I hope 2024 is treating you well so far. I have spent the last few months really exploring ideas of inclusion and belonging and I have undertaken a lot of family history and genealogy research that has been really revealing for me.
I want to share the training opportunities available from White Awake again with all of you. I did a recent one on genealogy research and it was so great and helpful to understand harm endured, harm caused, and the historical context of these experiences. I also want to reiterate my increasing appreciation for Braver Angels, navigating ways to a less divisive and more inclusive path forward together.
I thought that Michele L. Norris’s reflections on her Race Card Project was brilliant and insightful and painful and all the things. And I want to highlight how Community-Centric Fundraising adjusted their space to better reflect their purpose and who they center as part of their grassroots movement.
Here’s an opportunity to participate in a research study (via Integrated Schools):
“Are you a White mother interested in antiracist parenting?
EmbraceRace is currently seeking volunteers to participate in a research study supporting White antiracist parenting. Please see the description below and fill out the enrollment form if you think you might be eligible and interested, and consider passing this opportunity along to others in your network.
This study is being conducted by Dr. Gail Ferguson and Dr. Melissa Koenig at the University of Minnesota. This is a study for White mothers and White children between the ages of 5 and 8, and it will take place entirely online. CARPE DIEM (Courageous, Antiracist, and Reflective Parenting Efforts: Deepening Intentionality with Each Moment) is a new antiracist parenting intervention for White parents. The goal of the study is to examine how the intervention works and teach us how to best equip and support White parents and their children on their antiracist journeys. This study is for mothers who have an interest in antiracist parenting, whether they have already begun taking steps in this direction or are considering the possibility of taking steps in the future. Moms and kids will each receive e-gift cards of their choice for completing different parts of the study.
If you’re interested in participating in this study, click here to fill out a short enrollment form! You are welcome to email the research team with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
I have been learning about and getting more involved in efforts to support unhoused people here in Denver, particularly as it intersects with the influx of migrants to this area. Here’s a recent report for Denver, as a snapshot of the challenges people face. Please stay aware of a Supreme Court case that could heavily affect how houselessness is handled in this country. This issue is so clearly about how we choose to take care of each other and I encourage you to learn about how unhoused people are treated in your area.
I appreciated the feedback after my last post in November. I’d like to share another resource, “What Jewish Voice for Peace Can Teach White People About Anti-Racism” by David Dean. Please stay engaged on ceasefire efforts as well as local efforts in your area around inclusion and belonging for everyone.
I also appreciated the recent update from Anti-Racism Daily (ARD) about the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, particularly in the way it reframed my understanding of who lived where and how the land that is now the United States was acquired over time. It directly relates to my genealogical work, thinking about patterns of immigration, settler colonialism, and historical narratives that leave out key pieces of the truth.
I was so happy to see that Arlington County is working to memorialize the names of the enslaved in that place. I was intrigued by the story about Asheville, NC pursuing reparations work in the face of statewide resistance. If you’re interested in learning more about reparations efforts, there are many, but in the vein of genealogy work, check out Coming to the Table and the work they are doing.
A friend recently asked about resources I have found particularly helpful around the topics of inclusion and belonging. In the last year, I read two that were truly life-changing: See No Stranger by Valarie Kaur and How We Show Up by Mia Birdsong. I am currently reading A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit, which explores the alternate worlds we create during disaster responses, and the ways in which we respond by building community and taking care of each other and how happy that makes us.
As you might have noticed, genealogy has a lot of my attention these days. I have discovered in my research many examples of harm caused: enslavers, settlers, military involvement in the Confederacy and those fighting Indigenous people, and criminal activity. I have also discovered resisters — people fighting oppression, people speaking up for inclusion and belonging, people building community. I am immersed in the greys of humanity — no person is only good or only bad.
In the process of uncovering these stories, I have grappled with how my research intersects with privilege, oppressive systems, and harm caused; I have felt guilt and shame at times and I have grieved and felt pride and gratitude. I am exploring several themes, including how my ancestors parted from their cultures of origin (mine are mostly in England, Scotland, and Germany), how they built wealth over time, and what my role is in reparative work to promote healing and continue this trajectory in future generations.
If you have researched your family (or if you haven’t, but you’re curious), I’d love to chat about how you have engaged with challenging family history and what mysteries still remain to be solved. I find that challenging work like this is best done in community and I’d love to engage with you on this topic. I’m also happy to help with genealogical research. Please reach out to me if you’re interested.
Listen. Amplify. Follow. In Solidarity.