February 2023: I Am Educating Myself - Now What?
We wish you a meaningful and enlightening Black History Month.
There is so much going on in our country right now, it’s sometimes hard not to wonder, when will things change?
This is a month full of opportunities to learn and as we learn, we change. We grow. We evolve. We find our sense of purpose in dismantling white supremacy and we become better able to help the next white person move towards antiracism so that we can be a useful part of building a world where everyone can thrive regardless of their race.
As we were considering what to focus on this month, we were inspired by something a member of CWC recently said:
“I love learning new things and deepening my understanding about racism and white supremacy, but I often am left with the question, ‘now what?’ It’s great that I have this new knowledge, but how does that help me be a more effective anti-racist?”
We love that question, so we thought we could explore it together by reflecting on what it means to “continuously educate ourselves” as we say in the preamble, and explore what we can do with the new knowledge we acquire through that education.
Because we are always trying to include an exploration of institutional and systemic racism as part of our conversations, we thought we’d use this short video about unconscious bias in healthcare as a jumping off point for a conversation that addresses the “now what” part of educating ourselves.
Here are some questions to help focus our thoughts:
What, if anything, stood out to me in the video? What questions, if any, do I have about medical racism?
What does reflection look like for me when I learn something new about the experiences of BIPOC folk within racist systems? Are there specific questions I do/can ask myself?
When I come across new information about how people who identify as BIPOC experience the impacts of white supremacy and racism in ways that differ from my own experience, what feelings come up for me and how do/can I reconcile those differences?
Thinking about the different roles people play in social justice, how do/can I take new information and let it inspire further action?
We hope you are inspired by this month’s prompt, but if not, please join the conversation anyway and come to a gathering ready to share anything that’s on your mind.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
P.S. Here are some additional resources that can educate us and help us get closer to the truth about racism and the U.S. healthcare system:
Listen to this podcast that “details a chronology of medical malpractice and racist misconceptions about health while highlighting lesser-known stories of medical innovations by African Americans.” https://www.learningforjustice.org/podcasts/teaching-hard-history/jim-crow-era/medical-racism-a-legacy-of-malpractice
Watch Dr. Joy Degruy discussing the truth about the origin of gynecology https://youtu.be/R5Zsh8NMweY
Watch the great-grand daughter and grandson of Henrietta Lacks as they travel the country as patient-rights activists speaking truth to power as they share Henrietta's story and advocate for bioethics policies and medical consent laws. https://youtu.be/ggIChkFTWE8