My Equity & Anti-Racism Commitments
I desire a world that supports all people to thrive, values diversity of cultures and leverages differences in people’s lived experiences for more impactful organizations. I work to dismantle systemic racism, which I view as the biggest counterforce to this culture in the United States. I strive to lift up voices of people who are systemically marginalized. I use my knowledge and position of a privileged identity to recruit people with dominant identifies to see their blind spots, understand the invisible mechanisms of systematic racism and commit to meaningful actions for change.
Here are perspectives that I bring to my work:
1. I view the U.S. struggle to overcome structural racism through a multi-cultural human rights lens. Living in different regions of the U.S and in Central America has helped me see the connections between racism and other forms of oppression. Equally important, my Central American human rights colleagues inspire me and teach me. As a human rights activist, I use my power to fight injustice in all forms – racial, ethnic, class, citizenship status, sexual and gender orientation.
2. . I commit to being racially aware (rather than color-blind) and to proactively navigate conversations around all forms of oppression. I integrate a DEI lens into my coaching and strategy consulting work. I recognize the difference between surface and transformative efforts. I anticipate where race issues may arise in a client’s work. I am comfortable holding space for people to the experience the discomfort required to move towards equity.
3. As a social scientist and experienced evaluator of social change programs, I know the checkered history of efforts to dismantle white supremacy. I’m versed in the social and psychological research about the mechanism of structural racism and the impacts of oppression on the oppressed. My twenty years spent as an evaluator of major social change programs provides me historical knowledge of government and foundation initiatives. I know which were effective, which fell short or caused more harm -- and why. I help clients avoid reinventing the wheel.
4. Dismantling racism is a lifetime commitment to me, not an “issue of the year.” My family’s history has motivated my career focus on social justice. I’m a progressive white woman raised in North Carolina. So, I’ve spent my whole life getting educated – and re-educated -- in the history racial injustice and the challenge of healing. My journey began with my parents’ decision to send me on a yellow school bus to the newly integrated public schools. Over the last ten years, I have also experienced the chagrin of learning that relatives had used their public service positions to implement Jim Crow laws. Therefore, I believe I have an even greater responsibility to use my privilege to dismantle white supremacy.
5. I continuously improve my own my anti-racism practices. Learning and continuous improvement are core to my identity. Dismantling my own White Supremacy is a lifelong process. I’ve intentionally built my DEI knowledge and skills through formal training, voracious reading and diversifying my social group. The more I learn, the more I see I need to unlearn. By sharing my own journey, I demonstrate to peers with privileged identifies that the benefits of a more just society are well-worth the loss of their unearned privilege.