Oak Park Working Moms Group DIRECT QUOTES: • What do we need to pick up or set aside to have this conversation tonight?” • Can we sit and think about healing as a vision? • We are here to begin a courageous discourse. • We will be mindful of our privilege. What is it that you want to say that you would be remiss leaving without saying? • I am scared. I am fearful, but I am hopeful. Every. Single. Day. We are the people raising the next generation. • Being uncomfortable is not a bad thing. It usually means you got to start looking around you. • What’s a question someone in the room can answer for you before you leave today? • How often do we take care and intention when we engage in conversations about race? How much do I "curate out" my truth? • How do we get people from behind the screens and into the space where we are meeting? • How do we broaden our base so that we are getting more voices to the table and perspectives to the table so that we are building community? • What drives people to act? What place are they coming from? What is the catalyst? • I am just very angry. I am not great at articulating myself when I’m angry without attacking. My question to the women of color who are also angry. How do you channel that into something productive? In the women of color group our conversations are unfiltered. In the working moms group, we are trying not to offend. Why does that have to be? • Why do we call ourselves diverse when we really are not? What is our definition of diversity? • I was touched and empathized with all the emotions in this room. How do I move past these feelings of empathy and do something that is productive? • Does anybody feel as if by not saying something you are condoning that behavior? Or is it possible by not saying something you are removing yourself from that equation? • The white liberal women are a point of contention. By way of managing that is to back up, but is that engaging in racist behavior? How do I manage that? • Are people aware of what is required of them when they live an integrated and diverse community and what is required of them? What are the expectations? • How can we take this very beginning conversation and make it grow and matter in some way? Maybe what we’re trying to do now is build some trust and maybe what we can do now is take it a second, third level. Etc. • How do we continue to stand in this conversation? I really appreciate the way in which this conversation has been set-up. I really want to understand what my part is and what part is not. Where I step back and where I stand forward? • I want to know where/ how to best use my privilege? • How would anyone of else feel if our child was looked upon as not receiving the benefit of the doubt in any situation? Whether that is with the police? • Why is it the responsibility of people of color to harbor the emotional labor and handholding for what is our trauma and our marginalization? • What is the best way to introduce someone to racism in a way that they don’t shut down, but that you also recognize the truth? In about five sentences. • Why is the first response to shut down? • One of commonality we have is working mom, parents. A Lot of tension happens around schools and resources. My experience with what happens at the high school in terms of expectations is eye opening. In any space how do we address that when everyone wants the best for their kids? When the resources are shared differently? • Why are we spending a lot of energy on the folks who are never going to move towards what we are trying to do? Why don’t we spend more time making a ripple effect with the circle that we have? Why don’t we conserve our energy? • Seattle Female Pastor – this exemplifies OP and the way it operates. How can we all move from passivity, awakening, to be quiet first, and then move to an action that is needed to make our world a better place? • How do we stay open despite the trauma? How do we take care of each other? How do we make this strong? • How do we stop trying to fit each other in perfect, little boxes that don’t make sense? • It’s 2017, what’s your timeline? What are you willing to do? How much are you willing to commit to it? • If you are not intimately involved with families of other cultures? Why not? • There’s only love and fear. If there’s only fear, what do we do about it? How do we teach about it? If I would walk through the wall for you that feels really good for me. • How do we fulfill the promise of the dream that we all have in this community and how do we all take action to make this happen? • Is it more important to do it locally or do we do it systematically? • I left both groups this week. Why is it so hard for people to say I’m sorry. I didn’t see your perspective but I get it now. Is that harder for some groups? Do we need to teach some groups because they just don’t get it? • When we say I’m sorry what are we really saying?
- OBSERVATIONS: • Who did you see leaning in and who did you see opting out? Why don’t we do this? Why aren’t we doing that? • When is listening pervasive? When is it submissive? It doesn’t have to be a right or wrong or something that we will fix tonight • Can we name it as a tension to be wrestled with rather than something that will be solved? • We can do something, but not before we name these things. These are things to be managed not solved. • All the questions belong to all of us. We need to rest in the tension is already in the room. • Expansion: There is the tension between what is the next step- starting the next new thing • How are we…it has gotten so intense that most Facebook groups have rules about when you can promote the things you have? • I am not solving it. I am naming the dualities and multiplicities in doing life together. • SometimeS we name what we expect and sometimes we expect what we expect. • If I’m having a real conversation about race, it WILL make someone want to shut down. Our inability to stay in a conversation about something that we are dissonant about. • Our stuff is never not at play. That comment on Facebook is not devoid of ALL of the challenges and deficiencies we bring with us wherever we go. We bring all of that to the conversations. In hundred forty characters or less--is the whole of who I am? • There are some people that you can never change ever. o When do I disengage and plant my seed somewhere else? It is not a bad thing. It just is. • If I am speaking my truth in a big public place someone will hear me. • That is what it means to live in abundant living. We are not living in a community of scarcity. We are living in a community…how inspired are you. Everything we need to be who we want to be as a collective already resides in our community. The fact that we can do this amongst ourselves should inspire change. • I am in an interracial relationship and I can have these discussions with my husband, but I cannot engage with his family of 17 years. If it is not happening in my [immediate] circle? How do we bring it into a broader perspective? If you feel you need to just be with your people do so. • We are not being honest and forthcoming in our conversations. We are still being very surface. • I think sometimes if you can speak and say that’s not right. We all know the two or three names in the group. Why not use your voice in being honest and speak up about what is really going on. It feels very in genuine. I felt very betrayed. • This ripple effect about a way to reach people that we don’t already know. The low-hanging fruit and the people who are passively empathetic. • A group of us our working on this racial dialogue. I’m tired. Every one is tired. Can we get it out. Fix it and move it. We are starting with white affinity groups. The curriculum is designed by multi racial folks. • I am tired of educating others. I am still looking at a curriculum on racism and how we are perpetuating violence against kids. • There is another way to use our privilege to call it out. • How do we as WW progressives actually do something? 9 times out of 10 as women of color we don’t have this answer. Imagine a white women who works in the cafeteria at the school being shot dead--what you would do in that situation? • Try to be careful in those tension moments. I can challenge the people I love and trust. • As human beings we are to hold stories right now and all I want to do is pull with what we know is best. • What does it take to step up to plate of leadership • Part of the reason I didn’t say more in some of these difficult situations and why some people say dismissive things is because of fear. I grew up with a racist Minnesota cop. I left home at 17. My children do not know their grandfather for that reason. So to be called racist scares me to death. • I think white progressives have been told to be quiet and listen. I think if they can look at the spirit behind what someone is saying and they can see that someone is trying to be helpful that it can quell some of the excitement. My answer is to try to speak up and say something because it is helpful. • How do you have a conversation about race if you don’t understand your race • When the war is over it is not my enemies that I remember it is my friends who stayed silent. It is not enough to call your self an ally. You have to stand up and go through what we go through, earn and trust and make those relationships. • Self-care is really important. I think self-care is the most important. You shouldn’t have to be a martyr. I see structural racism. I think it is really important to take care of your self. I can’t run a marathon with a broken leg. • I teach my kids how to apologize. It is a three step process- you say what you did, why is wrong and you what you’re going to do next to make it better or avoid it. People get stuck at the second step. Identify the other person’s experience in why it was wrong. • The answer is now. • We find our commonality. Even though our abuse is different, we still can understand each other. • We’ve grown and that we’ve come to a different level of understanding. • I wasn’t heard because of my own anger. I teach mindfulness practice. I have to recognize my own anger and then look to empathize • Rise up. Stand up. Be up. I think you should be courageous in your own way. Let your intent be your own behavior. • I made the decision a long time ago that I can’t necessarily control other people, but I can control me. How you feel about me is your problem and not mine. It is a way in which I’ve been able to connect with all types people and find resolution. I think it our expectations and sometimes we are trying to change other people. I’m not sure you get over the anger. It is how you manage and navigate. It is how we operate in different instances and it has helped me. Observation: We started in a superficial place, but we didn’t stay there. There is something gratifying about not staying in a superficial space. Thank you for being present here today. Many things can be true at the same time. And we can hold it all loose enough to rest in the possibility of transformation.