Updated: Nov 7, 2020
Credit: Illustration by Shawn Theodore
Reparations is a word with a lot of "charge" around it for white people but it simply means "to repair". We are here at this time on the planet to do some deep ancestral healing, we are here to repair what those who came before us created-that which is doing harm. One way we can repair is by supporting people who are creating the new way while old systems of oppression are being dismantled. As a part of the month long BIPOC centered and led racial trauma training I took part in I created a personal reparations plan which according to Sabia Wade, should really be called an accountability plan because that's really what it is; a way to hold ourselves accountable for the systems of our ancestors that we continue to uphold. I’m sharing it here with you so that you may be inspired to create your own. It doesn’t take much. As I worked through my list I found myself wondering why it's taken us so long to get here as a collective. We have no problems creating action plans when it comes to environmental responsibility...we've been collectively making promises to treat the Earth better and to be better stewards to the land since I was a child but when it comes to being better humans to our fellow humans something gets in the way...I'm sharing that wonder because I feel like there's something there for all of us to feel into there.
MONEY: I commit funds to
I will gift monthly to a BIPOC or BIPOC led organization who is working to build systems of healing and empowerment within their community
I commit to participating in at least one BIPOC led training per year to learn more in my fields of somatics, meditation, yoga and astrology
Action step: I’ve begun Andrea Ranae’s “Rise Up: Visionary Business For These Times” course to learn how to use my gifts and resources to change the world
*In order to make more of this happen and find those who I truly resonate with and want to learn from I have expanded my instagram feed to include more BIPOC leaders in my fields of somatics, meditation, yoga and astrology.
Replace monthly purchases with products from Black owned businesses
Ritual items From Primordial Womanhood
I will buy gifts for others from Black artists
I am seeking out local BIPOC Dr's, Dentists, Massage Therapists and Acupuncturists to fill that need for me and my family
TIME: I commit to participating in my [un]learning process by
Listening to BIPOC leaders and facilitators through the media I consume
Participating in the White Ally subgroup in my Somatic Experiencing® professional and student cohort
Continue to unpack, examine and dismantle the ways white supremacy/patriarchy exists within me and the systems I support through reading, listening and deep self inquiry
Acting as a white accomplice in the “Lifetime In Quarantine” online community and in my daily life
Learning about the Indigenous History in the Bay Area where I currently live as well as deepening my knowledge about the colonization history of the US mainland plus Hawaii & Alaska
Reviewing the list of 14 qualities of white superiority from Jen Willsea and making it a practice to actively engage with one each week.
POWER/INFLUENCE: I commit to using my voice and privilege by
Making a statement to my community of yoga practitioners and teachers, many who I have trained, about my stance and commitment to be anti-racist rather than inclusive and to vocalize that I did not teach them to teach so they could enable white fragility and bypass reality but rather so they can teach resilience and empower action.
Through transparency and vulnerability I will model what it looks like to be a white accomplice
Using my social media and mailing list platforms to amplify BIPOC voices, speak about racial trauma and share opportunities for action
Being the “person” for my BIPOC friends who can’t put forth the emotional labor with other white people
Expecting and inquiring that the professional, community and educational organizations I participate in have anti-racist values
Using my writing to bring awareness to the intersection of trauma and race and to speak out against spiritual bypassing
RELATIONSHIPS: I commit to tending my many roles and relationships by
Acknowledging I live on occupied Yokut land and asking permission as a part of all of my ritual practices to honor my relationship to the Yokut people and the land I live on
Generating curiosity about white fragility in one on one somatic experiencing sessions and in small groups in my professional role
Normalizing talking with friends about whiteness in our personal lives and businesses
Continue nurturing my relationships with BIPOC people without making them tokens in my white allyship
As you can see it takes some time to sit down and get curious about the changes you can make in your daily life. Notice the guilt and shame that may rise; forgive yourself and then with all of your joy and all of your hope for a better future, take some time to get curious about where the energy of your money, time, power, influence and relationships is flowing and then implement changes that support leveling the playing field. Check out the links from my writing above. The changes you make can be as simple as replacing the products you use with those made and sold by BIPOC owned small businesses or learning more about your current field from a BIPOC voice. The changes we make through reparations do not only benefit the BIPOC community, they benefit the whole by dismantling the patriarchal system and empowering individuals. We no longer need to feed the corporations or stoke the egos of those who are in authority. This is the new paradigm, the “New Earth”, and it is being co-created by each of us who is willing and able. Welcome to the (r)evolution.