Originally, I had a podcast scheduled to air about mindset and the mindset issues that I see many coaches experience. And I will be honest with you, I think the last thing the world needs right now is an episode about mindset issues coming from a white woman in the face of systemic racial injustice. So we're going to pause that episode. I will air it because there are good messages in there, but we do not need to be talking about that right now.
What we need to be talking about is how we can coach from an anti-racist perspective, how we can support our friends and colleagues and clients of color. We need to be talking about what systems we can build into our businesses to ensure that we are coming always from an anti-racist perspective.
And I'll be honest with you, I have a lot of work to do myself in this area. So I am not putting myself out as an expert. But I am putting myself out there as an ally, an imperfect ally, to quote my friend Erica Courdae. I pledge to you that I will be doing my work in this area, that I will get better. And that I will make mistakes, and when I make those mistakes, I will own them and I will do better.
So today, in lieu of a traditional podcast episode, I want to read an excerpt from an email I sent out on Saturday that I also posted on my Facebook and Instagram feeds. And then I'm going to close with some podcasts that are hosted and produced by women of color that I think you should be listening to.
And then maybe, maybe I will see you back here next week for a regularly scheduled episode of the Coach with Clarity podcast, but I assure you that in the future, we will be exploring anti-racism in coaching. And if that's not your bag, if that is not something you are interested in, then this probably is not the podcast for you.
So with that, I want to share with you something that I wrote this weekend.
My heart is heavy this week.
What happened this week to George Floyd, and in March to Breonna Taylor, and in February to Ahmaud Arbery, and last year to Elijah McClain, and a few years ago to Eric Garner…
These deaths, and countless others, are not merely the outcomes of individual racist acts. They represent deep-seated, systemic racism that is embedded in our culture and in our institutions.
I am distraught. I am angry. I am sad.
These feelings point me to the work that needs to be done in our society and the world.
But feelings without actions are useless.
It's not enough to bemoan what we see on television and in the media, to express our sadness and condolences, and then return to life as we knew it.
Passivity is complicity.
Instead, it is essential we turn our heartbreak into action.
I fully believe as a white woman, I have a moral obligation to take an active role in calling for justice and change.
As a social worker, I have an ethical obligation “to address social problems… to challenge social injustice… [and] to respect the inherent dignity and worth of a person.” (citation: NASW Code of Ethics)
As a coach, coach trainer and educator, and entrepreneur, I must ensure that these civil obligations are fully represented in my coaching, my teaching, and my business.
So how I do that? How do WE do that?
🔥 By acknowledging the ways we have directly and indirectly perpetuated racism in our culture.
🔥 By recognizing the privilege we have and how we benefit from it.
🔥 By centering the experiences of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and calling out when whiteness is overtly or covertly used as an ideal or normative reference point.
🔥 By speaking out against white supremacy, xenophobia, and other systems of oppression that are operating in the background.
🔥 By educating ourselves about racism, and by taking on the mental and emotional load that BIPOC have shouldered for decades and not asking them to educate us for free or to serve as proxy for their community.
🔥 By educating our children about the realities of racism and of white privilege, and modeling the behavior we wish to see in the world. (As the mother of two white boys, this may be my most sacred and important duty.)
🔥 By white people engaging in conversation with other white people about racism, and by being an agent of change within our communities.
🔥 By refraining from posting and sharing images of victims that promote black trauma porn as a means of calling for change, and instead posting things that illuminate the uniqueness and humanity of the person.
🔥 By supporting BIPOC-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, and featuring their expertise in our conferences, summits, trainings, and programs.
🔥 By listening more than talking, by accepting responsibility for our actions, by acknowledging when we have done wrong, by seeking forgiveness, and by pledging to do better – and then actually doing better.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I welcome your additions to it.
Stay present with it, feel it, If this email creates any feelings of discomfort within you… that's not a bad thing. and recognize it as a call to change.
Are you with me?
I hope you are with me.
So as I close this mini-episode, I want to encourage you to review your podcast feed right now. I want you to ask yourself how many of the hosts of the shows that you listen to are a person of color, and if your podcast feed is fairly white, then I'm going to suggest you do something about that today and you start listening to podcasts that are hosted and produced by people of color.
A few recommendations I would make number one is the Pause on the Play podcast by my friend Erica Courdae. Erica is a dynamic woman and an expert in diversity, equity and inclusion. So I think the Pause on the Play podcast would be a great place to start.
I also want to recommend two podcasts by Trudi Lebron. She produces and hosts Business Remixed, and That’s Not How That Works.
And then finally, I want to encourage you to listen to Rachel Rodgers’ Hello Seven podcast.
These three women are leaders in the field. They are experts at what they do, and they are voices that need to be heard right now.
And as I close today, I can't help but think about how I close every episode of this podcast, which is encouraging you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity.
Being a Coach with Clarity means being an anti-racist coach. This is an area where I can do better, and if you are a white coach, I invite you to join me in that. Let's show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity. Let's show the world what it means to fight against racial injustice. Because Black Lives Matter, and our clients and colleagues and friends and family members, who are people of color deserve better.
So let's really go out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity. I'll talk to you next week.