagination. Check out my video book review of Ursula Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness. Maybe making a short video review is even more restorative than...