This morning I feel I have landed enough to at least begin to write about the events of the last couple of weeks. It has been a heartbreaking and challenging time in the US and indeed around the globe in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the protests and vigils in response to his death and those of so many other black citizens, and the animation of much needed conversations and policy shifts to acknowledge structural racism in our society.
I shared a post recently on my personal Facebook page about how I am navigating these times with my family, and I want to also share it below along with resources.
I am deep in a process of listening, both to black, brown and indigenous leaders and authors and to my inner guidance.
As a white, educated woman with many privileges, I want to do and be better.
And I believe the journey inward, through the Enneagram and other awareness tools like meditation, are valuable resources that can ground and equip us for the work at hand.
Finding wholeness within enables us to commit ourselves more fully toward healing and accountability and justice.
Creating racial equity is a long game, but I believe in the capacity of the earth and human society to heal and renew.
Flourishing is never a solidary enterprise.
Let’s keep taking steps, together.
A few months ago a friend organized these porch family portraits in our cohousing community. I completely forgot about the photoshoot so we literally pried our kids off the couch and I washed my hands from a morning in the garden and so we are captured. Human family in our natural state.
There is so much pain in the collective forcefield right now with the killing of #georgefloyd and I feel grief and sadness and anger and the slow-burn desire as a white-bodied woman to do and to be better.
It is an intense time to be alive and to parent.
And one social media post and donation is just a tiny turtle step.
But I do believe our words matter. And our money. And our relationships.
I want to be an ally. Imperfect but open.
I want to raise white children who are unequivocally aware that #blacklivesmatter.
And I am committed to the conversations, education and deepening awareness work that show me how to do my part.
Here are two resources that I have found this week that I am leaning into:
One is a donation opportunity, The Loveland Foundation, especially their therapy fund which supports Black women and girls in accessing mental health care — because healing impacts generations.
And the second is a book, called My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem.
I haven’t yet read this book but it comes highly recommended and Rich and I are doing it together. In the little I have read so far I appreciate the way it approaches the topic of racial injustice through the lens of our bodies and also offers a human scale step-by-step healing process alongside the needed societal view. It is available via Amazon in kindle and audible form, and the hardcover is available is on the author’s website.
I am also inspired by these words from Andréa Ranaej:
“anti-racism is not an identity or a checklist; it’s a practice.”
I would love for you to join me in donating, reading, inspired activism, listening and learning. And I would love to hear what resources you are leaning into right now. Reply to share more.
Photo Credit. The photographer of this pic, Ariel Shumaker, didn’t want payment but requested that we make a donation to support the community during Covid 19. We made a donation to a local health organization here in Asheville which supports underserved communities of color.
Harvard Kennedy School — On how to translate a movement sparked by tragedy into policy change. *So much good writing and thinking here to take in. Marshal Ganz is one of my favorite professors and community organizing experts.
When it comes to money I am all for following your heart. This week I am supporting the Loveland Foundation mentioned above offering mental health support for black girls and women and supporting local black doulas caring for families and new mothers during this challenging time.
In the wake of this week I am thirsty for more writing from black, brown and indigenous authors.
Maya Angelo has long been comfort food. I think we need poetry right now to fuel our heart’s expansion.
My Grandmother’s Hands (a signed hardcopy I’m excited about) is en route. I have just taken a little look at the Kindle version (I do better with paper copies) and it looks really compelling.
I just re-read The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. The intro ALONE was some of the best writing I’ve read in a while. Such a commitment to service through her words. In tiny stories she opens up a portrait of life in her Spanish-speaking community in Chicago. Also a good option for young readers, middle school on up.
I’m part way through Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a botanist and member of Citizen Potawatomi Nation. SO GOOD. Changing the way I look at plants and people and teaching me new words to have the conversation I want to be having.
Right now I am mostly listening for what is mine to do and educating myself. But I am fortunate to have neighbors who show me where and how to plug into the Asheville community. I wrote a letter to the city council in support of increasing funding for black entrepreneurs and educational opportunities. I am learning how to support the on the ground changes that are needed.
And I would love to hear from you! There are so many powerful ways to participate in change, in your local community and beyond.
I’d love to hear where you are inspired to plug in. And I hope you are taking good care of yourself along the way. xo Courtney
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