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Community Manager

Tell us how you have had positive conversations around racial inequity

This month, the AARP Rewards Connect page features a conversation with AARP’s Senior Vice President of Multicultural Leadership, Edna Kane Williams on why talking about race is so important. Read her interview on the AARP Rewards Connect page and find resources on this complex topic as well.

 

Have you been part of conversations on racial equity? How did you start those conversations and how did they go? What have you learned from these conversations? Tell us how you’ve been able to have a positive conversation or share other ways you’ve taken action here.

AARPTeri
Contributor

Being a black women, Ive found that you really have to show yourself strong and confident. Ive experienced racism on so many levels while working for Lowes for nine years. I was asked by one of my superiors if I was "Afraid of her"? I had one to threaten me. She walked over to me one day and enfacticly stated that one day she was going to snatch my wig off. This is after I had lost my hair to alopecia. I was devastated but I had just gotthe job and I couldn't lose it because

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Contributor

I meet a young Black woman attending our church for the first time. We talked briefly and I invited her to lunch to get better acquainted. As I'm in my mid 70s I was really happy when she agreed. She runs a very outstanding program in a local school district. As we talked the subject of race came up about her students. I told her I had move back from a state where the KKK was extremely active and intentionally moved into a racially mixed neighborhood because I preferred the diversity. I told her I had been disappointed when the wife and grandson living next door were most unfriendly and said "my kind were ruining the neighborhood". 

  In a soft and knowing way she asked if I would like to know why that might be happening. She explained by asking me to put myself in shoes of a young mother who had to raise her children and grandchildren in a world that consistently treated them less than. From that one brief meeting I began to understand why there could be mistrust and reluctance in welcoming me next door. I was feeling entitled to their trust because I choose to move here, but I need to grow that trust by my daily actions knowing it may never come. Since then there are smiles and hellos when we see each other. A good start from one short conversation.

Newbie

I co-facilitated a group at my church that chose to read Kendi’s book, How To Be An Antiracist. In this liked- minded community, we freely expressed our concerns surrounding race relations and how to move our church forward.

Trusted Contributor

Doing good means thanking people with words, actions and money for everyday acts of kindness.

 

Contributor

what if you don't have the money?  Then you trained them to expect it for good deeds where there apt to only do good when they know there getting tipped.  I was told once that generosity sometimes corrupts.  People who do there job they way there supposed too should not be tipped $ unless they live off tips like waiters

 

Trusted Contributor

Talking and acknowledging people. Finding out the truth about what is happening to them. As you imply it is easy to jump to assumptions.  But usually we find the light of sunshine

Contributor

Currently, I am the only African American in our office. There are many times the issue of race would come up in different conversations. They all seem to shy away from saying the person was black, or African American. I finally got tired of hearing them dance around the subject, and I said, ”You know, when you act as if you’re afraid to refer to a person’s race around me, it makes you look like you’re prejudice.” That stirred up a conversation about how they don’t want to offend me. But I had to reassure them that I am aware of my race, and if the person is black or African American, it’s ok to say that. But it’s not ok to act as if you’re hiding something.
since then we are more comfortable with the use of these words. 

Contributor

This is just an idea...Why not have the government give out  free ancenstral dna kits to white supremist groups.  I think after they get results that no-one is pure anything it may do some good.  I would follow up with discussion formums or therapy - LOL

Newbie

I was born in Germany and grew in Venezuela, in a household with no discrimination at all (my father was in Auschwitz, so I guess that is the reason).  My parents always explained that we were all children of God, and the only reason for the skin difference came from  the place you were born and the parents you had.  That was a fact, you DID NOT do anything special to be white, neither did the colored people do anything for being different.  We have to accept and understand every human being!!!  I taught the same thing to my children.  They have never discriminated against anyone.

 

I had a housekeeper in Venezuela, Judith, she was from Grenada, she lived with me for 35 years, at some moment she had problems with her child who lived in Grenada so I told her to bring him over to our home.  That was an experience;  then I started to realize how many people do have prejudice and pass it to their children, because there were some of my children's friends that did not want to mingle with Odinga (his name).  I started talking to the kids and explaining the same thing I was taught, and slowly everyone accepted Odinga as a friend, and still feel close to him!!!

Newbie

I teach young new nurses about equality

 

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