Been reflecting on my how I show up in the world in light of some learnings from Chicago Foundation for Women Willie’s Warriors retreat. During the retreat presenter Mia Birdsong extended wisdom, hope, resilience, and insight when she led a discussion on Black Women’s Culture of Leadership.
There were 5 themes that Mia shared with us that she gathered from her “experiential scholarship” of being in black women led spaces.
Our culture of leadership is 1) collective, 2) inclusive, 3) restorative, 4) courageous & 5) abundance focused.
These themes were juxtaposed with the characteristics of white supremacy culture: perfectionism; sense of urgency; defensiveness; quantity over quality; worship of the written word; paternalism; either/or thinking; power hoarding; fear of open conflict; individualism; progress is bigger, more; objectivity; and right to comfort. (Read more here: White Supremacy Culture Characteristics
Because the culture of white supremacy is the air we all breathe whether we agree or disagree, are aware or unaware or choose to or not, I am aware that while my whole being desires to embody the cultural themes of black women leadership, I must be actively vigilant of looking for the ways that the characteristics of white supremacy show up in my daily interactions.
If I am truly honest with myself, as unsettling as it is to me, I can see the presence of some of the characteristics of white supremacy at work in my life—not all of them, not all at the same time, not consistently & not in their entirety, but some of them have been present at various times & some more pronounced than others for various reasons. The objective is not to shame myself but to be honest with myself, own my stuff, name, apologize & confront when necessary, correct my behavior/ideology, keep it moving & always be on guard for how I am participating with white supremacy.