The idea for “Going There” came about as a result of the 31 Days In My Brown Skin series I wrote in October, 2012. (You can read those posts here.) The series generated a lot of valuable dialogue, and when the thirty-one days were over, it felt as if the conversation wasn’t done. So, I invite you to share your story as it relates to issues of race, ethnicity, and culture in your every day life.
The goal of “Going There” is to encourage ongoing dialogue about topics of race, ethnicity, and culture in a way that is thoughtful and that shows respect, with the goal of advancing our understanding of the beautiful diversity in the humanity that surrounds us. Interested in sharing your story? Start here. Today’s post is written by Tammy.
Thank you for this! I have been wanting to “go there” for quite some time – especially in my very pale, white, European skin, and my blonde hair.
I work for a local non-profit and I have been asking myself for several years, “Where are all the black volunteers/mentors/leaders/organizers?” In the job that I have – providing reading tutoring – I have never once had a black reading tutor. Not once in five years. But I have lots of black/brown/Native American (and white) children needing help. So, I began to feel like an oppressor of sorts.
Where are the people of color in my workplace? We are all white. So am I just not getting it? Do I have lots of advantages that I am unaware of because I don’t have to live with racism? I have been trying to understand this for some time. Do we [the employer] only recruit volunteers from “white” churches? Are people of color just too busy working because it takes more than one job to get by? How can we raise up leaders of color when there are so few adults of color (or none) to mentor them? Must all the mentors of these children be white, and is that fair to them?
Tammy Randall works part-time as a program administrator for City Impact’s Impact Reading Center in Lincoln, NE. Before that, she home-schooled her two boys for 6 years, teaching them to ask tough questions and think for themselves. In spite of this, she is taken aback by their independent thinking that usually doesn’t line up with hers. She is a perfectionist who never lives up to her own standards and is in a constant struggle to give herself some grace. She has never been known for being tactful. Tammy is always trying to see the world through other people’s eyes. Connect with Tammy on Facebook.