Almost a year ago, I hosted a retreat at my home here in North Carolina. One of the participants was my friend and fellow faith based life coach Nicole from Pennsylvania (you can meet her here). She invited me to share with you the story of her long drive south. When she arrived, she was clearly distressed. As conversations warmed up, she admitted she had been concerned about traveling to my home. Her family warned her the south might not be as welcoming as she hoped. As she drove past "the most gigantic confederate flags she'd ever seen" flagrantly on display along the highway, she wondered if maybe they had been right. I was mortified that a dear friend would be afraid to come to my home. I said I wanted things to be different. I said as a white woman of privilege I needed to make space for conversations with my peers on this topic. Today, a year later, those words convict me.
Almost exactly a month ago, I posted my previous blog past entitled “In the Image of God: A Mother’s Day Lament.” I wrote it feeling the weight of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and saying my peers, white women of privilege, needed to have a conversation.
Sisters, my sisters, white women of privilege, we have to step into this space and have a conversation. We have to be honest about the role our fear plays in this reality.
Today, just a month later, those words again convict me. Honestly, I have to ask myself why have I not yet pursued having this conversation.
It’s not an easy conversation. I don’t want to make mistakes. I don’t want to upset anyone. I’ve already been told “stop” in a comment thread on my Facebook page. I’m afraid someone will question my intentions. But my silence in the face of all those feelings, along with the silence of so many others, is contributing to the problem. It has been all along. I wish I didn’t have to admit that. It is time for me to accept being uncomfortable and answer this call.
As I was wrestling with all of this, my friend (well she came into my life as my daughter’s friend) Emilee put out a call on her social media. She offered to be in conversation with anyone who wanted to go deeper on this topic. I responded. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in Educational Transformation at Georgetown University and brings skills from her previous role as the Post Baccalaureate Fellow for Social Justice and Community-Engaged Learning at Furman University. In this role she developed an intergroup dialogue program to explore identity, privilege, and implicit bias. It is a blessing to be partnered with her for this conversation.
We are inviting you to come on the journey with us. Beginning Monday, June 22nd at noon EST, we are going to dive into a seven week conversation on our collective white culture. We will be framing our conversation around the book White Fragility by Robin Diangelo and using supplemental material Emilee has curated. We are donating our time and expertise to this experience. We ask that participants make a donation to the anti-racism organization of their choice as a sign of your commitment to the process. You will receive details in your first email.
If you are ready to dive into this work, fill out this form to join our Mondays at noon group. If the timing is bad, but you would like to know when we offer this again, click here to be added to my newsletter list for future opportunities.
Because you are worth it!