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EP 04: How I can prioritize listening without seeming silent on the issues?

Dec 17, 2020

In this session, we answer the question: How I can prioritize listening without seeming silent on the issues?

Join us at the Inclusion 1st Project as we explore inclusion via the questions and discourse created by allyship in the Anti-racist Movement.



  • Learn how you can listen WHILE showing allyship and action in the Anti-racist movement.










Session Topic: How I can prioritize listening without seeming silent on the issues?



Kyle: OK, so the next question is how, as an anti-racist white person, do I walk the line when listening to a marginalized person or we were talking about BIPAC, which is black indigenous person of color. How do I listen in an engaging manner and not look like I'm being silent or complicit? So if you want to jump into that, yeah, I think that's a great question.

Carrie: I mean, it really speaks to that fear of I don't want to look like I'm doing the wrong thing or I don't want to be considered racist or I need to figure out what I can do. And I would just say, like, it's OK to, relax and be thoughtful. It's fine. It's a great thing to listen. And just because you're listening, when we're having a conversation, when you're having a conversation with the normal person, you don't always need to talk. It's totally OK to listen and to hold space for someone. 

Carrie: And so I would just say when it's your turn to listen, just listen and be comfortable in that because this movement isn't about you taking a rush to action. It really is about you educating yourself and understanding how you can best contribute to the cause. And in some cases, that might actually be just listening to one of the people around you, whether this is about gay rights, whether it be about Black Lives Matter, just listening and being a support system for the person who is trying to express their experience and their thoughts with you at that particular moment. We know that silence in a lot of cases can be a bad thing. But in this case, I'm holding space for someone. I don't think that it's a bad thing. And I think it's the appropriate thing to do at that time.

Kyle: You're right like silence goes both ways. I think there is this perception right now that we're dealing with this pressure to create as you said, a rushed reaction, a rushed response, like quick say something so that you're not perceived as staying silent or complicit. But I would definitely double down on what Carrie said in terms of take a pause and ask yourself again, am I worried more about the perception about me, or am I worried about making meaningful change? And sometimes that means listening for a very long time. First, before you figure out what your stock or your clearance or your action may be. So I double down on what Carrie said in terms of taking a deep breath and don't rush to anything, be OK, holding space. I'm listening. And that goes across the board like you and me have the right and any human relationship. Make sure you're listening first because I think that when you do list, you learn the most likely.


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