A conversation about race

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     Tiffany Turner

    Two big take aways for me from reading Jeff & Charlie’s notes – to be there for others, not for my own needs (it has me see that I actually haven’t distinguished the boundaries of my needs vs. being of service to others in race and equity conversations).

    And: to be in the conversation with people, even if they never understand it completely. My automatic of wanting to generate results, had me blind to there not needing to be a result in these individual conversations. I see this as another place where I can have a breakthrough in trust.

    Thanks Jeff and Charlie for attending and sharing!

     Charlie Horn

    Thanks Jeff for capturing so much here. What a powerful uncomfortable conversation.
    my biggest takeaway is that the way to be in the conversation about racism and the state of the world we are in right now is the same way to be in all conversations. To bring our most genuine authentic vulnerable curious selves.
    What I will add about What Mark brought was a conversation around privilege.
    How will people use or not use there privilege. What are we doing with it. What are we not doing with it.
    Be curious and ask people about there experience of race and racism.

    Share, be connected, listen and be heard. Be in the conversationAs a contributor and partner. Not to get my needs met.

    Get informed and educated. Don’t hide behind willful ignorance.

    Be willing to be uncomfortable. It’s uncomfortable.  Expect this conversation to be challenging.

    ask what for would I be in this conversation.

    To hear Mark say he didn’t think he was going to be alive beyond the age of 25 was sobering. He said it was just his normal. His learning about safety as a black man was just another learning. Indistinguishable from learning how to be safe crossing the street.

    Marks invitation was to listen and try to understand despite not being able to having not experienced what black men have experienced around interactions with the police.

    my biggest take away is simply to understand that there is trauma that deserves some space to be validated, seen and heard. In the same way all trauma deserves some space to be allowed for. Just allow the space for any and all humans to be with what they are up against. Hold them with a little compassion and empathy and love. For me my work is to see that the anger of others isn’t about me. Be with it. It’s uncomfortable. On the other side of all the expression of emotion is peace.


    Jeff thank you so much for the prompt and careful and valuable notes. I’m grateful to you for being there.

     Jeff Miller

    Hey Team,

    Mark did an amazing job setting the space for a conversation with 50 coaches on the call today. Below are some notes that I took and Charlie feel free to add anything I missed. Hard to describe the feeling on the call, but there was vulnerability, intimacy and honesty. WE NEED TO HAVE THESE CONVERSATIONS ALL OVER THE PLACE. For me this was another reminder about how I need to use my voice to have uncomfortable conversations to support change. Thanks for all being change makers in this world!


    Most people (white people) asking Mark “How can I be a better ally?”

    Mark’s Background: Shared for context. White people need to conceptually get the trauma that black people have been through and their experience.

    • He learned from his parents what the difference between a car backfiring and a gunshot.
    • The police were not there to protect him. They were a threat to them and to avoid them at all cost. If he did talk to them it was his job to make the police comfortable and that if they killed him, they would get away with it.
    • Make white people feel comfortable at all times
    • The chances of him living past 25 was slim
    • All of this was delivered flat by his parents and was taught to him by the time he was in 6th grade.

    The civil unrest is from a life time of trauma and experiences.

    Allyship: To unite or form a connection or relation in between.

    • Simply partnership. A collaboration among equals.

    Key aspects of Allyship:

    1. Listen – E.g. A man speaking with the mother of his children about pregnancy. We can never fully understand that.
    2. Education – Learning about black history and your unconscious bias that you have. Your black colleagues are not necessarily equipped to educate you. WATCH THE VIDEO OF GEORGE FLOYD BEING MURDERED! You need to get the level of pain and suffering.
    3. Stop trying to get it right – There is not right way to have this conversation. Communication is key for ally ship.
    4. Commitment of shifting power and control – Hire and promote people of color in organizations. Your voice (especially white people) matter! Talk with your friends, family and colleagues. Be in the conversation with people, even if they never understand it completely.
    5. Willingness to be and remain uncomfortable and be engaged – Stop arguing for things to get back to “normal.” The unrest is actually changing things.
    6. Pace yourself – This is a marathon, not a sprint. Set yourself up for the long haul.
    7. There has been Trauma – Keep this in mind when intending to be their ally. Have the conversations anyway. Expect it to be scary and uncomfortable.
    8. Be in a conversation/Get on a Call – Ask people what it will take to be an ally for them and in partnership. Be honest with yourself and the people you are in conversaitons with.

    Talk to people about what people’s experience of racism is? For white people, what has their privilege given them?

    White people need to look and educate themselves. Don’t put the burden on your black friends and colleagues to always share their experiences.

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