I just got back from the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) for 2019. I had never even heard of it until last year, when my friend and colleague from Elk Grove asked me if I was going. I owe her a debt of gratitude, as last year’s conference was transformational for me.
Last week, I read yet another story of a person who had been through tough times who has now soared above what others believed they could become. The story purported to be one of “resilience,” however stories like this one keep us stuck where we are without pointing us forward.
I am resting today. I have an uneasy relationship with rest, one that comes from my own childhood trauma, as well as the sociocultural trauma of being seen as “other” in a white superiority context.
I know that people don’t really want to talk about trauma. Trauma in whatever form can be disheartening, scary and sometimes just plain sad. Lately it’s been different, though. These days, I find myself talking more and more about sociocultural trauma - trauma caused by implicit and explicit bias (e.g. racism, sexism, ableism).
Use your words. It seems like such a friendly, gentle reminder. And it would make grown up lives so much easier if kids would just say what they want! Except what if they a) don’t know the right words or b) don’t know what they want?