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Session 14: Transcript

Mar 24, 2021

Session 14: Transcript

Session Topic: Anti-racism for Allies Q&A Session - Co-host Monique Mendoza

Carrie: Hello and welcome, everyone. Thank you so much for coming to our anti-racism for allies, what do you do when you don't know where to start? And so today we are going to be taking a bunch of questions right, where people are no judgment, safe space. So my name is Carrie Sawyer and you are here with the Inclusion First project. And we have an incredible guest today. Her name is Monique Mendoza and she is with UCSD Health and she also is a consultant. So, Monique, I would love for you to introduce yourself to our audience.

Monique: Hi, everyone, thank you for joining us. I'm excited to be here again. My name is Monique Mendoza. I'm a psychologist, a consultant. I work in program management and have done that work, both health care and higher education environments.

Monique: I'm so excited to be a part of the inclusion first project. And hearing all of your questions just excites me to understand how we can reveal more answers and get to more action as we move forward with this project. So thank you all for joining us today.

Carrie: Thank you so much, Monique. And so we are going to go through just a couple of slides and then we will jump right into the contents of our goal today, of course, is to answer as many questions as possible. So to that end, we have questions that have been submitted ahead of time and we have several that we are going to be jumping to. But then if you have a question that comes up for you or you brought one in your mind already, feel free to throw that either into the chat or into the Q&A. And we will answer that as we go as well. And if you like to stay anonymous, then you can actually when you submit your question via the Q&A, there's a little drop-down by your name where you can switch it to Anonymous. That way we won't know who it is and you can keep your anonymity. And then we're not going to be calling out any names while we're on here today just to let people again be in this safe space. No judgment. And we'll answer all the questions that we can get to in the next 60 minutes or so. Before we start, we just like to give a little bit of an idea of what to expect. So tonight's flow, we're going to spend just a little bit of time setting our collective tone. We're going to offer some definitions. It's always great to be on the same page when we talk about anti-racism and allies like what are those things mean? We'll talk a little bit about that and then we'll jump right into the questions for the remainder of the time that we have together tonight. So I started to allude to this already. We really want to create a positive space, and so this is a safe space. All questions are welcome that are asked in the spirit of learning and wanting to know more and do more. There's no shame, no blame. This is a judgment-free zone. And so a couple of things that we're also doing while we're here today is we are modeling how to have these conversations around race. And so you can take some of these tips, some of these frameworks back into your own life, whether that be work or home or anywhere in between. And the first point that we like to bring up in that area is that we are speaking for ourselves only. I am not speaking for all black people or black women or San Diego ins. Monique is not speaking for all Mexican Americans or mothers or Sandy Higgins. We're just speaking as our own selves based on our own experiences. As you're having these conversations as well in your own lives, take the person as they are, drop all stereotypes, drop all assumptions, ask questions, get curious and really be with that person who is in front of you.

Carrie: We also wanted to say caveat this, that we don't know everything and that goes for everyone. Right? I don't know every single thing about being black. I don't know everything about black history. I don't know everything about the black experience. I only know about mine. And that's actually part of this. This is a journey that we're on together today and throughout the rest of our lives. Right. So our job is to keep learning, keep growing, keep running into those barriers when we don't understand, keep getting back up and keep learning more. And so everyone is at a different point in this journey. And that is a-OK like I said before, there's really no shame or blame. We all know different things and we're coming to this table together to learn and grow together. But what that looks like its going to be completely different for every person.

Carrie: Your role in driving change is going to be unique to you because we're all positioned uniquely in a family circle, in a work circle, in a community circle. And how you are able to influence people and what you're able to show and do and say is going to be completely based on who you are, what you know, and the skills that you have. So we just encourage you to find that spot, find that space, find that sweet spot where you're just able to lead by example. But that's going to look different, different for you. So anything to add to this list as people are thinking about how to have conversations around race and creating that safe space for dialog.

Monique: One of the biggest pieces about it is being open to where you're going to fit in that conversation and in that dialog and that and we'll talk a little bit about this as we move forward and even within some of our questions. But it might look different. It might be speaking up. It might be taking a step back and listening.

Monique: And so it's an awesome opportunity to give yourself a reminder that where you are in that process is going to look different from every question that we're going to post today and every different environment that people are coming from.

Carrie: Exactly. Well said. OK, so again, we encourage you to send questions in the Q&A, so feel free to do that at any point. We're going to start by talking about some definitions and today we're going to do a little differently than we have in the past. So if you've been with us before, you're tuning in for new questions. You'll get to see something different in this intro as well. And so we're starting off with Antiracist and this is by Dr. Kenny. This is from his book, How to Be an Anti-racist. And this is a really academic definition. So we're going to talk a little bit about what this means in real terms as well. So ANTIRACIST is someone who is supporting an anti-racist policy through their actions or expressing anti-racist ideas. This includes the expression of ideas that racial groups are equal and do not see developing and supporting policies that reduce racial inequity. OK, Monique, how would you translate that into regular people terms?


Monique: I really think about it as a place of being action-oriented. So, anti-racist to me is looking at it from a place of being action-oriented. So anti-racist to me is looking at it from the place of action.

Monique: What are the ways that we are going to continue this work and what are some of the action words that we can place on some of the ways that we're going to be challenging these racially inequitable policies, practices that we see or that we're confronted with every day?

Carrie: Yes, that was great. That was great, and I just echoed Monique on this action-oriented idea.

Carrie: And so the biggest part of being anti-racist and supporting anti-racism is really around the place where it says the expressing the ideas that racial groups are equal and that no one needs developing. And so this idea that one is better than the other or that people have unique flaws or somehow lower, that's not in the anti-racism definition. I mean, that's actually on the racist side. Right. And so we are all the same. And this comes from just the historical structuring of how black people were. I can't remember the percentage of a person. It was like three-fifths or it was a small amount of a person. We weren't classified as a whole human being. And so that justified the treatment of slaves. And so now in this anti-racism world and paradigm, everyone is equal no matter what. Right. And this is just that that's really the basis of it. So anti-racism specifically is the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. And I love this because it talks about basically all areas of life. Right? So no one is actively opposing the area of anti-racism. There is no neutral. There's no Switzerland. Either you are supporting anti-racism or you aren't, which means that you're supporting racism. Inactivity allows racist structures and racist ideas to continue and in that, you are not supporting anti-racism. And so that's kind of where that line is. And then this is really through. Right. So in politics, in the government and in economics and how our money is moving and how we have access or not. And then in our social life, which of course is everything. And so looking at all of these structures and looking all around everywhere for opportunities to hold up anti-racism and to break down the racist structures that are around us.

Monique: I think some pieces with that is that it also includes the ideas around the personal changes that we'll need to make or even understand within ourselves and some of the structures that may be historically we've had or just. Our family history or those types of things, so it's also working to actively oppose those and how they look at all of the changes across all of those structures.

Carrie: Yep, absolutely. And I think that what you said was wrapped up really nicely in this quote by Lubow. So she wrote a book called Let's Talk About Race. Anti-Racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And so we know that there's racism built in a lot of the systems and structures around us. But because we live in a racist society, racism is also built into us. And so it's our job to find out where those biases are, where those prejudices are, and pull them out and replace them with more inclusive thinking and with more ways to connect people versus across these racial judgments that are very ingrained in our society. So I wanted to share a video and some of you may have seen this before, but as we're talking about antiracism, one of the questions that comes up is like, OK, so this is anti-racism. What is racism? And so there is this really great YouTube video. You might have seen it circulating that talks about systemic racism. And so we're going to show it's just like four minutes long and then we're going to talk a little bit, a little bit about it. And if you have questions or have comments on it, feel free to dump those in the child. We'll bring those up as well. All right. So I'm going to share my screen.

Carrie: So I'm going to click the computer sound OK, good. 

YouTube Video: All right, this is Jamal Jamal, the boy who lives in a poor neighborhood. He has a friend named Kevin who lives in a wealthy neighborhood. Most neighbors are African-American and all of Kevin's neighbors are white because the stromal school district is mostly funded by property taxes. His school is not very well funded. His classrooms are overcrowded as teachers are underpaid and he doesn't have access to high-quality tutors or extracurricular activities. Kevin School District is also funded by property taxes, so high school is very well funded. His classrooms are never crowded, his teachers are very well paid, and he has access to high-quality tutors and lots of extracurricular activities. Kevin and Jamal live only a few streets away from each other. So how come they're growing up in such different worlds with such different opportunities for success? The answer has to do with America's history of systemic racism. To understand that better, let's look at what life was like for Kevin and Jamal's grandparents. Decades after the Civil War, many government agencies started to draw maps dividing cities into sections that were either desirable or undesirable for investment. This practice was called redlining, and it usually blocked off entire black neighborhoods from access to private and public investment. Banks and insurance companies use these maps for decades to deny black people loans and other services based purely on race. Historically speaking, owning a home and getting a college education is the easiest way for an American family to build wealth. But when Jamal's grandparents wanted to buy a house, the banks refused because they lived in a neighborhood that was redlining. So your mom's grandparents were not able to buy a home. And because colleges could prevent them from attending through legal segregation, their options for higher education were really scarce. Kevin's grandparents, on the other hand, at a low-interest loan to buy their first house and get accepted into a handful of top universities, which traditionally only accepted white students. This opened up a wealth of opportunities that they were able to pass on to their kids and grandkids even as late as the 1980s. An investigation into the Atlanta real estate market showed that banks were more willing to lend to low-income white families than to middle or upper-income African-American families. As a result, today, for every hundred dollars of wealth held by a white family. Black families have five dollars and four cents in 2017. The study confirms that redlining is still affecting home values in major cities like Chicago today. This explains how Kevin and Jamal inherited vastly different circumstances. Unfortunately, the story doesn't end there. A big part of systemic racism is implicit bias. These are prejudices in society that people are not aware that they have. Let's go back to Kevin and Jamal. Against all odds, Jamal manages to be the only student from his high school to get accepted into a great university, the same one that Kevin and his high school friends are attending. But after Kevin and Jamal both graduate, Jamal notices that his resume isn't drawn as much interest as Kevin's, even though they graduated from the same program with the exact same GPA. Unfortunately for Jamal, studies show that resumes with white-sounding names get twice as many callbacks as identical resumes with black-sounding names. Implicit bias is one of the reasons why the black unemployment rate is twice the rate of white unemployment, even among college graduates. Today, you can see evidence of systemic racism in every area of life. The disparities in family wealth, incarceration rates, political representation, and education are all examples of systemic racism. Unfortunately, the biggest challenge was systemic racism is that there's no single person or entity responsible for it, which makes it very hard to solve. So what can you do? The first thing you can do is work towards becoming more aware of your own implicit biases. What are some prejudices that you might hold that you're not aware of? Second, let's acknowledge that the consequences of slavery and Jim Crow laws are still affecting access to opportunity today. As a result, we should support systemic changes that create more equal opportunities for everyone. Increasing public school funding and making it independent from property taxes would be a great start so the poor and wealthy districts can receive equal access to resources. Systemic problems require systemic solutions. Luckily, we're all part of the system, which means that we all have a role to play in making it a better peace.

Carrie: OK, awesome.

Carrie: So I really like I mean, I like all cartoons, especially in this space, just because it's like a simple way to talk about the stuff. But we're not going to watch or hear Chris Rock right now. It looks like the Ottoway, OK. And Chris, you are not invited to this at this time. Maybe another time we can interview him. But I love watching cartoons because it just lays it out in a really simple way. And the first thing that I saw that video actually learned a lot about, I don't have children. And so how property taxes, impact of education, that wasn't something that I was actually aware of. And so we're always learning. We're always learning new things. But it just starts to show just and I think that cartoon just scratches the surface of, like, systemic racism. It's just giving you examples of different areas because there are probably like 15 more sectors. Every sector basically has racism built into it. And there are so many other negative impacts that come from it. But I think that's really just a nice overview of what racism looks like in play in the systems that govern our whole world and definitely our country in our lives. What were your thoughts around that video and some of the messages that you see?

Monique: Not one for the first time or just being introduced, the idea of systemic racism, it can really feel like, wow, what is going to be my role as an individual in tackling this idea and this like this history of systemic racism within our country? It feels very daunting and it can feel very overwhelming. But I think what we'll talk about today and some of the questions and what I like about the end of the video is where are the places that we can continue to educate ourselves around what systemic racism looks like and what is the what kind of questions you may be asking about our policies or practices in particular, just what the ways that hiring works within our organizations or areas and hearing about those, whether or not that's an experience someone has had and hearing about it and listening to it, paying attention to some of the experiences that anybody has had as they process through any of those systems. So it's just a great test to be able to talk about how an individual can really seek to understand more about systemic racism and their role as a cog in the wheel.

Carrie: Yes, absolutely. And understanding where we sit is kind of like that first step to understanding where we can make a difference and to Monique's point like it is or only because it is everywhere. Right. But that's why it's important for you to do kind of that self-work, to understand where you are and then pick something that is important to you. Right. Pick something that's meaningful. Maybe it's meaningful because you have children and you want to see equity brought to the school system. Maybe it's important to you because that's the field that you're working in and you're already an expert. You already know the lay of the land in this space. And so you're uniquely positioned again to make that difference. Right. And it also could be just in your own social circles as well in your family, the conversations that you're having or not having as well.

Carrie: So it's a process, but that's why we're here. We're here to learn and to start to think about where we would do it because we have a lot of choices. You have a lot of options on how to step into this for sure.

Carrie: OK, so we are going to jump into some of the questions that were submitted for this week's workshop. I'm going to be the first one to you, Mo, and then I'll let you go on it and I'll jump in and we can just kind of go back and forth. OK, so the first one, I completely support the anti-racism movement, but recently I've been feeling like it's losing momentum and people aren't caring as much anymore. What can I do and how often should I be doing it to keep the momentum going?

Monique: I love this question around the idea of where is this going? And we have talked about this a couple of weeks ago, as the momentum was largely in social media, in looking and seeing how we push this movement forward. There was so much attention. There was more media attention to protests and actions you can take and ways that you can support. And in the context of social media and events that happen and things that are grabbing our attention, it's going to shift. And so maybe it's shifting now to a different thing that's going to be a major focus for our country. But that doesn't mean that the work and the effort in the Black Lives movement is over or has dissipated in any way if it's been on your radar or if it was brought to your radar because of those avenues of white social media movement or hearing about the protests, I think it's safe to say that that's something that was brought to you instead of something that you were seeking out. Now, what are the challenges with that? Is that this is an opportunity to continue to seek out you're here. You've gotten to the place of being completely supportive of the anti-racism movement. So that is step one. Great. You're on board. Step two is how do you continue your own momentum with that? And that can be in bigger or smaller ways. Maybe it's finding those avenues where you were hearing continuously about that information and following that because they're still putting out information. Maybe it's maybe as simple as, you know what, I'm going to set like a calendar reminder every week to dove in and see where it's at, what's going on. And then it's also thinking about what you want to be? Where are the places where you want to see that movement and that change happen that maybe you're curious about whether or not that momentum has stopped in that area or what you would like to see moving forward? And how can you continue to push that within your full support of the movement? So, Kari, I'm curious about your thoughts about this, too.

Carrie: Yeah, I love just thinking about what you want to see, because at the end of the day, this is about the world that we want to create. And so thinking more deeply about that. And then where do you want to see that? And I think we all have a really big opportunity, both in our social circles and then in the places where we work.

Carrie: And I think that as a DNI professional and I know that this is happening at your work as well as a lot of companies are like we want diversity and inclusion like people and training and all of these things. So even though that might not be on social media, that work is absolutely happening. And so being able to maybe raise your hand and be a part of that, even if that makes you feel uncomfortable because you're not an expert, this is a great opportunity to start to learn, to start to lend your voice and start to lend your perspective. Because what we really need right now are bridges. I feel like a liaison between the work that is happening and the people who are entering this conversation for the first time, new allies being that example, like, hey, maybe I don't know how to do this exactly, but I'm willing to learn. And so understanding what that looks like, might be amplifying voices that might be asking you for leadership at work. What are we doing? What is the plan for diversity, inclusion for us? How are we making sure that this is an intentional strategic initiative versus kind of a check the box? Right. So I think there are lots of things that we can do, just understanding what's happening at our work and potentially being another set of eyes and ears and hands to help move that forward. And then also thinking about what that looks like in our home life. Do you have kids? Are you in conversations where you could have the opportunity to stand up and try to disrupt some stereotypes or some racist ideas? Right. And so this idea of I'm one of the examples I like to give is like it's no longer acceptable. Like if you hear someone say, oh, that's so gay. Like if you say that around people, they're like, what do you mean by that? Like, it's not gay, actually, like that's not a thing. Right. And so when you're having these conversations and it's not just about like black and white. Right. Like anti-racism is between like all races and anti-racism, like sexism, homophobic xenophobia, like all of these different things. It's all of the same skill set. And so you have an opportunity to become a disruptor and an interrupter in your social circles and in your family circles as well. And so I know, of course, that can be easier said than done. And sometimes you'll see something or hear something that's like often you'll be like you'll get kind of caught up because you weren't expecting it. And you're like, oh, gosh, this is it. This is the moment for me to be the interrupter. What do I do? And sometimes we freeze at that moment. And it passes and we're like, I missed it. Like I missed it. And then we get down on ourselves. But the thing is, the first step is noticing those moments happening because if you notice and you don't say anything, I guarantee the next time you're going to be that much more. To try to say something and try to interrupt as well. Just looking for those opportunities and really starting to talk a lot about educating yourself, follow those different sources where you were seeing that information before, looking at those podcasts, watching those movies, reading those books to start to again understand like where is your privilege and where are parts of American history that maybe I don't understand that lead to these racist systems so that I can have these and be armed with this information as I'm navigating both my social and professional spaces. So I think that there's a lot that we can do. And also just thinking about the fact that you know, the media has a different agenda than what we think it is. Right. And just because stuff isn't happening on social media as much as it was doesn't mean that a lot of stuff isn't happening because they've got their whole other thing going on. And we're about to enter like hardcore election season. And we're going to start to see the media's agenda many, many times over. So just always keep that in mind as well.

Monique: One of the pieces around the campaign in the way that it started. When I got to a place of discomfort with what we were saying and what we were understanding about our history and what's happening in our country today.

Monique: I think an easy question to post yourself is, am I OK with the way that it is right now? And if it if it's a yes thinking, like, does that mean that I'm supporting the anti-racism movement? And if it's a no, then your next thing is, OK, what are the ways that I am going to challenge that? And what is it at work? Is it at home? Is it continuing my education by reading my viewing and just having that check for yourself can be a really good place to see that the movement is still within you if there's a place of discomfort with the way that you see it today?

Carrie: Yeah, absolutely. That's good. OK, do you want to read me the next question? I'll go first on this one.

Monique: The next question is, my sister in law who is white, is married to an African-American man and he and his family are always late to family functions. We joke with each other about this. Is that in poor taste? Where is the line?

Carrie: I think that this is a really interesting question because I think that there are lots of I mean, you could kind of sub out like so many different, like, family scenarios to be like, is this racist or is this not racist? And this actually I mean, it totally depends because, you know, this might be buried in the question. So, like, are you assuming that he's late because he's black and you're like playing into the stereo, that black people are lazy, they're slow, they don't arrive on time? Or are you just making fun of him because he's him and he happens to be late. Right. And so and then what's the mindset of the other people that you're laughing with about this? Because, of course, we know intellectually that, like, lateness has nothing to do with race. Right. And that there are tons of black people who are on time. And it's about people that aren't on time, know tons of Mexicans that are on time and tons of Mexicans that are on it. And I have a friend, she's Spanish. And I told her that I was telling this story, my friend Marta. And she thinks it's ridiculous how late she is. Like, if she's going to get it starts at 12, she'll be there around 1:30, 1:45. You're like, oh yeah, I'm going to the store and it's 1:15 like it started at noon. Is it because she's Spanish? No, her family is totally on time, but it's because it's her.  So it's understanding like why what are we attributing this behavior to and does that have to do with the race of the person? Are we perpetuating a stereotype? And then is this an opportunity for us going back to the previous question, for us to, like, stand up and say, hey, you know, I'm feeling a little uncomfortable with this because he's not late, because he's black he's late because he just has bad time management,  let's just leave it there. Right. And so that might be an uncomfortable thing, but this is like a small opportunity to start to, like, shift the conversations and shift what's OK to say and like what's not OK to say. Mo, what do you think?


Monique: I completely agree. I think this also comes into the place of merging family systems. So there may be a family system that super values promptness and being on time and starting when the party says to start at two o'clock, you know, that's the starting. Unfortunately, that's not the family that I came from. So I understand that that difference and that may be of value and ideal that might be different from these merging family systems. So that's something to take into consideration if that is the root of where they might be joking with that because along that comes with the family is also those jobs that you take to each other about those things and very similar experiences with family members that I'll tell them it's three hours earlier than what we want them to be.

Monique: But again, when you start to connect it to race or to a particular marginalized group or groups, that's when we start to see what is the intent and the impact of the jokes that we're making, the statements that we're making. And so that's a place to be more critical about it. But again, it's also looking at where you started with it Carrie, it really depends. And it's just that big understanding around what was the impact that you're having there.

Carrie: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I think that's it's just a really interesting question because I think that it applies to so many different scenarios. And one thing also to think about is, you know, sometimes we might make jokes that just fall flat or that are actually hurting someone. And they're not able to let us know that just based on the family structure or what's going on, they want to be Debbie Downer. But actually being especially in this time and we're learning how to talk about race when you find yourself in a situation like that, just letting people know, hey, you know what, it's important to me that I'm holding up like anti-racist ideas, that I'm not being prejudiced. I'm checking my own stereotypes. And so if you ever hear me say something just let me know, create that safe space for people. Because, I mean, if this he's coming to their family, right. So the power dynamic is already off. Like, even if these jokes did bother him, is it a safe space for him to bring it up? Like, probably not. And so as we're learning how to talk about race, how can we create that proactively for each other when you have a blended family, even if I mean when you have even with your friends, you know, just letting people know I'm open to learning in this space, I'm going to make mistakes. And I would love for you to let me know, because if you don't, I'm going to keep doing this and I'm going to miss that opportunity. So just thinking about, you know, how do we create the space for those conversations to even emerge so that we can learn and that we can, again, stop saying the things that we probably shouldn't be saying anymore, because this is a new day. OK, cool, let me just check to see if we have any questions, OK, no questions asked you to pop them in people. All right. So this one is around microaggression. So microaggressions are alive and well in my word world. I often hear what people describe a person of color as very well-spoken or described in a way where they are judging the person of color, his level of blackness, like, don't worry, they dress very professionally and so on. How can I dress these comments in a way that is productive at the moment? I'm white, by the way. That's what this person is kind of self-identified. Monique, I want to take a step back on this.

Carrie: How do you explain microaggression to someone?

Monique: Yeah, I think it's those places where, again, it's subtle, so it's these subtle forms of kind of undercutting of a person's background, a person's culture, race for a lot of different areas. And that undercutting often has this place in putting that inequity in whatever the interaction or relationship is. So like what the question is asking about very well-spoken. It also comes from places like that. That is not an attribute that that person from that particular culture, race or background, could not typically assume or would not typically hold or have. And so therefore it comes as a surprise and sometimes to the blind eye can look like a compliment or a backhanded compliment. And so it's looking at those places where it's this assumption and this idea that the comments that are being made are not supposed to be my experience of that person within that culture or race or so many other areas that we can go across. I say this, but it's so limiting because it can happen to people or genders of cultures, of backgrounds, religions, anything like all of these different things.

Carrie: Oh, you're so pretty for a big girl or you're so pretty for a black girl or you don't have an accent. 

Carrie: There's so many even like, you know, saying to an Asian person, oh, you're good at math. Like they're like but that has nothing to do with like just because I'm Asian doesn't mean that I'm good at math. So it's these stereotypes. Exactly. That we perpetuate these backhanded comments, backhanded compliments, which actually aren't. I feel like lots of people, regardless of whether you're a person of color or not, if you think about a time or someone is giving you that backhanded compliment, those are basically microaggressions and they build up. Right, like a person of color will. And I won't even just say of color, but we're talking about race here. So that's why I'm bringing that up because you'll get a lot of microaggressions as different as in the step-down group, whether that is gender or your race or like socioeconomic status, education, all of these different things, you'll get like thousands of them in your lifetime. And it's like this death by a thousand cuts. Right. And so it's very jarring when it happens to you and you're not really sure, like what do I do? And so this question is like, how can I address these comments in a way that is productive at the moment? So this person is wanting to either call out this behavior or call in that person for what they said. And I think with microaggression, especially one thing that you can do is ask someone to like explain what they mean. Right. Because even in the process of repeating ourselves, we start to like to hear what we said and then sometimes, like, backtrack, right. Like, oh, I could see why that sounded weird. And actually, this is what I meant when you talked about your intent versus your impact. So your intent might have very well been to tell the person that they're a really great speaker. But like, why like why is that a thing? Your impact, however, was a microaggression. And now you're creating this kind of chasm. You're hurting that person, even if it's just a small cut overtime. These add up and that person has probably experienced many, many, many more of them. So it's not really a small thing. What do you think? How do you recommend people address this happening?

Monique: I completely agree. I think being able to ask the question, what did you mean by that is a great opener to allowing for some more critical thinking from the person that's that's delivering that microaggression because that's really what we're looking for and wanting to get again and understanding the what are you thinking is also a great question in the way of just opening up that dialog and saying, you know, tell me a little bit about what you mean by that, or I help me understand what that means when you say it to that person in particular because you're also coming from the place of being open to hearing about where they might have come from with that many times.

Monique: I've heard that when I will provide microaggression back to somebody and give them the reflection of like how that impacted me. It's a place of, oh, my gosh, I did not mean that at all. Or that wasn't what I was meaning to say. But it's also coming from unraveling a little bit of what is their meaning and what is their intent with their words. And in what ways has that been the same thing that they've done in other situations before? So I've talked about this with other people and it's been a great opportunity to say, wow, I probably said that compliment to multiple people from the same group. And I'm so surprised because oftentimes what we'll also hear about people's experience with microaggression is it's not an opportunity for them to really speak up. And so you may not hear that somebody has been negatively impacted by a microaggression that somebody else is delivering.

Carrie: Yeah, yeah. Especially when it comes from like, again, like power differential, where someone in a position of power, whether that be in a family structure or at work, is saying that to you. It puts you in a difficult situation to call them out or call them in on it. And again, it's one of those things. It's like this little shove, right? You're like, oh, did they put me on purpose, or was that an accident? And it can be this big mind trip, you know.

Monique: You're talking about calling somebody out versus calling somebody in. And we talk a little bit about that, too, and the different processes I come up with.

Carrie: Yes, absolutely. So I don't know when we started talking about this, like generally out in the social sphere. But this idea of calling out like when you call someone out automatically puts that person on the defensive, you put them outside like you are outside of the rules of what's OK. And now we're going to tell you about yourself and admonish you for that. Right. That is not really a place where learning happens. That is a place where defensiveness and shutting down and pulling back happens. And I'm not saying that we have to cater to everyone's feelings, but at the end of the day, our ultimate goal is connection and understanding. Right. And so this idea of calling people in creating a safe space like you are still in the circle of trust, the circle of love. Right. And we want to understand I want to understand what you meant because I'm trying to continue this relationship in this conversation, get on the same page, potentially have this learning, teaching moment with you so that you can do better so that we can do better. But instead of pushing you away to do that, which doesn't often work, I want to pull you in. Right. How would you? I don't know what you think about it?

Monique: I'm so glad that we can sort of disentangling that because what often happens with these types of questions around wanting to speak up, it often comes with this place of speaking. That means that I need to make this dialog difficult. And when we say when we use the language to call them out or bring this up or even speak out, it also comes for us to say, wow, that would be really, really tough because that is going to push me even further out of my comfort zone. So using that language of calling somebody in is just inviting them to a conversation. It's the same thing that we're doing here is creating that positive space. I want to understand where they're coming from.

Monique: The majority of the conversations that we have about these things are from a place of just wanting to learn more from both sides. And so when we call them and we allow for that, we don't have to bring them in from a place of defense. And we don't have to come from a place of the offense. We can just kind of come and say, let's share at this table right now. And so I love the language of calling people in instead of calling them out because I think it also allows for our allies and for those that are part of a part of the movement and finding ways to be able to make that first step to be more approachable.

Carrie: Thank you for that clarification, too, because we're trying to spread information on the terms and also, again, these like tips and tricks. So the next time you are in a situation where someone says something a little off around you, like think about calling them in versus calling them out, you're going to have a totally different feel yourself and potentially a different result because we're not pushing them away. We're not making them defensive. We're trying to connect more deeply.

Carrie: All right, we have a question in the queue in the chat, so I'm going to read it. Thank you so much for submitting this question. This is a good one. I'm a white woman working in a DNI adjacent space. Lately, I've noticed I'm more inhibited in my conversation because I don't want to inadvertently say something offensive. How can I, on a Zoom call, with multiple individuals, ask for input if they see areas where I can improve? 

Monique: OK, so asking for input where they see where you can improve, I think this is another aspect of another question that we're going to have to do is what are the places and what does it look like between speaking, you know, asking questions, being that listener or calling somebody into the conversation like we just discussed. It's going to look different with every opportunity. And oftentimes there's going to be places where you are going to be that that expert, you are going to be that leader. And so this can be an opportunity for you to say, how am I going to include that in my sphere of influence? It may be on a Zoom call. It may be one of the things that is easier to do. It may be on the Zoom chat.

Monique: It may be an adjacent conversation. And one of the things that I kind of love about that is you can reach out to people and say, I love you mentioned this, but we're five minutes down the road on this meeting. But I want to get back to you about that. And so now there's a couple of different opportunities, especially within things like the Zoom sphere or Zoom conferencing to reach out and do that at a place that feels comfortable for you.

Carrie: Yeah, absolutely, and I think the person who asked this question, like that feeling of discomfort and not wanting to say something offensive is totally normal, right? We don't want to say anything wrong, especially not in this space. Right. And we're not allowed to fail or make mistakes in any area or any arena. And so just sitting with that, I think is important. But I also think that it's OK to make mistakes. Right, because you are coming from a place of wanting to learn more and do better and do more. And that's going to happen. And so even practicing, when you feel that you want to share something might be uncomfortable or might be offensive, like letting people know, hey, I'm not sure if I'm saying that's the right way. And I would love to get your feedback on it. But this is what I'm thinking, right? This is what I've heard or this is what I've read or this is what I've experienced, because, again, we're getting rid of the stereotypes and assumptions and we're taking people at their experience and then prefacing that and then just going ahead and saying what you wanted to say. Because if you do that, you're going to learn. Right. You're going to find out if I was off if I wasn't off. And then you're going to get that feedback on whether people want to give it to you real-time or afterward. You can even let people know what your preferences are. But if you don't speak up and if you don't say it, then you'll never really know. And you won't be able to make those adjustments. Because in this space, one thing that is super clear is that we're going to make mistakes and it's going to be uncomfortable and we have to be OK with that discomfort. And one of them I had someone give this really great sports or workout metaphor, like when we are working out with a trainer, we know that they're going to kick, but we know that our muscles are going to burn. It's going to hurt. There will be discomfort. But we have to look forward to that discomfort, because on the other side of that discomfort. And what I want is that strength. And so I'm going to suffer through the discomfort because on the other side of it, I've built that strength and that skill. And so if we think about this work, talking about race in that same way, we have to push through the discomfort to expect it to know what's going to be there. But on the other side is growth and learning. And when we shy away from those uncomfortable conversations, uncomfortable areas, areas, we're missing out on the opportunity to learn and to grow. And in some cases like this is the thing, though, like not everyone is going to react to you the way that you want them to or even necessarily gracefully. Right. And so knowing that each situation is different, each person, each group of people you're interacting with may have a different feel or vibe, but don't get discouraged and don't be too afraid to still put yourself out there, because, again, this is for learning and it's for connection. And so some people might react like that potentially. Right. But that doesn't mean that the next time that's going to be the same. And as you endure and as you push through more of these circumstances, it'll get easier and easier. And so how do you continue to build that muscle? And when you feel that fear, lean into it, caveat the heck out of it, and then just go for it. Hopefully, the people that you're working with, they know you, they know where you're coming from and you can work together to get to that good place where you want to be.

Carrie: That was a long answer, but I think I had a lot to say on that. Thank you so much for that question. It's very good. Very good question. OK, Mo, are you ready for number four?

Carrie: OK, so our next question, and this is a short and sweet one, but there's a lot of layers to it. So how can we use the privileges we have for good?

Monique: I love this question. This is the root of allyship and in looking at those places of privilege and one of the things that is good about this is its first examination. Where are your places of privilege? Where are those spaces in those spheres of influence? Where do you feel like this is where your privilege might show up? Are you somebody that is privy to hiring practices and being able to hire within our organization?

Monique: Are you some someone that definitely feels that a place of comfort and control within a particular environment where you feel like I can make a shift and I can be that disruptor to what I'm seeing as not being a part of you, of the movement that I want to be in. And so it's first looking at a place of examining those privileges, where you hold them and understanding a little bit about, OK, this is a little bit where I feel so comfortable. And so I want to understand a little bit more about how I can experience some discomfort in that situation. And those are the places where I want to see that. So just to be like just to be giving some examples, because they think that there could be different places where that happens. Being in a place where I was on a call the other day, we're talking about creating some new policies similar to working around the DNI space for an organization. One of the things that I was aware of was that there was no part of this group that's typically and historically underrepresented on those calls. They were not on the calls at all and they were not represented. And so I took this opportunity to say, you know, I can come in here and I can ask a question about how that group is going to be supported by this policy, because I know I'm inherently supported by that policy. I'm inherently supported by the practice of even being here, showing up here, being invited to this space, and they historically have not been. So what are the ways that I'm going to show up and what are the ways that I'm going to show up for the people that are either silenced or not visible or not even being able to be on this at this opportunity? So is really and also seeing like I know that this process or this policy is going to be OK for me. So how can I make it and uplift their needs in that situation? And that's where privilege comes in. Right. I know I'll be taken care of if I talk about it or if I push and ask a question for something more, that's where privilege is going to show up for you. And those are the places where you want to see yourself making those moves. Carrie, what do you think?

Carrie: I love that. I think that it's important for us to acknowledge that we all have privileges. A buzzword that we've been throwing around a lot in the last few months. Then before that as well is white privilege. A lot of people have a misconception of what white privilege is, what causes a lot of the defensiveness and the pushback around it, because people think that white privilege is basically and I'm sorry to say the T-word, but like Donald Trump, right where he had a silver spoon, he was given everything. And like that's white privilege. A lot of people had that life, like no one hardly anyone had that life. And so white people are like, I didn't grow up with everything. I had a hard life. I struggled in the X, Y, Z way. So I do not have white privilege. But that's not actually true because what white privilege is, it basically means that because of the color of your skin you were given, you were afforded different privileges. And although your life might have been difficult in different ways, the color of your skin did not contribute to those difficulties, which is not cannot be said for people with brown skin. Right. One of the things that brown people suffer from is excuse me, is directly related to the color of their skin. Right. Different things happened because of the color of their skin. But white people, because that is like the norm, the like ideal, we're not even going to kind of unpack that, the idea of whiteness. But that is like the norm. Right. And so because that you're normal and it's invisible to you. And that's why a lot of people like me don't have privilege because I don't understand what that means. I don't see that. But it is invisible. A lot of our privileges are invisible. And Monique put it really well when she talked about, areas where you're super comfortable. You're like, oh, this is good. Like, I have this access. I have these things. We're not often even aware of those, but those are areas where our privilege is. And so thinking about white privilege specifically just means that you have privileges or whether you're not being put at a disadvantage because of the color of your skin, whereas people of color. That isn't the case. I just wanted to bring up that privilege to talk a little bit about white people, because I feel like that's kind of hidden in this question, even though they didn't call it out specifically.

Carrie: But then again, we all have privileges and it's not. We don't. Need to feel guilty for the privileges that we have, but we do need to be aware of the privileges that we have and how we can use that for good, how we, and how we can use it to uplift other people around us. Right. I'm privileged because I grew up in a middle class family. Both of my parents had jobs as I went to college. I have a master’s degree. These are all different privileges. We can all like a list like 20 or 30. Living and being born in the United States of America is a privilege. Right. But how can I use that? How can we use that to help other people? And in the case of race, how can we use that to uplift, amplify and create opportunities? And the example Monique gave was really beautiful. Bring people into the room and bring their experience and their needs into the room when they actually can't be there because of their own access to certain rooms and certain tables and certain conversations and the lack of privilege there.

Monique: I also like the idea that this question comes up with the idea of privilege, how can I use it for good? And some of the backgrounds of the question is like that. Sometimes privilege is only used for bad. But the idea around privilege and the space around privilege is that we all have some version of it.

Monique: We all have some form of it. Just as we move within different areas. Sometimes even the people that come into these calls and have a little bit more education and information about these difficult questions will have a little bit more insight into that in a different conversation that they may be involved with tomorrow, next week, next month. And so coming to that, that that is also a place of having a little bit more and also being OK if you are the disruptor in that situation. So it's also coming to that and saying I'm going to be OK even if I decide to disrupt this and or challenge any of the things that are happening to me, that's going to come out of that.

Carrie: Absolutely. Love it. OK, well, we have about five minutes left. Do you want to pick one of the questions? Whatever one, dealer's choice.  

Monique: I'm going to go with the last one and so I'll go ahead and pose it to you. Where is the line between compassion and enablement when it comes to addressing racism within one's social circle?

Carrie: Yeah, so this question, I mean, all of these questions are really layered, and I hope that as you listen to our answers like we're just scratching the surface, I feel like you could have a course on each of these questions. Right. And so we're just going to continue to do that. But the line between compassion and enablement, so this idea that the people that we're talking to, we want to take care of their feelings, we don't want to offend them. We don't want to damage the relationship. But then at the same time, we also don't want to enable bad behavior. And so this is another example of that, like calling out versus calling in people because I feel like and for me, this is my own this is just my own existence, my own thought about this. I think that it's our responsibility to be an interrupter, especially in our social circle, because the thing is like racism and racist systems and racist ideas are like all around us all of the time. And if we're not willing to disrupt them, then nothing is going to change. And it doesn't have to be in a violent or aggressive or mean or hurtful way. But just like, again, raising that question, oh, what did you mean by that to start that dialog? And I feel like we have the responsibility now. And in my mind like this, you know, it's the line between compassion and enablement. Because I'm a person of color. I'm like, you know what? We've been compassionate like it's time for us to stop enabling like this, like bad behavior. Right. Again, going back to like that's so gay example. Like, we just have to justify it's uncomfortable, but that's OK. We just have to let go and speak up and if feelings get hurt, like, that's not our intent. Right. But hopefully, you're able to repair those relationships because the thing is, these conversations can get like heated. Right. There are some people who have families where, you know, it's like addressing racism within one social circle, like the things that people are saying is just like way, way, way, way, way racist. Right. And how do you have a conversation with a racist person? And I think that's kind of hidden in this question. And so I think that it's important to come from a place of wanting to listen and to understand because if you go at them, you're just going to be like this and you're really not going to get anywhere. This is like your opportunity to understand what they mean, to ask more questions, to become a detective and to kind of put your ego and the triggers and the fight like to the side and just become like this observer, this researcher, because as you understand where they're coming from, what they're thinking, why they think this way, you can use that to try to like bring other tools, other resources, other ideas into like Undermind they're thinking. Right, because at the end of the day we do want people to be on our side, we want them to do the right thing like that's our ultimate agenda. It's not to understand you, it's that you understand like the morality and the right, the right way of thinking about this. And I'm just being completely honest right now. But in that, we can become that detective and try to uncover their argument and then be able to turn that around by the things that we know or that we've seen or we've experienced. And so I think that you know, it's always easier said than done. But if you're just sitting there watching and listening to these things we said over and over again, like, you're just enabling and you're letting these ideas go on and on and on. And even if you stand up to the person and you have this, like, big blowout, you don't know what that impact is on them and you don't know what the impact is on the people around you because people are always watching you. And when you stand up for what is right, you are shining that light and you're getting other people to shine that light, too. So even if it seemed like you didn't get anywhere in whatever comes after that, standing up to those racist ideas, you don't know that your little niece or your nephew or your friend or your uncle is like, oh, wow, I'm glad they finally said something because that guy was getting on my nerves with what he was saying. Right. You're giving other people permission to stand up as well, even if this is completely outside of your awareness.

Monique: To add a little bit to that, the way that I consider and think about compassion is that compassion is constructive. I want to be able to understand that person, but I also want to be able to see in what ways I can help them. And so that's where, to me, compassion comes into these conversations in these dialogs. It's not to be a place where I am the expert and I need to teach you, but it's really to understand how I can help them and how can I help our relationship? And understanding a little bit about what are these constructs, how are they coming up? What are the ways that the dialog or the information that I'm getting from them makes me uncomfortable and how I get to a place of understanding that within our own social circle. I also hear about these things really regularly, that the questions that often come up are the places of a complete stranger. How do I disrupt? And on the other side of the spectrum, somebody I'm super close with, a family member or somebody that's in my social circle, how do I disrupt that to the place that it comes from is really that place of understanding. And I think it's just bringing that home of calling them in. And sometimes it's going to sometimes feel easier to call in somebody that you don't know very well. And so these opportunities to call in somebody that you do know well, they have those that come from that place of understanding and deepening that level of understanding around these difficult topics so that you both can maybe learn something about where each of you are coming from. And that's how you're all going to really exhibit that compassion within that relationship.

Carrie: Awesome. I love that. Monique, any last parting thoughts before we wrap up our session for tonight?

Monique: I hope that we walk away from this is that there are opportunities to have these smaller moments at any level and that really what we talk about with this inclusion, this project, is we're coming from the place of a place of action. We talk about these words like disruption and movement and a lot of just these sometimes things that feel bigger system, systemic racism, but really are coming up.

Monique: Let's come from the place of where you feel like you can make that first start. And so I hope that that's the place that we talked about today in those avenues that feel like they're approachable, but at the same time pushing you a little bit more towards ship and those things that we're talking about today.

Carrie: Monique, thank you so much for letting us know your insight and pick your brain tonight. This was a great conversation and I want to thank everyone for coming today. You can learn more about the Inclusion 1st project at 

Carrie: Don't forget to submit your questions, because, during the month of August, we are trying to collect 500 questions before the end of the month. And so sharing our post with your friends, sending in other questions that might have sparked for you since having this conversation. And of course, we have our next one on Tuesday, next week, same time, same place, same link, if you want to say. But actually and we'll be answering totally different questions because we're getting more and more questions every week. So thank you so much. And we will see you next time.



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