I, like you, am so sickened by the events that have transpired in the U.S. over these last few days. I'm embarrassed and ashamed of our president's response to these events and I'm heartened and lifted by your responses all over social media and your own blogs: resistance. love. peace.
The U.S., and the world, is in a time of transition. As we move from dark to light, the twilight slowly unveils the boogey men that have been hiding in the dark all along. Institutionalized racism. Bigotry. Greed. Lust. Hate.
I grew up half Native and half white. Always with one foot in one world, one foot in another world, and one hand desperately reaching for the world that had been systematically taken away from me beginning with my grandmother and her years in an Indian boarding school. "Kill the Indian, save the man." I wrote about my lineage here.
In a crowd of brown people, I am mostly white-passing (I pass for a white person). In a crowd of white people, I mostly get asked "What are you?" (because THAT'S a tactful question). I haven't experienced direct racism, but I've accidentally witnessed or overheard it when someone forgot about my lineage. This is an odd feeling-- survivor's guilt?-- of not looking the part enough to get included in the shit. But I know lots of stories about my mother and my grandmother and the racism they experienced. My mother's cat was killed and staked to a fence because it was her cat. When my white grandfather died, his white family came and took everything from my Native grandmother and her-- their-- four children. One of my mother's half-sisters called to apologize a few years ago . . . before asking my mother if she had been saved by Jesus.
It was this insider/outsider and outsider/insider status that led me to pursue a Master's Degree in Intercultural Communication at the University of New Mexico. I studied how we shape, reinforce and pass along our culture identities through communication and through cultural syncreticism. I learned about racism and resistance and resilience. I learned how cultures thrive in spite of systemic genocide. I learned how different people from different cultures can communicate with other people from other cultures in a way that creates harmony and understanding versus discord and chaos.
I learned it all.
And it helped me understand myself and my experience of myself a lot.
But, almost seven years later, I've kept all of this wisdom to myself. I haven't shared it. I haven't helped other women of color or other women of mixed color understand their culture within the dominant white culture. I haven't helped white women understand and communicate with their sisters of color.
I'm changing that.
If you're interested in marrying your coaching or healing practice with sacred and social activism, if you want to learn more about white privilege or how to navigate your own culture within the dominate culture, click here to learn more and to sign up for the first of many virtual panel discussions and training events.
I hope to see you there.
In love and sacred activism,