Much of diversity, equity, and inclusion work has unfortunately not been successful. My approach seeks to take a new approach, informed by multiple spheres of influence including;
scholars, activists, artists, organizers, teachers, coaches and healers. My values guide my work with groups of multiple and intersectional identities, and I seek to acknowledge the particular
responsibilities I see for myself as a white identified person working to dismantle systemic oppression.
The following key values guide my work:
I believe in surfacing a more complete and unbiased account of the racial history of the United States. I believe pretending to know all the answers sets us back. When we choose to be honest about what we understand, the questions we have, and the feelings that come up when faced with uncomfortable truths, real growth happens.
I believe there is inherent dignity in every individual. Anti-oppression is not an abstract or strictly professional endeavor, but a way of walking through the world with a deep care for the lives at risk, care for ourselves as we challenge ourselves to grow, and care for our colleagues – wherever they may be in the journey.
The other side of compassion is courage. I seek to balance my compassion practice with courage. Courage, for me, is the willingness to share a perspective that may be uncomfortable or emotionally charged for my white colleagues, friends, or family members. Courage is about prioritizing taking action to honor my principles over my comfort. Courage is about making a loving but bold invitation for our community to expand rather than constrict.
Examining privilege and implicit bias is often met with eye rolling, resentment, or defensiveness. I believe it is a joyful experience to notice my fears and move through them, to reckon with the horrors of the past and take action in a new direction. It is a joyful (though not easy) experience to embrace all parts of myself and others. It is a joyful experience to change.