338: How I Confronted my Own Racism & Bias


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Today’s episode is a special one in honor of Martin Luther King Day, which just passed last week, and Black History Month, which is about to begin in February. This is a recording of a conversation that I had with my dear friend Jasmine Bradshaw on her podcast, First Name Basis. She invited me to be a guest on her show talking about my personal anti-racism journey: what steps I have taken to look honestly at my own biases and work on them. I was honored to have such an important and vulnerable conversation with a cherished friend.

Jasmine Bradshaw is an anti-racist educator, educational consultant, podcaster and founder of First Name Basis, a business that specializes in giving adults the tools they need to teach kids to be anti-bias, anti-racist and inclusive. Jasmine uses her first-hand experience as a former teacher, as a mom of two young children, and as a Black bi-racial woman to inform her work. She is the creator of multiple anti-racist educational curricula for use in classrooms and at home, including Bite-Sized Black History, which is a FABULOUS resource for families.



3 Takeaways on Confronting Your Own Racism and Biases:

  1. Be willing to acknowledge the possibility that you might have racism in you. This is not comfortable, friends. Like I said in the interview, I’m pretty sure no one wants to think they have racism in them! But when we realize that biases are subtly taught to us from a young age by media and other social influences, we realize that it’s not entirely our fault that we have implicit biases against people who look or live different from us–but it is entirely our responsibility to start working on it.
  2.  Start looking for examples of racism in yourself. These are the split-second thoughts we have or the subtle assumptions we make about others, and the more we notice these moments and examine them, the more we will learn about our own biases. Only then can we start to call them out and shift them.  
  3. Diversify your community–both online and in person. In her TED talk, Verna Myers says, “Look for your biases, and then look for disconfirming data.” The more you fill up your life with diverse friends and viewpoints, the harder it will be for you to believe negative, one-dimensional stereotypes. Look for opportunities to be in close relationship with and to learn from and about people who look different from you. 


>>>Are these tips from Rachel helpful? What steps have you taken to confront your own biases? Tell us in the comments below.



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