The events of this week are pushing me to articulate what it means to work from an anti-racist position in my coaching practice and beyond.
As a white person, I recognize that my understanding of institutional power is clouded by racial privilege – I am not seeing the full picture of racism in academia because I do not directly experience it.
I must believe and affirm the experiences of my colleagues, students, and clients when they tell me that they have experienced racism or that racist practices are happening. I will not dismiss, excuse, or minimize these experiences.
As a white woman, I must not be tantalized by the myth of shared victimhood or a superficial sisterhood. I must recognize the ways that white womanhood has been weaponized against people of colour. I will not prioritize my feeling of comfort over the safety of people of colour. I must recognize that white women actively participate in harm and violence towards people of colour, including within the academy.
I need to pro-actively continue my education about racism, through reading, listening, and participating.
I must not be afraid to talk about race and racism in my classrooms, in meetings, or in my coaching, recognizing that I will sometimes get it wrong and that anyone who takes the time to correct me has done something generous.