Episode 15: Building Diverse Communities and Helping Kids Understand Racial Tensions with Dr. Lucretia Berry and Tiffany Bluhm
Live Date: Friday, July 31, 2020
Show Description: On today’s episode, Heather is joined by two exceptional guests: co-founder of Brownicity, author, educator, and Ted Talk speaker Lucretia Berry, Ph.D., and author, speaker, founder of Sip & Savor, and co-host of the Why Tho Podcast, Tiffany Bluhm. Lucretia, Tiffany, and Heather discuss building community and intentional connection (sisterhood) with women who don’t look like us, how to talk with and teach children about race, and how to take responsibility for the future of race in our country.
- One goal of today’s conversation is to find ways to intentionally seek out a diverse community – to live life with people who don’t look like us. So where do we start?
- Tiffany says to start with values. She says to find a community that values diversity, inclusion, community and a wide table where everyone is welcome. Find people who resonate with the statement: “I believe that you are inherently worthy of dignity. You are enough.”
- Tiffany says the second step is listening.
- Lucretia believes we have to begin by understanding the historical context of our segregated lifestyle. We’ve been separated on purpose throughout our nation’s history.
- Because of this history, we have to intentionally desegregate ourselves, and disrupt the status quo. We have to work and want to build relationships outside of our own bubble and comfort zones.
- Tiffany reminds us that we have to put ourselves in physical spaces to meet other people, church, work, where you workout, the coffee shops you hang out at. Not just to check off a box, but to seek meaningful relationships that we need in our lives.
- Lucretia encourages parents to go first in this movement. Historically, going back to integration, we’ve started with the kids. But the adults raising those children have not done this hard and important work. She also reminds us we don’t have to be way ahead of our children. We can walk this journey with them.
- Lucretia tells us to start with books and media that depict and use language around different skin tones.
- “The goal isn’t uniformity; it’s unity.” – Tiffany Bluhm 15:59
- “I know we’re learning a lot about these conversations in the national narrative right now, but when you boil it down to life-on-life friendships as we’re talking about today – in a sisterhood – it goes back to understanding: Nope. We value the inherent dignity in one another.” – Tiffany Bluhm 18:23
- “You have to be intentional about going outside what we think is a comfort zone – it really isn’t. It really has been a space that you’ve been assigned to, and you’ve grown complicit and comfortable in that space.” Lucretia Berry 22:05
- “Your man may be your rock, but your girls keep you sane.” – Tiffany Bluhm 24:38
- “Adults first. Let’s not try to push the kids into something that we haven’t tried on, put on, or tried it ourselves.” – Lucretia Berry 29:46
- “Model a learning journey.” – Lucretia Berry 31:18
- “The kids are noticing, even if we’re saying ‘We all need to be treated equal.’ Or, ‘Skin color should not matter.’ Or, ‘Race shouldn’t matter.’ The children are noticing that it does.” – Lucretia Berry 34:22
- “I do think that there is this juxtaposition of what we are saying versus what they’re seeing. And, so making sure we’re living that out, and also making it a safe place to be okay asking those questions.” – Heather Adams 36:56
- “I think about the amount of intentional emotional labor I have put into my oldest, especially, just convincing him he is enough and that he matters with brown skin.” – Tiffany Bluhm 45:10
- “I think it’s important to know the differences – the challenges – that you’re facing that I’m not because I want my boys to be allies for their black and brown friends.” – Heather Adams 46:26
- “Don’t deprive them of the truth.” – Lucretia Berry 49:25
- “There is no part of our society untouched by racial injustice.” – Tiffany Bluhm 56:50
- “There is a lot of movement in a forced pause.” – Lucretia Berry 1:11:59
Resources and Links from Show:
- Why Tho Podcast
- Sip & Savor
- Lucretia’s TED Talk “Children will light up the world if we don’t keep them in the dark”
- Lucretia’s resource page, including books for parents
- What LIES Between Us: Fostering First Steps Toward Racial Healing’ Series
- “Prey Tell: Why We Silence Women Who Tell the Truth and How Everyone Can Speak Up”
- Ashley Abercrombie
- Pressed Juicery
- Chloe Ting YouTube Challenges