(Read time 5 minutes + links) I just read the news after a few weeks of avoiding it (because that's needed sometimes for self-care) to see the world is protesting against racial violence after the death of George Floyd. As a white spiritual person who believes everything is vibration, I do not wish to engage, receive or emit the vibration of apathy and complicity with racism, oppression and bypassing. Racism is not political, it's a human rights issue, and exists here in our backyard. I will continue to look the reality of system racism and oppression here in Australia squarely in the eye and I invite you to do the same. Black lives matter here as much as they do anywhere else in the world. This is the tip of the iceberg of racism in Australia. Deaths in Custody - parallels exist. More Black Deaths in Custody There is much more work for us white folks to do. With the onus of systemic power in our hands, the work doesn't end when 'the current crisis is over' after a few posts on Instagram. It isn't over until racism ends. We must undertake consistent anti-racism education, do the inner work to dismantle this system within our psyche and do the outer work so that black people don't keep dying. (If you're new to the concept - privilege is intersectional. You might not have class privilege for example, but you might have racial privilege. This explains white privilege a little. There is a lot more out there if you go looking for it) This is my line in the sand. If I'm not actively being anti-racist, I'm being racist, and instead of watching this unfold and being frozen in feeling, I am taking action and I invite you to consider what action you can take/continue to take in your sphere of influence. Here's two concrete steps I have taken prior to this time, other than reading blogs and books, so you know I'm not just 'jumping on the bandwagon' and I am committed to this:
Unpack Your Privilege self-study course in May 2019 (not Formidable Business - yet)
Gutsy Leadership Circle, six months of anti-oppression leadership group coaching, October 2019 - April 2020
Both of the programs were with Sharyn Holmes, who is a fantastic and fiery anti-oppression educator based in Brisbane. Both programs have been incredible catalysts for my evolution and I can't recommend Sharyn's programs highly enough.
Here's the actions I'm committing to:
Continue to educate myself specifically about First Nations and black people's experiences of racism in Australia (a lot of what I have read is based in the US and I need to be more familiar with the system here)
Develop anti-racism, anti-discrimination, diversity and inclusion policies for my business (currently in progress)
Explore a giving project for my business (eg % of profits donated to support First Nations bail funds)
Support more people on Patreon.
Continue my personal and professional anti-oppression training (it's not over til it's over)
Conduct an audit of:
The people I follow/subscribe to online
Any teachers I have learnt from, am engaged with, or plan to learn from
See if there is a policy or statement on their website
If not, request diversity, inclusion/anti-discrimination policies
If not available, ask why not and for them to create one
Diarise to follow up on the above
If no action, unfollow and stop working with them
Direct more of my money towards people and businesses who are actively working against systemic oppression.
Continue to pull up family and friends who make racist remarks and be more loudly anti-racist
Permanently link to anti-racism teachers I have paid to work with on my site and newsletter (not an affiliate link!)
Using my privilege to raise the voices of black, indigenous and people of colour (this email is an example of doing so)
Be open to being a work in progress and continuing to learn and grow.
There is a lot more I can do and I will continue to add to this list.
As I read from one educator today Rachel Rodgers - if I'm white and I'm not risking something, I'm not doing enough when it comes to anti-racist work. A lot of this is uncomfortable, especially reviewing my teachers, and I will continue to stretch and take personal risks in this space.
I'm not sharing this for your comment, censure or praise. I'm sharing this to:
Set my boundaries - I will not tolerate racism in myself or my community
Walk my talk
Be accountable to myself and hold my fellow white folks accountable
This is something I will continue to talk about from time to time because like I said, racism isn't going away just yet. Although I'm really hopeful all the shit that's been hiding in the shadows and now being brought to the surface is the start of a huge purge of this old collective pattern from our psyches and world, it will only be that if we all do our part and that's what I'm writing to invite you to do:
Keep educating yourself
Keep sending your money where it will support those who need it
If you're not comfortable reading this, notice it, take some breaths and get curious. Reflect a little. Read the links, follow @sharynaholmes on Instagram/Facebook.
If you don't agree, or don't like my boundaries, I bid you farewell and safe journey.Unsubscribe here. I want people in my community who are willing to learn and grow and do deep, uncomfortable work together.
With the biggest love,