I work as a coach and trainer of coaching. I have been working with leaders in non-profits and social justice organizations on how to use coaching skills in their day-to-day work and communities, especially communities that wouldn’t normally have access to coaching. The program we teach is Coaching for Community Transformation (through Leadership that Works). We’re training people in how to bring a multicultural awareness to the coaching interaction, including awareness of power and privilege, racism, oppression, and -isms in general, etc. So as a white woman on the faculty, I’ve had a lot of work to do in confronting my own ignorance, privilege, biases, overcoming colorblindness. Still working on it, daily, hourly. But it was your words about grieving the loss of power that resonated most with me. This is a bigger conversation but the bottom line is I have lost some of the clarity I had about my own identity and that’s what I’m grieving. Your article helped me see that there is a deeper unraveling happening, akin to a death of sorts, systemically and personally. It’s hard to see that, after more than 50 years thinking I’m part of the solution, I’m also part of the problem.
In addition to grieving, I’m at the intersection of how to be a woman who can stand in my own personal authority while unlearning the patterns of white supremacy. I find that, personal authority and white supremacy may look the same or similar in a white person. And how much of my personal power actually comes from white supremacy? How do I stay connected to my own sense of personal power without Powering-Over and remaining part of the problem?
Just that! :-)