Back in December I invited 10 men of color from The Great Man Within community to a private zoom call where I posed 3 questions:
What has been your experience in this community as a learner, and as a man of color? What would we need to build in this community that would make you enthusiastic to invite other men of color to join us? What can I personally be doing better/differently/more of to make this an environment where every man can thrive? That discussion opened a candid, and oftentimes uncomfortable, series of conversations that were illuminating and insightful.
In particular, I had a blind spot exposed regarding my awareness of what it’s like for non-white men to walk into a community space designed by a white man and unconsciously mostly designed for other white men.
One of the suggestions the men of the group had was to the raise the visibility of men of color who were leaders in this community by bringing them on this podcast platform.
So that’s exactly what we’re doing today, to have the first of a series of uncomfortable conversations on race with two of our prominent leaders in this community:
marcus d harvey is an acting coach and EDI&B consultant, which stands for equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging
Jay Washington is a client relationship manager for a large financial services firm
If you’ve been in the Facebook Group you surely know who these gentlemen are and how vital their contributions have been to the growth and cohesion of our community.
In this episode, there are 4 terms marcus and Jay teach us that I highly encourage you to learn and commit to memory:
White Spaces Power Sharing Code Switching White-splaining One of the most important parts of the conversation comes in the last 15 minutes of the episode, when Jay introduces the importance of building the willingness and capability to see beyond your own life experience in order to understand and embrace the experience of someone who’s not you.
And for our white audience, as you listen to this episode, you may find yourself getting triggered or uncomfortable. Instead of allowing your next reflex to be defensiveness or building an argument to disagree, instead ask yourself “what about this conversation is making me uncomfortable?” Explore that. Find the root, and learn something deeper about yourself.
By doing that, you may be able to see beyond your own life experience…and hear the wisdom of Jay and marcus on a much deeper level.
marcus’ example of a “white space” doing it right: https://www.spaceonryderfarm.org
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man with Emmanuel Acho (on YouTube)
Instagram Accounts to Follow:
marcus d. harvey: @themarcusdharvey
Jay Washington: @dubber77
No White Saviors: @nowhitesaviors
Emmanuel Acho: @emmanuelacho
Rachel Cargle: @rachel.cargle
Layla F. Saad: @laylafsaad
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