It’s hard to talk about. Oh Well.

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“A strong opinion is not the same as informed knowledge.”
-Robin Diangelo

I’m certain by now, you’ve received dozens of emails from small businesses, major corporations, and bloggers about our recent awakening.

There isn’t much I could say or offer that you haven’t heard. I am not in any way a leader or even comfortable talking on the topic of racism, though I’m working through that because I believe that like anything, the more I do it, the better I’ll get…

Until two weeks ago, I have personally gone through this world thinking I wasn’t and would never be a part of the problem, therefore it’s not my fight or responsibility to solve on a large scale. Saying things like:
“I know good from bad.”

“My parents raised me well.”
“My mom marched in the sixties.”
“I’m a Jew and know White Supremacy when I see it.”

These phrases have been my shelter for 32 years. They’ve kept me warm and safe. They convinced me that I understood really complicated things, and/or let me off the hook from further personal development on the topic of systemic racism, inequality, and injustice for people of color (POC).

But last month, when the country as a whole endured a social-earthquake, many white people (I’d like to think MOST, but I’m an optimist), realized the same overwhelming thought that I too realized: I have so much learning to do.

I have so much UNCOMFORTABLE learning to do. The kind of learning that knocks even the most informed and empathetic humans sideways!

The kind of learning that once the curtain has been pulled, I can never unsee it again, as much as I’d like to.

And the kind of learning that brings me undeniable proof that, unless I pursue this painful work, I am still and will always be an active participant in the system that has raised people with my white skin to believe (without directly telling me) that I am superior.

Why is that so? Because racism is a structure, not an event.

It doesn’t start and end when someone does or says something racist. It IS our economic and social structure that was put in place LOOOONG before we were here and had any say.

But with informed knowledge and the ability to change our opinion upon learning new information, we can keep growing and demanding that we as Americans, can do better!

But only if we know better…

What We Are Doing:

There are many ways to get into the murky water. Some need to dip their toes and others are going full-blown belly flop!

I’m a toe dipper, which means it always starts with reading and research. I need to have a solid multi-perspective bird’s-eye view of a topic before I feel equipped to engage with others both online and in person. (Though I am 100% guilty of being socially irresponsible by sharing content that I didn’t fully understand or personally vet before re-sharing. Workin on that!)

That’s why Brandon and I chose to start by reading the book White Fragility by Robin Diangelo.
And researching all things VOTING.
(Turns out, it’s really difficult and confusing. Shocking right? It’s like they do that on purpose for some reason?! 🙄)

But as with any real, long-lasting change – I knew I would need support and accountability.
So I gathered a few very trusted girlfriends to assemble a virtual Book Club. We are two weeks in and already it’s proven to be an incredible vessel for navigating the many emotions that this topic brings to light.
Together, the five of us are trying to figure out how to put the lessons we’re learning into our own words, in order to have meaningful conversations with others.

We’re figuring out how to then put our words into useful action, and giving ourselves the courage to take ownership and responsibility for the roles we’ve played thus far and who we want to be moving forward.
And most of all, we’re giving each other tools and emotional support to face ALL OF IT–not just temporarily, but for the lifetime of growth and engagement this issue asks of us; and for the future generations that some of us will bring into this world.

I wanted to share all of this with you today with the hope to inspire and encourage you to ALSO take action, whatever that looks like for you!

Heck – Steal my Book Club idea. It’s amazing and helpful and even though it seems small and perhaps minor in the scheme of how much work needs to be done, I know great change is taking place for each of us already. If you want tips on how I’ve organized and structured ours, email me. 🖤

Finally, I wanted to leave you with a great resource if you have no idea where to begin. Cassy Joy Garcia of Fed + Fit is one of my favorite food, health, (and now Antiracist advocate) bloggers. She and her team put this amazing list together for all of us: Antiracism Resources.

Thanks for reading,
🖤Jackie Gibbons!

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