None of us have gotten to where we are in life without other people. I was first educated and exposed to racial justice issues by African-American history professor, Dr. Leslie Patrick. Her compassion and patience nurtured me in my early development as an activist. Despite having educated thousands of students before me and experiencing racism, discrimination, micro-aggressions and bearing the weight of an overwhelming oppressive system, Professor Patrick found a way to support me in learning what she had known all her life. I carry Professor Patrick in my heart wherever I go and do this work hoping to live up to her example of compassion and patience.
Me and Professor Patrick in 2000
I want to make it clear that anything I say on racism has been said before by Black organizers. While it is imperative for white people to work with each other in undoing this racist set-up, we must remember that people of color are living the experience of racism daily. I have learned everything from the many, many Black folks who were willing to share their story, educate me, or just be my friend – especially when history proves it to be dangerous for Black people to interact with white people. I lift up all the people of color in my life (past, present and future) who take the risk to teach me. I hope that by doing this work I can chip away at the system that creates such danger for those who have nurtured and educated me.
The People’s Institute of Survival and Beyond has one of the best analyses on racism and how to undo it. My life has transformed after attending the Undoing Racism and Community Organizing workshop. For anyone who wants a clear analysis and who is serious about doing this work, this workshop is a required experience.
I’m committed to constantly reviewing and revising my accountability so that I do not re-create an oppressive dynamic that I am working to end. The Growing Edge gives back a percentage of its profits to the People’s Institute of Survival and Beyond. It is with hope that this percentage can grow as our work does and that the work of The People’s Institute will be supported and sustained by all of us who are working to undo racism. In the interest of making our work as accessible as possible, we also may offer a sliding scale for individuals who are not able to afford the entire fee for some of our programs. Please contact us here to discuss a sliding scale fee.