Sunday, June 28, 2020

White Fragility Book Chats

7/1 Update: The Virtual book chat was wonderful--women from many locales, jobs, lifestyles joined and began to discuss this book. I look forward to this continued share. I decided not to run the Twitter chat for a number of reasons at this time. 

The words "Walk the walk, don't just talk the talk" rang in my mind as I reacted to George Floyd's murder. I cannot sit idly by and watch inequity occur right before my eyes day after day without doing something about it. That's why I'm hosting three book chats related to the well regarded anti-racist book, White Fragility. This book has been recommended to me from many who I highly regard. The book has also been recommended by respectable news outlets including this article in the New Yorker. 

I am hosting three chats. One is a weekly Tuesday night Google Meet for a small group of interested colleagues and friends, another is a Google slide share where people can simply write their thoughts when they have time, and the third is a Wednesday night Twitter chat at #WhiteFragilityTC at 8 p.m. For each chat, I'll list the questions on Sunday, and then meet according to our schedule.

I read a great quote posted by one of my favorite thought leaders, David Culberhouse, today:
I want to ponder the difference between clarity and certainty. Having read Culberhouse's tweets over a long time now, I know he is continually focused on the ways we need to think and act and the processes we use, rather than the specific acts, decisions, plans. His work focuses on our ever changing world and our need to be able to navigate this with good flexibility and clear mindsets. His work is deep, and I still need to reach to embrace it, but I know that he is on the right path when it comes to how to live in today's world. 

So as I think about these White Fragility book groups, I am thinking of the answers to the questions we'll discuss.

Response to Question One
I am a woman, parent, teacher, wife, neighbor, community member, citizen of the United States, and member of the world community. I strongly believe that when we all have the opportunity to live good, happy lives, everyone is stronger and happier. I don't want to live in a world that leaves some behind and out of the equation of good living. I want to live in a world where we continually work to elevate the lives of all. I want to be a force that helps to forward good living, not hold it back. I know that my White upbringing included racism. I know that the communities I have belonged to and still belong to have racist roots. I want to work against that in myself and in the groups I belong to and work in.

Response to Question Two
I hope to be a better parent, community member, political advocate, and public school teacher. I hope to be able to advocate, make choices, and live in all arenas of my life with greater equity, outreach, and ability to help others in positive ways. I don't like the inequity, lack of opportunity, oppression, and brutality that I witness in real time and via reading and research. I know that a well supported, educated, healthy populous is more apt to be peaceful, happy, and positive. I want that.

Response to Question Three
I plan to read along with the book groups--a few chapters each week. I plan to record my ideas in writing and perhaps, share those thoughts on my blog. I know that this book will be challenging, and I want to take that challenge seriously with the hopes that it will elevate the way I live for myself and others in the days ahead. 

Whenever I embark on a journey like this, I am always curious about where it will take me and how it will affect the work I do.  I wonder what I'll be like on August 5th when this book chat concludes? What changes will reading this book and interacting with these book groups bring to my life? Time will tell?