Hello friends. I’ve written and re-written this post so many times I’ve lost count.
I started by saying how this was a collective awakening for our country and then realized how rooted in white privilege that comment was and that Black people have been living this collective awakening for over 400 hundred years.
I wrote that in order to be part of the solution to dismantle systemic oppression, we as white people need to first start by looking within to uncover the oppression, disrespect, and dehumanization in our own lives of which we are consciously or unconsciously playing a part, but then realized that was performative allyship.
I talked about the importance of daily commitment to staying awake individually and as a collective with as much compassion, integrity, love and respect as possible, but then realized this is spiritual bypassing with no acknowledgment of the brutality and loss of Black bodies every single day.
I watched this video via Toi Smith where Kimberly Jones provided the context of economics in this country and with heart-wrenching pain mentioned the devastating impact of the Tulsa Race Massacre, my hometown (google it). It shook me to my core. I quickly justified in my mind that it was ok, our family hadn’t moved to Tulsa yet. But then I realized, that white supremacist act in my community informed my privileged upbringing, period.
I scrolled through several white friends + influencer Instagram posts as they talked about how hard last week was for them and how they needed to take a break to process the sadness with no regard to how black people must be feeling. I felt sick to my stomach, because those white tears were simply reflections of my own.
But I’m posting this anyway. Because this is white privilege and it is inside all of us. Even the liberal minded, entrepreneurial, impact driven, NAACP supporting, resilience training, meditation teaching, woo-woo exploring, mystical seeking, cancer surviving one of us. What I know is different and will be working on likely for the rest of my life, is viewing my everyday actions through this critical lens of awareness around racial disparity and committed to doing better – Every. Single. Day.
I’m committed to continue listening and learning from Black activists and anti-racist leaders, taking recommended action and supporting policy reform.
I’m committed to amplifying, learning from, and financially supporting more Black teachers, practitioners, and healers in the wellness space.
I’m committed to aligning with more Black-owned brands personally and professionally and to make wellness products and services more accessible and inclusive.
I’m committed to using my voice and calling out my white colleagues, friends, and family when they are being completely tone deaf to the racial climate.
I’m committed to keeping my heart open through the discomfort, because I actually do know one thing, being in the discomfort is where transformation and transmutation takes hold.
Discomfort doesn’t scare me. But living in a world where Black people don’t feel safe to rest, practice self-care, and celebrate their joy without the burden of feeling terrified for their lives does. I’m not sure if that is ok to say, but I’m saying it.
These words mean nothing until the way I’m showing up in the world is an embodied reflection. I know that.
This isn’t going away. This is who we are right now. But in the words of Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” We can all do better.
Thank you for listening and sending everyone love, safety, gentleness, and care.
My Ongoing Do Better Resource List (work in progress)
- Revolution Now via Rachel Cargle
- A Guide To White Privilege via Courtney Ahn
- System Racism Explained via act.tv
- White Women Who Want To Help: Here’s how via Ivirlei Brookes
- Michelle Obama’s 2020 Commencement Address
- 13th– Documentary by Ava DuVernay analyzing the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.
- Ten Percent Happier Podcast: You Can’t Meditate This Away (Race, Rage and The Responsibilities of Meditators) Featuring Sebene Selassi
- On Being: Notice The Rage; Notice The Silence Featuring Resmaa Menakem
- Ted Talk: Clint Smith, The Danger of Silence
Reading (please try and purchase from your local bookstore)
- Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You – Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- How To Be An Anti-Racist – Ibram X. Kendi
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In A World Made For Whiteness – Austin Channing Brown
- Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation – Rev. angel Kyodo Williams
- Love and Rage: The Path Of Liberation Through Anger – Lama Rod Owens
- Mindful of Race – Ruth King
Self-Educating (note: please respect the boundaries of these leaders and pay them for their work)
- Rachel Cargle – taking part in TheGreatUnlearn, a self paced syllabi curated by Rachel
- Brittany Packnett Cunningham – daily insights and perspective that invite accountability
- Austin Channing Brown – taking part in her Smash White Supremacy/homework guide
- Girl Trek – taking part in their 21-day Black History Bootcamp
- Toi Smith – signed up for her Business Beyond Profit Workshop
- Cleo Wade – Her books Heart Talk and Where to Begin are staples in my daily practice
Policy + Organizations
- 8cantwait (note: this is immediate change that can be implemented, in just one week of outreach, Austin Mayor has agreed to implement the remaining policies not already in place)
- Campaign Zero
- Black Lives Matter
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- Loveland Foundation
- Spiral Collective
- Color of Change
- 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice
- Justice in June
- Tracee Stanley
- Angel Kyodo Williams
- Light Watkins
- Michael Beckwith
- Ruth King
- Sebene Sellasi
- Lama Rod Owens
- Tiffani Moore