The last few months have been trying. People are dying. Racism is killing Black people. Everywhere we look, from the disproportionate number of Black people dying from COVID-19, to the recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Flyod and Breonna Taylor, we see the toll that racism has on Black people in this country.
As White women, we recognize that we have a responsibility to do the work of addressing racism in this country and addressing how our “whiteness” has contributed to continued racism. There are some difficult truths to face when doing this work such as the fact that our country was founded by White people who believed that Black and Indigenous people were not equal. That many of our systems and institutions were built on this premise and continue to perpetuate oppression and systemic racism. We have to explore the way that oppression has and continues to impact the lives of Black people in this country. Whiteness created these systems and Whiteness has to be a part of breaking them down.
We have to explore the role of Whiteness in perpetuating these systems, the work of finding ways in our lives to dismantle and disrupt racist practices, policies and structures, the work of educating ourselves on how to be responsible and accountable allies.
The work of being antiracist.
The work of examining ourselves, our teaching, our school systems and our communities.
We need to go beyond doing better, we need to undo.
We are inviting White educators who are interested in engaging in these difficult and uncomfortable conversations, who want to dig in and do the work, to join us. DM us on Twitter (@sarahbenes12, @hollyalperin), leave a comment on the blog or email us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We don’t know exactly what it will entail but we will read, listen, discuss, challenge ourselves and each other, and grow.
Holly and I are both on our own journeys. We are not experts. We are making mistakes. We are learning.
We hope you will join us in this critical work.