My journey into unlearning racism started when I escaped bullying and isolation at my neighborhood elementary school by applying to a magnet school that bussed white kids to the Black middle school. The program included a lot of education on racism in history. I vividly remember sitting in the auditorium watching film from the Holocaust and waking up to the horrors of systemic and institutional oppression.
After years of learning about historic and systemic racism, at age 23 I attended a workshop that woke me up to my own racism, to the ways I was causing harm to people of color unintentionally and thoughtlessly every day. As you know, this is a very uncomfortable place to be and I began studying, reading, attending workshops and digging for ways to learn about the roots of my racism so that I could start pulling them up. I wasn’t finding it easy. I left these seminars and workshops unclear about how to change my thinking or behavior.
I realized if I was serious about uprooting racism in myself I would have to create my own method. I started experimenting with various techniques I learned as a behavioral therapist and the focus, spiritual grounding and sense of purpose that I learned working as a hospice caregiver. I incorporated what I learned as a project manager and director of program and policy in a government office of diversity and equity along with the everyday stories of racism experienced by the people of color in my life. I started to see real thinking and behavior changes.
Now I use what has been working for me (not saying that I am free from racism! The journey continues for our whole lives) to coach other white people. If you are a white person wanting to work on your racism and ready for some new perspective and some new strategies I would love for you to join our private Facebook community and register for the next 6 week unlearning everyday racism course. I can’t wait to meet you!