I’m Rita Sinorita Fierro, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Fierro Consulting, LLC. We specialize in bridging organizational development, community engagement, and program evaluation that builds collective power through radical love, healing, and future-forming practices.
Racial healing is an ongoing journey. I think of it as a bridge that requires building both the pillars and the midsections. Pillars are the affinity groups– communities of people with similar experiences. Midsections are the solidarity groups–communities of people with different experiences. This week, a few sister-colleagues and I are offering an inside view on our affinity processes and our personal journeys, in the hope it can support other whites build communities that support reclaiming our humanity, beyond whiteness itself.
Our topic for this week is: what does it look like to be a white person committed to antiracism and racial healing?
Like many of my colleagues, 2020 brought a work slow-down for me. The May uprisings and my 25 years of studying racism led to an obsession about systemic racist mechanisms. Just like an apple tree grows from an apple seed, systems/organizations/companies don’t shift easily, they preserve the intention of the founder, the seed, through the systemic/organizational/company culture.
I dove into a historical analysis of these systemic seeds and wrote a book on it. Our culture has upheld white supremacy for almost 600 years. So I wondered, what is the shift in consciousness, in culture, that can end systemic racism? The inquiry led to me to turn the pointed finger at myself. How is white supremacy planted in me?
- Productivity. My support of white supremacy, as a system, is contingent on me being in constant, numbing, non-stop activity. I’m not a machine. My life is not measured by how much work I do. I can choose a rhythm of work that works for me. If I cannot feel my own exhaustion and dehumanization, I have 0 chances of ending white supremacy. How many hours of rest support my health and happiness in a day? Days in a month?I started blocking out a week a month for writing, reading, and resting. (I LOVE it! ?)
- Worthiness. My obsession with proving my worthiness: competition, hyperproductivity, supports the hierarchy of human value and goes against community-building. It supports the illusion that If I’m not productive I’m not worthy of love. I’m learning to stop trying to earn my worth.
- Limiting Beliefs. Dare to dream. What does it look like to truly believe I can have it all? How can I honor my life by choosing what makes it juicy, joyful, free?
The bottom line is this: as long as I am in a state of fear, I am upholding white supremacy. It’s time to get a hold of my mind, my spirit, my journey. Time to live beyond fear. That’s liberation.
Seeing the Bigger Picture. Book: Digging up the Seeds of white Supremacy will be published in the upcoming month. Feel free to sign-up for my newsletter on my author page to be notified.
Know-our-history. Consider reading some primary historical sources that highlight how inequality was baked into the backbone of the United States like the The diary of Cristopher Colombus side-by-side with Tema Okun’s article on white supremacy culture.
Build your leadership towards vision and presence and move away from fear. Otto Scharmer’s Presencing Institute, Team Management and Leadership Program which trains leaders around the world, and Fire & Water Rites of Passage are ways I’ve invested in my own ability to foster collective intelligence, personal power, and spiritual grounding.
This week, AEA365 is hosting white antiracism & racial healing week where contributing authors explore the theme: What does it look like to be a white person committed to antiracism and racial healing? Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to email@example.com. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.