As I shared on Instagram this week, once a month I will be writing up a post around all the things I learn and the resources I have found helpful in dealing with my own White Supremacy. I usually do all my learning and growing work myself in quiet. I have the tough conversations in my own circles, I read, I educate myself. And only once I have "mastered" a topic will I really come out into the world and talk about it on my platforms where I am able to help educate others. However, I don't believe racism is a topic we can ever truly master. I think it is a topic we will have to be confronted with for the rest of our lives.
Maybe you have heard this sentiment of not asking Black people what you can do right now. I completely understand that. We don’t need to drain Black people more than we already have. Since racism is a problem created by White people, we also have to be the ones to do the work and help dismantle it.
That is why I have decided to share my own resources. I know a lot of you feel overwhelmed where to start, so maybe it is helpful to see what I am doing and maybe it will get you started in one way or another. I know everyone just says "google it”. And I agree! However, I also know that when overwhelm hits all we do is freeze, hide, and end up not doing anything at all. So I would rather share in the hopes that it will inspire you to do something. I would also love to hear from you what resources you are using. So please feel free to send me a love note (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will feature your resources here, too.
I shared that for me, the most important work is within the wellness industry and post-natal recovery for all moms. Both are areas I work in and that both hold a lot of White privilege.
It is my own White Privilege that has never let me see color in the wellness industry. I have always wondered why there aren't more Black people or really People of Color (think Indians for Yoga!) but I have never looked deeper into it, thought more about it, or actively sought out teachers, mentors, or hired someone from the BIPOC community. That is absolutely 100% my mistake, my ignorance, and my White Supremacy, and for that I am sorry!
I know how hard it is as a woman to be part of the wellness industry, build a platform, and have a voice. I can only imagine how much more difficult - really impossible - it must be for BIPOC. That is why my first efforts on learning what I can about this problem has been to find voices that I love, teachers I want to learn from, I have enrolled in their courses, bought their products, and I am listening every day to learn more about their struggles. That is the least I can do! If you are in the wellness industry or just in general interested in wellness, then please check out the amazing people listed below. We can only change the face of the wellness industry if we ourselves are willing to ask the uncomfortable questions and learn why we haven’t supported more BIPOC. But learning why isn't enough. Then take actions, support, amplify, do something that will have long-lasting change.
Next, as you may know I am very vocal about the lack of support for new mothers in the post-natal recovery phase. The health care system isn't set up to really help mothers; the wellbeing of the baby is the primary focus. The lack of adequate maternity leave, the loss of our community that used to help us raise our kids, and the turning away from traditional recovery practices all lead to mothers to being burned out and eventually getting sick. Now imagine if you are a Black woman. Serena Williams made huge headlines after her birth because doctors weren't listening to her health concerns. Even if you are the most famous tennis star in the world you do not get the right treatment due to your skin color!
So, that is the other area where my focus will go. I have always had the concept of "buy one, give one" for my post-natal bundles even though I have never officially talked about this. I usually would find single moms to gift a bundle to through the doulas I work with. However, now I will focus that gifting on Black single moms who need the post-natal support. This will happen once it will be save for me to distribute the bundles again (not sure when!?).
That is it for now. I will also add a new book of the month again with books I am reading to educate myself on the topic of racism and dismantling it. So keep your eyes open for that.
Here are resources and wonderful, knowledgable people I am currently learning from:
I am currently reading and journaling daily with Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad (this will also be the book of the month for June).
Chrissy King: Follow her to find out more about inequality and racism in the wellness industry. I have signed up for her Crash Course on Anti-Racism for Wellness Professionals because again I believe I am 100% the problem and need to be part of the solution!
Faith Hunter: a beautiful meditation and yoga instructor I have just found and her mediations are just simply divine. I featured her last Sunday for the Cozy Sunday Meditation instead of putting out my own. Honestly, some of this work also requires me to look within myself and maybe not take up so much real estate in the wellness world and instead point to people who are doing a better job than I ever could and help amplify their work and voices.
Tracee Stanley: I took a Yoga Nidra course with her this week and I have done A LOT of Yoga Nidra and this by far was the most amazing experience ever. Please go and support her course on Commune and take some time to rest your nervous system. It is so crucial that we continue to focus on self-care so that we can have the energy and strength to go out into the world and fight the fight.
Susanna Barkataki: I have been following Susanna’s work for a couple of years already, slowly changing my perspective of how yoga’s roots aren't honored in the wellness industry. FYI: Her work is why I don't say 'Namaste' after a yoga class anymore. Follow her on Instagram, do her free online training, and await her book.
Diversity and Resiliency Institute’s Anti-Racism Training: this training is completely free and covers everything you may have not learned about racism and American history plus what you yourself can do. I highly recommend this training and it is completely mind-blowing how many facts us White people just don't know.
Just a few facts I have learned:
The Police is not here to serve and protect citizens. The Police in the USA was founded during the time of slavery to catch run-away slaves, beat them, and bring them back. The violence and the hunting is built into the system. That is why everyone is screaming for the police department to be dismantled. This does not mean that there will be no protection, but that for the first time there actually will be a new department that will deal with safety and not violence. Also, research how much it costs to fund the police! What if that money could go towards education, health care, mental health support, and building communities? This would automatically drop crime rates.
The Tulsa race massacre - google it! It’s disgusting and completely misrepresented in history books. It is not a riot because a riot would imply that Black people were rioting and then they were shut down. Black people weren’t doing anything so this is called a massacre - a brutal slaughtering!
Capitalize B in Black people otherwise I am just talking about a color in Baby Zand’s crayon set and not actually about human beings with their own stories. Lesson learned!
Finally, the question I ask myself every day isn't just what I can I learn and do, but more importantly what can I do that will have long-lasting effects. I don't just want to take one yoga class from a Black person and call it a day! It needs to be something I can do ongoing to continue to support and amplify the voices of women not heard enough.