As I hold the paradox of grief and hope, I am astonished once again at how winter gives way to the tenderness of spring.
The mass shootings and constant presence of white supremacy stifle me, while at the same time I have been profoundly moved by the deep work of people from all over the world who want to deepen their commitment to justice and show up honestly for each other.
I’m also celebrating 6 months since I launched my social justice consulting firm, Beyond Conflict! After 20 years of side hustles, I am now working full time centering racial and gender justice.
Changing organizational culture to be more engaged, honest, and fair is a lot like digging up the backyard to create something more beautiful. I need to keep at it if I want to see progress and some days feel better than others. The work has been hard and has required so much collaboration, effort and vision.
White supremacy culture is eating away at our communities. All over the country communities and organizations are stretching into more courageous conversations about structural racism and systems change. Practices on my heart:
Slowing down: reducing productivity to allow for more spaciousness in our routines and workdays.
Building: weaving fabrics of trust to hold us as we engage in the deep and honest work of becoming communities of resistance.
Grieving: feeling the horror of racism, pandemic death tolls, and mass shootings with our hearts open.
Designing: committing to creating cultures which are equal parts accountability and support.
You are getting this Postcard from North Carolina as a former client or colleague, or friend of mine. My postcards drop the first Friday of the month, come from my heart and practice in Greensboro, North Carolina. From art, politics and literature, I lift up people and work that inspire me, and highlight some wonderful places to support with your time or treasure.
We Lived Happily During the War
Ilya Kaminsky - 1977-
And when they bombed other people’s houses, we
but not enough, we opposed them but not
enough. I was
in my bed, around my bed America
was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house.
I took a chair outside and watched the sun.
In the sixth month
of a disastrous reign in the house of money
in the street of money in the city of money in the country of money,
My favorite read from 2020, was Resmaa Mensah’s My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. As we consider how trauma and policing prevent us from building practices for collective liberation, this book is a great invitation to consider our hurt, as white, black and brown and police bodies. As a white person, I am deeply moved by his call to white people - that we take up the work with clarity and intention:
...especially want to draw white Americans’ attention to this. White fragility is a lie, a dodge, a myth, and a form of denial. White Americans can create culture that confronts and dismantles white-body supremacy. Any suggestion that they are unable to rise to this challenge is a lie. White Americans are anything but helpless or fragile; they are (of course) precisely as capable as other human beings. But they need to refuse to dodge the responsibility of confronting white-body supremacy—or the responsibility of growing up.
Finding Freedom: White Women Taking On Our Own White Supremacy - 5 weeks in June/July: Check in at We Are Finding Freedomfor more information.
The High Price of Nice - A new and intense course I am co-teaching with Cheryl Dalton about saying no in service of yes.