Systems Change pursued without Deep Equity is, in our experience, dangerous and can cause harm, and in fact leaves some of the critical elements of systems unchanged. And ‘equity’ pursued without ‘Systems Change’ is not comprehensive at the level of effectiveness currently needed. ~Sheryl Petty, Change Elemental
Start where you are.
Let go of some of the fear and begin.
With racial equity (but really with all forms of equity), it’s necessary for leaders to genuinely “onboard” themselves into this conversation and establish new awareness, accountability structures, norms, and policies if they haven’t already begun this work, seriously. Stina recognizes her privilege, power, and inherent bias as a white, able-bodied, educated, English-speaking, housed, youngish, colonized citizen of what we call Canada. She is continuously learning, challenging herself and apologizing when she makes mistakes.
(You’ll make them too… get bendy.)
For decolonization, cultural safety planning resources, workshops, courses and advising, please check out IndigenEYEZ‘s kinSHIFT trainings with Kelly Terbasket and team, Nahanee Creative workshops, Reconciliation Canada’s current programs and Indigenous Canada – a MOOC (free online self-paced course) offered through the University of Alberta.
If you are white and motivated to engage in this work more deeply on an individual level, I highly recommend Before We Were White from whiteawake.org. I’ve also had trusted US colleagues highly recommend Whiteness at Work.
If you live in this system of white supremacy, you are either fighting the system of you are complicit. There is no neutrality to be had towards systems of injustice, it is not something you can just opt out of. ~Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race
Equality says we treat everyone the same, regardless of headwinds or tailwinds. Equity says we give people what they need to have the same access and opportunities as others, taking into account the headwinds they face, which may mean differential treatment for some groups. ~Dolly Chugh, PhD, The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias
Stina is often asked to help individuals and organizations start or deepen their journey with workplace equity, especially in organizations with predominantly white leadership or culture. This is the “onramp” to unpack unconscious bias, privilege, and to establish new accountability on your journey to becoming anti-racist. But that’s just the beginning. All leaders and organizations are at different points on their DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, Belonging) journey. Stina’s encouragement is to start where you are. Let go of some of the fear and begin. If you did not know that institutional whiteness is a thing – you may need to head to the onramp immediately!
WARNING! If you blow past “the work” of becoming anti-racist and go directly to promoting how “woke” you or your organization is – the blow-back is earned.
You will be called out. The motivation could be inauthentic – driven by external demands or as a part of a public relations strategy – or motivated by a belief that it is the “right thing to do”. Hopefully – it’s about taking responsibility: for leading – challenging and dismantling injustices and inviting new inclusive and more just ways of being. Hopefully it’s about caring.
I firmly believe we (white folks) need to do our homework. To start where we are in learning and practice – to understand our privilege, to really own the harm of our ignorance, take responsibility and see how systemic racism has benefited/does benefit us to the detriment of others. We can be more self-responsible, accountable, and part of building a better world. We can move from individualistic to collective liberation.
To DONATE to the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society, click here: https://www.irsss.ca/donate
As builders, we are ready to look at ourselves as individuals who carry unconscious biases and examine ourselves as a part of systems in which biases are baked in culturally, legally, and structurally. To confront both unconscious and systemic bias, we will need to keep our growth mindsets activated. ~Dolly Chugh
More Resources for Individuals + Organizations
- The Person You Mean To Be: Book, by Dolly Chugh shorter video, and longer video
- So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo and Ijeoma Oluo on the Dangers of White Male Mediocrity
- Privilege self-assessment Article and Worksheet
- How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibrahm X Kendri and video
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Deep Diversity by Shakil Choudhury
- Do Better by Rachel Ricketts and other resources
- The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole (video)
- The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture From Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups
- Equity in the Center works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase race equity.
To jump to a great article on addressing white supremacy culture in organizations (where “white ways of being and doing are valued over other ways of being and doing”), in the time of Covid, click here.
To explore the Continuum on Becoming a Transformative Anti-Oppression Organization, head to Anti-oppression Resource and Training Alliance’s page (AORTA).
White folks’ particular reluctance to acknowledge their impact as a collective, while continuing to benefit from the construct of the collective, leaves a wound intact without a dressing… Truth is necessary for reconciliation.
~ Reverend angel Kyodo williams Radical Dharma
Stina helps leaders see, study, and support themselves – in service of their visions for what the world can be. She designs and leads processes to create new human capacity and well-being, new shared awareness, new relationships, new trust, new vision, new clarity, and new plans. Read more about me here