Striving to do Better for All
I care deeply for others and want my coaching practice to be a place that feels welcoming to all those who seek to grow themselves and make their lives better. I want to let you know a bit about how I got to now, my beliefs, and how I’ll work to do better.
From a young age I’ve been drawn to understand and change the injustices in the world. My grandmother had told me about apartheid and some of the atrocities committed in other African countries, which planted a seed in me. After graduating college I decided I wanted to work as a volunteer high school teacher in South Africa. I was there during a pivotal time in its history: it was the year of the country’s first free and fair elections. I got to meet Nelson Mandela when he was running for President and then I was lucky enough to to see him become the country’s first elected Black leader. It was an exciting time to be there, but I mostly just watched the process and listened to people’s stories; I was a foreigner and it was not my place to do much else. I learned a lot about myself and I brought my passion for justice back to the United States, where it has remained an important part of who I choose to be.
What I’m Doing Now
The United States of America was built with slave labor and systems of oppression were created to justify this and its continued denial of rights to Black people. Those systems persist today. As a white, straight, non-Christian, cis-gendered woman in a monogamous marriage, I don’t know what it’s like to live in a country without the freedoms I have. I’ve done a lot of work around understanding my own racial identity and becoming an anti-racist. That work has extended to include learning about other marginalized groups. I am dedicated to increasing my awareness and understanding of my privilege and of the experiences of those who do not have such privilege. I regularly read books about racism and other forms of oppression as well as books and other forms of media that offer a glimpse of not only the hardships endured by those who are different from me, but also the joys and richness of their cultures. I read, watch, and listen to novels, podcasts, movies, and documentaries by BIPOC and LGBTQ writers, scholars, directors, and more. I’ve had lots of uncomfortable conversations in an effort to help other straight, white people learn about racism and other forms of oppression but also to continue my own growth. I allow myself to sit in my discomfort when learning about those who choose not to conform to the rigid rules we’ve created and continue to support in this country. I also donate to the Loveland Foundation on a monthly basis, so that Black women and girls can access therapy to help them heal.
Inclusion and My Coaching Practice
I value inclusion, although I know that inclusion alone isn’t good enough; I want others to thrive, have choices, and feel free. My goal is to help all families and individuals who are drawn to the work I do and need support. I aim to provide a safe, brave space for BIPOC, LGBTQ, non-binary folks, those who have belief systems that are different than mine, and differently-abled individuals, couples, and those in relationships that don’t conform to the rigid structures expected in today’s world. I will validate your experience. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I do promise to listen and learn and support you in finding the answers that work the best for you. I vow to remain open to continued learning, which includes feedback from my clients. I will also continue to explore and examine the ways in which I have adopted the thinking, beliefs, and behaviors of white supremacy culture. I’m dedicated to my own continued growth. As Paul Wellstone said, “We all do better when we all do better.”
This statement will evolve over time as I do.