Dr. Amanda Kemp Blog

You're so Great (But I Suck)!

Uncategorized Jun 12, 2019
Melody Leon of Leon Consulting and Development

Have you ever been in a conversation when someone complimented you in a way that put themselves down?

Have you ever thought OMG, that person (Michelle Obama or Lupita Nyongo for me) is so confident, smart and comfortable in her skin--and I'm not? I suck!

Well, I recorded a conversation with my friend and former client Melody Leon about what to do when that happens. Listen here!

We also talked about how you can recover when your nervous...

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Black and Asian Creation: Happy Birthday, Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama

Uncategorized May 23, 2019
Malcolm X and Yuri Kochiyama. Image from Massalijn

Let's take a moment to thank Malcolm and to thank Yuri. Sunday May 19th would have been their birthdays.

They saw the interconnection of the movements of people all over the world for freedom, dignity, and self-determination.

How fitting that they shared a birthday and that Yuri, a Japanese American held Malcolm after the assassins bullets brought him down in 1965.

I want to share some beautiful art that shows Black and Asian unity.

Please...

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White Women's Tears & Racial Justice

Uncategorized May 07, 2019
DR. AMANDA KEMP WITH FRIENDS TABATHA HERNANDEZ AND MOLLY SCHLACHTER AT WARE CENTER.

One of the most important relationships in racial justice is that between European American women and African American women. If we could heal this partnership, what would be possible? To do that requires a reckoning...

How do white women use their power? Often it is subtle, appearing as weakness and fragility. However, historically and to this day, a white woman in distress triggers a powerful...

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How To Know If You’re Being Tokenized and What To Do With Angry Black Woman Stereotype

Uncategorized May 02, 2019

Have you ever asked yourself:

Am I being used by this organization?

Is my image or participation being used to make it seem like this school is more racially diverse and just than it is?

If so, you are not alone. I share some suggestions on how to avoid being tokenized as change makers as well as how to deal with trigger words that make us shut down in conversations.

CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO

I hope you will join me for the Strong Voice: Compassionate HEART Retreat.

We are going to focus on...

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Fake Black?

Uncategorized Apr 28, 2019
"IT'S BEAUTIFUL WHERE YOU ARE" BY JOSEPH BOYD, PHOTO: AMANDA HILL

Dear Reader,

I want to share with you the value of private mentoring. Especially for those of us who experience imposter syndrome. You know that feeling like you’re not REALLY qualified because so few people who look like you hold certain positions. Or, maybe felling like you're not REALLY Black/Latinex/Queer etc because you've overcome barriers that folks from your community rarely overcome.

My spiritual coach said...

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Who Is Responsible for Black Fragility?

Uncategorized Apr 13, 2019

I'm sitting here with my fave decaf coffee.

I want to share with you what it's like for me right now.

Yesterday I read an article where a Black woman academic explained why she resigned from her tenured position at a small predominantly white college. She told of the psychological and emotional cost of taking a public stand with students protesting racism at her school. In anger, she had verbally lashed out her colleagues of European descent. She was caught on video and experienced a...

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How do I get more people of color in my life?

Uncategorized Feb 15, 2019

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...

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Patience is a key to joy and to cultivating racial justice

Uncategorized Jan 22, 2019

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...

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On Implicit Racial Bias: An Epic Blog

Uncategorized Oct 11, 2018

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...

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Belonging while Black

Uncategorized Oct 08, 2018

 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...

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