Dr. Rachelle Rogers-Ard. Rachelle is a published author, adjunct professor, district administrator and she has over 25 years experience as an organizational development specialist focused on coaching school and business leaders in effective approaches for dismantling racist policies, practices and procedures that threaten organizational health. Currently, Dr. Ard is the Principal Lead for Harvest Consulting.
REAL relationships, Rachelle points out, are based on the people in those relationships being SEEN… and being SEEN is a prerequisite for the possibility to engage in COURAGEOUS conversations.
In this conversation, which I’m so grateful to be able to share with other “white” people who are sincere in their efforts to heal the destructive racial divisions in this country, Rachelle describes, with uncommon clarity, the mindset required for us to make forward progress.
One particularly helpful insight I gained from Rachelle for checking my ‘whiteness’ in relation to Black people is to be aware of my surprise - spoken, thought or wordlessly felt - in response to Black people’s intelligence, accomplishments, skills, etc., etc.
Have you ever noticed that response in yourself, even if you didn’t give voice to it? THAT is clear evidence of how we, as ‘white’ people, have been programmed as ‘superior’ and to expect inferior intelligence, accomplishments and skills from Black people.
THIS is the insidious nature (to use Rachelle’s vocabulary) of how ‘white’ privilege and ‘white’ supremacy manifest… most often under the radar of our own conscious awareness.
It hurts a LOT to tell you I’ve caught those thoughts, which I hate to admit, even to myself, but if I don’t catch them, and I don’t admit to myself that I caught them, then how else can I become more conscious of, and eventually eliminate, the programming I and all of us ‘whites’ grew up with?
Rachelle tells us that we need to ‘name what is invisible to make it visible,’ because as Ibram X. Kendi explains, ‘The heartbeat of racism is denial.’
… a little bit more about Rachelle:
Her upcoming remote leadership engagement series is: “WOKENESS DON’T STOP BULLETS: Authentic Leadership to Challenge Intersectional Racism.” The purpose of this 3-day remote leadership engagement series is to “shake systems and soothe souls.” Dates are August 9th, 10th & 13th, (2021) from 9am - noon PST. For more info contact: AuthenticLeadership21@gmail.com
Rachelle’s recently published book, “Black Educational Leadership: From Silencing to Authenticity” which she co-authored with Christopher Knaus, PhD, explores a topic few of us ‘white’ people are even aware needs attention. The book’s dedication reads “To the many, many children who grow up without being able to learn from powerful, authentic Black school leaders and to the many, many Black educators who feel they cannot be who they are and keep their jobs.” A dedication that clearly speaks to an unacceptable deficiency in our educational systems that we ‘whites’ must acknowledge, absorb, and be intentional in helping to correct.
Rachelle's website link.
YouTube link for our conversation: https://youtu.be/Bky6WpsjeoA
Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/onewhiteteacher/message