One of the most important steps toward becoming an effective ally to people of color is recognizing and accepting our existing white privilege. This is not something to feel defensive or guilty about; more helpfully, it’s an awareness that can cultivate gratitude and a determination to help others receive the benefits of this privilege.
Here’s a big chunk of the evidence regarding my personal white privilege, which I doubt is very dissimilar from other white professionals who might be reading this:
- I was raised in a middle class home.
- My parents sent me to college and paid for it.
- I’ve worked in a professional field since I was 23.
- I’ve always lived in comfortable suburban neighborhoods.
- I’ve never had to worry about standing out in the crowd, except for when I was a kid with really big, ugly glasses.
- I can walk down a street without arousing suspicion.
- I can get pulled over for a traffic violation without the fear of losing my life.
- People don’t stare at me when I show up in nice stores, high-end events, or sit with my loved ones or friends in restaurants.
- I possess, in a nutshell, an automatic “benefit of the doubt.”
I feel a tremendous responsibility to advocate for those who haven’t been granted such privileged benefits. I want our nation’s laws, policies, and general culture to be characterized by that same mindset of advocacy. And I want us to elect people who have already worked hard to extend these benefits to the masses, and to continue to do so, and to do so tirelessly.
My determination to be an effective ally to women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community is the reason I write the pieces I write. It’s why I post and share and comment in a certain manner on social media. It’s at the core of my values as a human being, and I do not apologize for these values.
Next Steps to Consider
In my professional work, I help individuals and organizations enhance personal and business relationships and results through:
What do I mean by “mindful?”
Mindfulness is my core organizing and unifying practice for every moment and dimension of life–including self-care, family, friends, community, and professional work. In a nutshell, mindfulness is the practice of becoming more fully aware of and attentive to, without judgement, what’s taking place within and around you. Some of the most common mindfulness exercises include pausing before reacting or responding, sitting meditation, breath meditation, mindful eating, mindful walking, reciting mantras, visualization, and doing a body scan–but there are many more.
Mindfulness can be your game-changer. There’s more research (such as this Forbes article) on the benefits of mindfulness than you or I can ever hope to read, but here’s the highlights of why mindfulness is worth doing:
- Reduced stress
- Increased focus and concentration
- Increased productivity
- Healthier relationships
- Increased happiness and inner peace
I bring extensive cross-industry experience, education, and credentials to these services I offer. To inquire about my background and services, sign up for a free exploratory coaching session, or subscribe to free monthly content, please contact me here. You can also visit my LinkedIn profile and check out this post on my career journey.
Thanks and take good care,