I am going to skip right to the part where I tell you I have not been doing enough to be anti-racist and here is my plan moving forward. I am not focusing this post on my experience or emotions but rather my actions…because that is the only thing that actually counts. And the coach in me knows that my success in sustainably waking up every day and showing up to do this work is increased by saying my goals out loud and asking you to help hold me accountable. (And we should be holding all businesses accountable…large and small.) So this is a design…I will iterate as I grow and when I know better, I will do better.
My anti-racist goals as they pertain to Dietitian Andrea LLC:
1- I have started offering the opportunity for accountability around anti-racist work to my clients and employee groups. Individuals who have accountability systems in place as they move towards their goals are 60-90% more likely to achieve them than those who don’t. At the core of my work is human behavior change. I am not a therapist, nor am I a racial justice expert. I am a white person with an expertise in sustainable behavior change who can offer resources**, goal setting, and accountability in scientifically sound ways to other white people who are trying to be better humans. (**TO BE VERY CLEAR…I will NOT be creating resources or content or teaching people but rather directing them to resources/workshops/books/teachings created by leaders of color.)
2- I will continue to dismantle diet and weight loss culture but be much more explicit in offering context to its history and deep roots of oppression and body terrorism against people of color, the LGBTQIA community, people with larger bodies, and differently abled bodies…not just women. I will continue to help individuals mend the relationship they have with their own bodies, which results in a greater collective capacity to appreciate and honor EVERY body.
3- I will highlight a BIPOC thought leader/practitioner/organization in the wellbeing space at least once per month. [NOTE: I will ask for permission to feature them and their work on my feed before posting.] If there is an individual or organization that you think I should share out, please DM me.
4- I will seek out and invest in continuing education training/workshops/conferences that are led by BIPOC and/or have BIPOC individuals on their panels/advisory teams/as keynote speakers/etc.
4- I will get back to my public health nutrition roots and find a way to utilize my expertise to help minimize health disparities that are notorious in communities of color here in the Twin Cities. Racism is a public health issue. I am going to be honest, I don’t have this goal fully defined yet. But I promise I am thinking about it and will report back, within the next 6 weeks, with more clarity and action steps.
My personal anti-racist goals:
1- I will continue to read, listen, and educate myself on the systems that I benefit from and the history of injustices against people of color in this country. I know I have blind spots. It is my personal responsibility to uncover as many of these as possible.
2- And when my blind spots slap me in the face…I will exhale into my physiological embarrassment (and likely shame) and listen harder, graciously accepting feedback and constructive criticism when I fuck up. And I will share my missteps with you so we can all learn.
3- I strive to offer space to other white people to process, brainstorm, and fumble with their own anti-racist work. Shame and guilt and fear of doing/saying the wrong thing are not productive emotions. And doing nothing is not an option. I’ll take your first drafts. Please please reach out and let’s be better together.
4- I am making a concentrated effort to better understand local politics. I am embarrassed to admit that I am not versed in how these systems and structures work (because…privilege) and it’s on me to research and ask questions and get educated so I can show up as an informed voter when it comes to the politics that directly affect my family and neighbors.
5- I am committed to taking care of myself so I can show up for racist work for the long haul. This is a day-in and day-out effort and choice. The lane I choose might look different from one day to the next – reading, conversation, volunteering, voting, coaching, processing, listening, etc…but I am committing to choosing one. And no matter which lane I choose, it is essential that I am operating from a place of grounded wellbeing so I can continue to show up with an open-mind, an empathetic heart, and a fierce persistence.
Peace & love to you all. Thank you for reading this far. Thank you for supporting my work. Thank you for holding me accountable. I appreciate you.