Peacocks, Hummingbirds, or Chickens — How to Present for Racial Equity

By Erin

Over the past week, I’ve sat through a lot of different education-wonk presentations. Some of them were interesting, some of there were snoozefests but I had to feign interest, and some of them were on fire for all the wrong reasons. In most of the presentations, people talked about racial equity in some way. Some of the presenters really got it and dived deep into the topic, others were scared to talk about it but knew they had to and had talking points. The worst presenters, mostly by men, who tried to talk about equity clearly didn’t get it and refused to back down when asked questions and called on not knowing the answers.

The presenters fall into three categories:

  • Peacocks: Look at me, I’m so proud and I know everything. Don’t you dare challenge me cause I’m pretty. I may not know anything about race or how racial equity is applied, but I am too proud to admit it. Let me puff my chest out and if you challenge me I’m going to squawk and yell over you.
  • Hummingbirds: I am going to keep talking about race even though I don’t understand what I’m talking about, if I keep talking and using buzz words maybe I can get away with it.
  • Chickens: The workers, they understand race and they are busy actually doing work that leads to equitable results. They are steady and often do the work without calling attention to themselves and are humble.

Peacocks – How they show up

peacock.jpg

Peacock image, from pixaby, Creative Commons – myska0091

Peacocks are the easiest to spot. They puff themselves up a lot and present with an air of arrogance, ‘don’t question my data,’ ‘I am a subject area expert,’ talks over people and cuts off others. When someone asks them a question they can’t answer or are definitely in the wrong about they deflect from answering and either talk in circles or give an answer that threatens or does shut down the conversation.

Peacocks are dangerous to racial equity. They are often tasked with being the spokesperson for a project even though their racial equity fluency is sparse. When they speak they are arrogant and lack humility and an inability to build trust with the community. They often don’t want to hear genuine feedback. When they do take feedback, they don’t know how to use because their answers are always right.

How not to be this presenter: If you don’t want to be this presenter learn and practice humility. It is ok to admit you don’t have an answer – in fact, use this as a way to deepen your own understanding about race as it relates to the topic. No one can know everything about race, culture, language, etc. Admitting you don’t know and show you want to listen is a way to build trust. Stop puffing your chest out and fanning your feathers – for us to be in a just-relationship we need to rebalance knowledge and power.

Hummingbirds – Flitty and Buzzy when it comes to talking about Race

plants-attract-hummingbirds.jpg

Hummingbird and plant, pixaby creative commons, skeeze

Hummingbirds are cute and appear non-threatening. Their presentations are well executed and often have slick presentations. They can throw around some good racial equity sounding words and lingo. Yet when someone asks them to go deeper then their pre-planned talking points they can’t really answer the questions and will begin to throw the buzzwords around again.

Despite their flitty nature and tiny-size, hummingbirds can be dangerous to advancing racial equity work. They often don’t have substance or depth to their conversations. Buzzwords and jargon may win-over some people, but when it is time to have a substantive conversation they flop over with their tiny-bird feet in the air. When this happens conversations and projects stall because people won’t understand the work or it will be so watered down it won’t have an impact.

How not to be this presenter: Stop using buzzwords and learn about race. I recently listened to a presenter who was a content expert but couldn’t articulate anything helpful when it came to talking about racial equity. When people in the room asked questions he flitted around the question and kept throwing buzzwords around. What he should have done was understand how and why race are important and how it impacts the outcomes of his project.

If you need taking this step, pull up a racial equity toolkit or another tool and answer the questions. Once you do that take the work to another level and ask why the answers are the way they are, and then ask others to join you in this exercise. You’ll end up with a better and higher quality presentation.

Chickens – Be a Chicken

chicken-3662513_1280

Three chickens, pixaby, creative commons capri23auto

Be a chicken, it is ok to be a chicken. Chickens, hens in particular, are workers – they’ve done their pre-work on learning about race and it shows up in their presentations. They don’t call attention to themselves and they like to live and work in a flock of likeminded hens.

When you present like a chicken it is ok to say what you need to say and admit to not knowing something, it is ok to be vulnerable. Chickens also know that being part of a flock offers warmth and protection. There is no need to be loud and proud, it is good to do your part and then work with others to supplement and add to the collective knowledge sharing. Chickens are also smart and will often leave behind eggs to nourish others for the work ahead. Be like a chicken – feed and support others too.

Special thanks to my colleague MH for naming the peacock behavior.

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Aimie, Ali, Annie, Brooke, C+C, Calandra, Carolyn, Carolyn M., Carrie, Chelsea, Clarissa, Edith, Elena, Elizabeth, Evan, Hannah, Heidi, Janet, Janis, Jennet, Jennifer, Jennifer T., Jillian, Julia, Julie Anne, Kathryn, Kari, Kelli, Kirsten, Kristen R., Kristy, Kumar, Laurel, Lisa, Liz, Lori, Matthew, McKenzie, Michael, Megan, Miriam, Molly, Nathan, Paola, Sarah, Selina, Shannon, Shawna, Stephanie. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up to date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. If you would like to subscribe there is a sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). 

Leaders of Color — Learn to Say “I’m Sorry…”

lake-mcdonald-2069478_1280

Lake McDonald, from pixaby open source photo, attributed to skeeze

Earlier today I was at a listening session with the head of a large public institution. The person speaking was a poc and as he went through his PowerPoint slide deck he made sure to mention they are working on race and social justice. He mentioned it and moved on. Later in the presentation, he talked about a story that had come out in the news a few weeks ago about how students of color were excluded from a program at a disproportionate rate than white children. As he talked about this he said: “We don’t see race…” As I heard this I got bitter and jaded. This is a large public institution that is supposed to be accountable to taxpayers, it is meant to serve all in the community, especially those without means to pay, and what I heard was “I don’t see you.”

As a person of color, I probably unfairly judge other leaders of color. I unfairly expect more because I know the stakes are higher for pocs. I want us all to succeed and to collectively use our voice to push for bigger systemic changes. I also know we are rare and unfairly are expected to be leaders for groups rather than of individuals.  Our representation matters and we should be using our access, influence, and power to push for change. To hear another leader of color say “we don’t see race” made me cringe.” As leaders of color, we have to see race. We must see it, because if we don’t, who will? This is where the unfairness comes in — we give passes to white people who are just learning about race, but as leaders of color we hold ourselves and each other to higher standards. This is also where I have to slow down and give this leader of color some grace and in some ways apologize and say I’m sorry for the public callout.

As leaders of color there are fewer of us out in the world. In the nonprofit sector the number of executive directors of color are small as compared to the larger field, and especially for a field dedicated to solving the world’s problems, many of which unjustly impact people of color more acutely. It isn’t enough to be a leader of color if we’re not using our words and actions to lead for racial equity and not just using them as buzzwords to win attention and grant money. Again some people get a pass, but we unjustly have a different set of rules to play by; because we are rarer if we mess up the criticism is harsher and we get hit by both sides — those who want the status quo to stay and those who feel we didn’t push hard enough.

During the question and answer portion of the program I challenged him on how the organization can say they have a racial equity focus but at the same time say they don’t see race. The answer wasn’t satisfying, as I knew it wouldn’t be. There was no win for anyone in that situation.

Leaders of Color – Learning and Being Humble

Tonight, I was with another leader of color of another very large public institution. The moderator asked her what she does for self-care. She said she grew up near a national park with very big mountains and enjoys being in nature. She also said when she stands below the mountains and waterfalls she is reminded how little she is and how insignificant we can be. I appreciated the humility and calmness she extended in her answer to lead. We can sometimes get hot and bothered by everyday problems, but if leading for equity requires a calm and stillness to be in the work for the long haul. We can be part of the problem or part of finding solutions and finding justice.

Humility and grounding in self and place are important. I think in many ways what I wanted to hear from the leader of color was “I’m sorry, we (our staff) messed up…” As leaders we have to say we’re sorry and our organizations messed up, it is human and there is a restorative justice element in admitting our faults. Admitting a mistake is better than saying “We don’t see race,” which invisibilizes a major part of the problem. In my judgment, this is a bigger sin. Saying I’m sorry means we see the problem and can acknowledge it and maybe with some grace and humility we can work on fixing it together.

A few months ago, I had my own moment of messing up. We had hosted a big event and due to a lot of factors, we didn’t offer childcare. In an act of kindness and bravery, one of my partners had the hard conversation with our team about it. As soon as he started talking, I started rationalizing it and explaining how it happened he stopped me and said “I’m hearing a lot of excuses…” what I should have done was said “You’re right we messed up and I’m sorry,” and then listened more. It was hard and my impulse was to power-play, rationalize, and deflect. Thankfully we could draw from our relationship to move forward on redesigning our events to be more inclusive of children, especially children of color.

Where to go and What to do

Leading for race as leaders of color and white allies means we say we’re sorry when we mess up. Say your sorry, listen, and calmly keep working. With some grace and kindness to ourselves and others, we can stand beneath a mountain and be humbled and strong at the same time.

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Aimie, Ali, Annie, Brooke, C+C, Calandra, Carolyn, Carolyn M., Carrie, Chelsea, Clarissa, Edith, Elena, Elizabeth, Evan, Heidi, Janet, Janis, Jennet, Jennifer, Jennifer T., Jillian, Julia, Julie Anne, Kathryn, Kari, Kelli, Kirsten, Kristen R., Kristy, Laurel, Lisa, Liz, Lori, Matthew, McKenzie, Michael, Megan, Miriam, Molly, Nathan, Paola, Sarah, Selina, Shannon, Shawna, Stephanie. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up to date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. If you would like to subscribe there is a sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). 

Racism Likes ________

ErnestoYerena-WeTheResilient-1-5550x7400.jpg

Art by Ernesto Yerena, from Amplifer.org

The other day a few of us were sitting around our office conference room table munching on pizza and cookies. We bribed Heidi to join us with the promise of ice cream that she had bought but I had stashed at the office. As we were munching on pizza Jondou threw out the prompt: “Racism likes _________” and we started throwing out answers.

Racism likes woke folx who like to analyze but don’t disrupt.

Racism likes people who want simple stuff – tip sheets and worksheets, but don’t do their own reflections.

Racism likes to self-correct to protect itself and its power.

Racism likes the status quo.

Racism likes white people.

As we went around throwing out ideas we chuckled and then ate more ice cream. Racism likes ice cream too – soft creamy and melty, like white fragile people when you talk about race and the conversation gets heated.

The truth is racism thrives when conditions are right and no one stops to ask deeper and harder questions, or when people don’t stop and disrupt racism from happening. It happens all the time when we allow the status quo to continue or we don’t ask questions or call out things disparities.

Hard vs. Simple

As we chuckled and ate our way through the conversation we talked about how people, especially white people who aren’t comfortable in talking about race, like simple things. They ask for simple tools – checklist and worksheets, reading list, TED Talks, etc. Yet even when given these tools, do they really use them or do they file them away for when they need to lead a training at work or school on race. They can then pull out the list of prompts and activities to look and sound woke.

Undoing and fighting racism takes harder brain work. We can’t worksheet our way out of racist thinking or practices. Worksheets, online quizzes, and watching TED Talks are first steps and ways to help us get into the right mindset or to open us to new ways of thinking. The real work is in self-reflection, listening and thinking, and then using the skills and knowledge to spot and call out racism.

Self-reflection around race is hard work. It is also something we all have to do if we’re going to be honest and realize our personal roles in undoing racism and creating a more just community. People of color also benefit when we take the time to do deeper thinking about the roles and impacts of race on our own privileges and oppression. When we do this reflective work we can also begin to see ways we can work to undo the nasty hold racism has on our lives and our communities.

The reflective work is hard and it can be scary. It is scary to realize we may have unearned privilege even though American ethos preaches hard work is key. It can also be hard to reflect alone or with people whom you feel safe with because they may not challenge you to think deeper and think more broadly. As an example, if I need to uncover my racial biases I really shouldn’t be doing that deeper thinking with just white and Asians. While it may feel safer for me to do so, as an Asian American who grew up in an Asian majority community I need to challenge myself to learn more about and reflect on the experiences of Latinx, Native Americans/Indigenous, African Americans, and others.

Racism likes and doesn’t like

Sometimes when I’m stuck I try to think about the opposite. Years ago I had a mentor who challenged us to do this. We told him we couldn’t do an event because of a laundry list of reason – not enough time, no money, yada yada. He stopped us mid-way through our list and said “You’ve told me how you can’t do it, but have you thought about how you can do it? Let’s think about that for a moment.” So we did and while it still made sense for us to not do the event, thinking about the opposite was equally important and empowering to figure out what we could do. So in that vein of thought let’s think about what racism doesn’t like:

Racism doesn’t like thinking

Racism doesn’t like people who analyze and then use that analysis to propel change

Racism doesn’t like people of color who survive and thrive despite racist conditions

Racism doesn’t like intersectionality and focusing on our multiplicities of being

Racism doesn’t like it when we organize, concentrate power for good and work to unseat power hoarders

Racism doesn’t like change

Now that we’ve named what racism doesn’t like we can do the hard work of changing our communities for the better.

 

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Aimie, Ali, Annie, Brooke, C+C, Calandra, Carolyn, Carrie, Chelsea, Clarissa, Edith, Elizabeth, Evan, Heidi, Janet, Janis, Jennet, Jennifer, Jillian, Julia, Julie Anne, Kathryn, Kari, Kelli, Kirsten, Kristen R., Kristy, Laurel, Liz, Lori, Matthew, McKenzie, Michael, Megan, Miriam, Molly, Nathan, Paola, Sarah, Selina, Shannon, Stephanie. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up to date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. If you would like to subscribe there is a sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). 

 

Back to School – What We Must All Learn

Editor’s note: We’re taking next week off. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend.

IMG_20180720_094016.jpg

Artwork: From South Shore K-8 Freedom School “Read Aloud” [picture of books, sayings: “I Know I can, Be What I, Wanna Be!]

By Erin Okuno

It is back to school season. Here are some things we need to learn or revisit in the new school year:

  1. The difference between race and ethnicity. Very often I see and hear people use the terms race and ethnicity interchangeably. They are not interchangeable. A simple way to remember: Race – big groups, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, White.Ethnicity is the sub-groups that nest under these categories: Such as in Asian ethnic groups such as Chinese, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Mien, Okinawan, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, etc. categorized as Asian. Ethnic groups are often distinct in their language, cultures, and in the US the migration stories to the US are different between ethnic groups.

    For educators, the difference between race and ethnicity is important. With this basic understanding, you can begin to ask for better student data and also understand the identities of your students more-fully. At another time we’ll explore race and ethnicity data.

    Bonus points – learn what nationality is and how it is different from race. Quick answer: Nationality is where a person has a legal relationship to the state, such as what country issues a passport. Example, my nationality is American, my race is Asian, my ethnicities are Japanese and Okinawan.

 

  1. Native American / Indigenous History. Earlier this week I spent some time with high school educators during their professional development day. They came to my office to learn about our work and to build connections. As I shared what we’re working on I paused to acknowledge we are on Native Lands. I also mentioned for me it is important to acknowledge we are on Coast Salish, Duwamish land and to do the deeper work of learning about Native American history. As we talked I mentioned how doing this can make more visible our Native American students and help to undo whiteness in curriculum. One history teacher said he teaches a unit on great empires and is now questioning why it is so heavy on European history and will look at weaving in great empires from Indigenous people.While we’re at it, we should also learn the histories of other people of color and not just the civil rights and modern headline versions of bad or exceptional things happening to pocs. African, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle East history is rich and diverse.

 

  1. How to properly pronounce people’s names. Others have written about this so I’m not going to go into it, but let’s slow down and try to learn people’s names and how they want it pronounced. A Somali American colleague shared her name story with me. The Somali pronunciation of her name doesn’t match the Romanization. It was a choice between having it look ‘right’ on paper, but knowing people would forever pronounce it wrong. Many immigrants face this dilemma. We should try to learn people’s names if we have a relationship with them, especially if they are students and family members in our schools.

 

  1. Disabilities. Through working with colleagues, such as my friend Carrie, I’ve learned a lot about disabilities justice and how it is interwoven with race. I still have a lot to learn, I’m a baby-novice on this topic. Most likely in your classroom or in your network are people with disabilities – visible or not visible. Carrie reminds me that twenty-percent of the population has a disability but many do not share their disabilities because of fear, anxiety, identity, etc. 

    Deepening our learning about disabilities and pocs is important. The impact of a disability is different for many pocs, and in some cases, pocs are over or under-represented in diagnoses. And learning about different disabilities is required as well – e.g. mental health, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, chronic illness, etc. If we will ever achieve racial justice we also have to focus on disabilities justice. One place to ease into learning about disabilities is Ablelism BINGO.

    One practice I’m embedding more into my daily work is pausing to ask what people’s access needs are. At meetings, we pause and invite people to say what they need whether it is a disability or language accommodation, or something as simple as “I need to leave the meeting early.” I tell people they can slip me a note or send a text message if they don’t want to announce it. Hat tip to Fakequity team member Jondou for bringing this practice to us.

 

  1. Child development, bias, and identity. Each of those deserves a topic of their own, but for expediency sake I’m lumping them together. We need to learn about child development because understanding how children (and really all of us) develop helps us understand life better – hang out with a good child development person and you’ll feel like you got a free therapy session and you’ll understand yourself better. For students of color, we need to understand child development because too often we assume too much or too little of our students of color and don’t see them as individuals or understand their family context, our personal assumptions and biases play out. Identity is the in-buzz thing (as it should be) – learn about it, including understanding the experiences of our poc LGQBTIA communities.

A new school year offers so much promise. Hopefully by focusing on a few things we can make important changes that last beyond the school year.

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Aimie, Ali, Annie, Brooke, C+C, Calandra, Carrie, Chelsea, Clarissa, Edith, Elizabeth, Evan, Heidi, Janet, Janis, Jennet, Jennifer, Jillian, Julie Anne, Kathryn, Kari, Kelli, Kirsten, Kristen R., Kristy, Laurel, Lori, Matthew, McKenzie, Michael, Megan, Miriam, Molly, Nathan, Sarah, Selina, Shannon, Stephanie. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support. Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up to date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. If you would like to subscribe there is a sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). 

What Resistance Looks Like

By Erin Okuno

I’m back from a week-long road trip taking me from the Puget Sound to the Rocky Mountains. It was a great trip and I learned a lot along the way. It also made me appreciate how people and culture are rooted in place and how it can help to feed our resistance to whiteness. I wanted to write this post because it is time to focus on something positive; my past few blog posts have focused on heavy topics so hopefully, this one gives us some levity and in the words of Star Wars Resistance: “The Resistance Will Not Be Intimidated.”

To me, resistance comes in big and small acts. Resistance is standing up and marching and rallying and having a public display of actively resisting something, such as the recent rallies at ICE detention centers. It is also the small everyday acts of making choices and choosing racial justice. Resisting whiteness is a form of resistance that helps to build our racial and cultural understanding and tolerance.

Indigenous Place Names

IMG_20180810_111320A while back while on a different road trip I stumbled upon an article from YES! Magazine where Native hikers are reclaiming indigenous places by using geotagging and inputting Indigenous place names. As I wrote about before many of the places we know by today’s names are named by white people. Before colonization, Indigenous people had names for places and sadly many of those place names have been erased from our vocabulary and history. In personal and powerful acts of resistance, they are reclaiming history and place by making Indigenous place names known. On my road trip, I saw signage showing Indigenous names of towns and cities prominently displaced. It was a great reminder that I was on Indigenous land and we were guest on their land and at the very least I should learn about the history of their culture and place from the Indigenous perspective.

Ordering Lunch in Missoula

IMG_20180808_131446.jpgDuring our trip to Montana, we spent a few days at a very white campground in Missoula. While that wasn’t the highlight, the highlight was stumbling upon the weekly “Out to Lunch” festival at Caras Park. I ordered lunch from a Thai pop-up stand. While ordering the proprietor asked: “Where are you from?” This question is often fraught with layers of microaggressions, but from her I knew she was excited to see another Asian. We chatted and she told me how she immigrated from Thailand 20-years ago. Her daughter was there and I asked if she speaks Thai, which she does. It was a nice moment of being “with my people” in a land where we are rare– 1% of the Missoula population is Asian. In that moment we resisted the siren call to blend in and give-up important parts of ourselves, we resisted blending into the other 90+% of whiteness.

Book BINGO

IMG_20180805_161639.jpg

While packing for the road trip I had to choose carefully what to take. Four people, plus camping gear in a Honda Fit was a tight fit. The reading material I chose to take along was an important consideration knowing we would be in places without access to wifi and I had to limit how much reading material I could pack. I chose a book by a poc author to try to work on my Summer Book BINGO card. My reading books and material by authors of color is one important way I actively resist whiteness everyday.

While we were on vacation my kid saw on the map the IMG_20180808_105406Missoula Public Library and made us stop in. I didn’t fight his request since the library was air-conditioned and I was amused he wanted to go to a library on vacation. While we were in there he found some history books to browse and was bummed he couldn’t check them out. Resistance is watching my kid find books that interest him and talking through the material from a racialized standpoint. He’s making critical choices about information to take in and believe and he is developing his own resistance mindset. As a side note, I found these shopping carts by the door, shopping carts at a library – genius!

Museums – So many museums

MVIMG_20180807_141423.jpgAs one does on road trips we stopped by museums and cultural centers. One of my favorites was Sqelixw-Aqlsmaknik (The People’s Center), a cultural center of the Salish, Pend d’Oreille and Kootenai tribes.

We also stopped at other museums and cultural centers. A few made points of highlighting people of color histories in the region. It was also at the museums where I encountered blatant racism. While standing next to a display on Japanese Concentration Camps (internment camps) an old white-bearded dude said to his white companion: “Those Japanese were [are] bad, but not as bad as Obama.” He meant the statement in both the past and present tense. My passive act of resistance as a Japanese American was to give him the side-eye and to move to stand next to him. I don’t think he noticed but it was my way of making my presence known to him.

More Signs of Resistance

Back in Seattle, I found more signs of resistance. Elections have been happening all over the country. I’m excited to see Ilhan Omar’s campaign for Congress. Ilhan is poised to become the first elected immigrant from Africa and the first Somali American in Congress. Knowing we have a president who is hostile to immigrants and actively pushing policies against Muslims and women, having Ilhan Omar in Congress will be an important voice for many of us regardless if she is ‘our’ representative. More locally women of color are running for office: Senator Rebecca Saldaña is running for re-election to Washington’s legislature, Debra Enteman is running for the state House, Pramila Jayapal for Congress, and so many others. For the women of color reading this I hope you will consider running and serving – there are many offices, commission seats, and boards that need to be filled—representation matters.

MVIMG_20180815_153607.jpgOn Wednesday, I joined several teacher candidates for a few hours. My co-panelist was an African American, 30-year veteran family support worker, listening to him talk was a joy. Investing time into this panel was a form of resistance, I could have chosen to put my time elsewhere but spending time with the students gave me the gift of listening to Gerald who works daily with homeless students, families of color, and so many others. He resists allowing people to stereotype the students, he fights systems and prejudices, and most importantly he ‘sees’ kids who need to be seen. If we all worked just a little harder to see people of color we’d all be better off. Walking out of the school I stopped to admire student artwork of people of color, resistance through art is one of the oldest forms of resistance.

Resistance happens all the time and we need it to continue. Sometimes resistance is labeled as ‘troublemakers’ and annoyances (remember the good-guys in Star Wars are known as the Resistance), but they make a difference. I hope you’ll take some time to actively notice and applaud the resistances you see happening. Maybe with enough resistance, we can create a force that overthrows racism. In one last Star Wars Resistance quote: “The Light — It’s Always Been There. It’ll Guide You.”

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Aimie, Ali, Annie, Brooke, C+C, Calandra, Carrie, Chelsea, Clarissa, Edith, Elizabeth, Evan, Heidi, Janet, Janis, Jennet, Jennifer, Jillian, Julie Anne, Kathryn, Kari, Kelli, Kirsten, Kristy, Laurel, Lori, Matthew, McKenzie, Michael, Megan, Miriam, Molly, Sarah, Selina, Stephanie. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support.

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up to date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. If you would like to subscribe there is a sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

Our very own Korean Drama: Part 2 – The Results

By Heidi K. Schillinger

Are we bio sisters? What does the DNA say? I had several people tell me they are waiting for this post. Wanting to know the results of our DNA tests. I guess that means people read the first post. It also gave me (positive) peer pressure to write Part 2. If you missed Part 1 of the Korean family drama, read this post first. To sum it up, the first post captured musings, thoughts, and feelings as two of my sisters and I waited for the results of our DNA tests to learn if we are biologically related.

results are ready

Episode 11: The Reveal

After my first insufficient sample debacle, Marki, Unnie, and my niece Carrissa, were impatiently waiting for my second sample results. We promised to wait to open our results all together, and my lack of saliva held things up.

We scheduled a video chat the evening I received my results. And, my nerves bubbled all day long. There was no going back once we opened these results. Was I ready? Not really. But I am famous for jumping in and working out the details later.

After dealing with misplaced passwords (Marki), too many feeling questions (Heidi), and jokes about if I am part chicken (Unnie and Carrissa), we opened our reports.

 

The first report we found was this one –

no-close-family-e1533701368376.jpg

After a quick scan, there was silence and some disbelief. According to this first report, there are no close family relatives in the 23andMe database. Wait? Does this mean none of us are related? Not even Marki and me? I must admit to having a brief moment of feeling very alone in this world. Crushed and alone. I know intellectually that family is created, but it was hard to fight feelings of disappointment. Unnie had the best reaction. She questioned the validity of the test and insisted we should take the test again in Korea, as she would only trust Korean tests.

Pause. Silence. Nervous laughter. Disbelief.

Leave it up to our smart niece, Carrissa, to question if we were looking at the correct reports. After a little Google digging, she discovered that we needed to change our privacy settings and allow our results to be shared. And then, boom there it was in black and white, and purple. We are indeed biologically sisters. Whew! Relief. Joy. Love. Validation. Relief.

DNA relatives

Episode 12: We told you so.

Both Marki and Unnie said their Part 2 reflections are, “We told you so.” That is it. Enough said according to them. But I, of course, have a few more words.

Episode 13: “Proof” and Legitimacy

I have been reflecting a lot on what it has meant to me to have “proof” of my biological family, and “proof” I am ethnically Korean. Two very different things, and both complicated. There is too much to unpack in this post, but I will share this. Legitimacy. As an international transracial adoptee, feelings of legitimacy are haunting. People have questioned if I am legitimately Korean, because I didn’t grow up culturally Korean. For a long time, I questioned if I could call myself legitimately Korean. What I have realized is that being Korean is a spectrum of diverse experiences, including mine – despite not fitting into the dominate narrative of what people believe is Korean. I am Korean. I struggle with gaining a greater sense of legitimacy through a DNA test. There is a lot of racist history wrapped up into this notion. Yet, I recognize that feeling. The internalized racist narratives of identity politics are deep and real. I am not immune to these societal messages, despite working hard to try to counter the narratives. Someone in my life asked me if I would still identify as Korean if my DNA results revealed I am mostly ethnically Japanese (or something other than Korean). It was an interesting question to ponder, and I found I do have a significant portion of Japanese ancestry too. In fact, my sisters joked that I am the least Korean of the three of us.

The questions of legitimacy flow into my connections with my biological family as well. Curiosity was the greatest driver of this DNA exploration journey. But I would be lying if I didn’t also admit, I wanted “proof” that Marki and Unnie are irrefutably my biological sisters. Both because there are people in our bio family who don’t believe, and because there is a year and half gap in my life that has been like a missing puzzle piece. Lately, I have been overwhelmed by all the stories that I have heard about why we were given up for adoption that are now sinking in as real. Before I kept them at a slight distance. In some ways disconnected from me. More just a story than part of my story. Some of these stories fill missing holes. Some of these stories create new holes. In many ways, this journey has brought answers and in other ways this journey has created many more questions and extracted tucked away emotions.

Episode 14: Language Matters – the Power of “Really” and “Real”

If I had one ask of you all, it is to be conscious of the language that you use around both identity and family. One of the most powerful ways I have internalized that I need “proof” to be legitimately Korean or legitimately family comes from the ways people use language. Consider what, even unintentional, messages are sent when you ask, “Are you really Korean?” Or when you ask, “Have you found your real family?” I would ask that you believe me when I say I am Korean. And, hope you understand my real family is the one who raised me. And, my biological family is the one who shares my DNA.

To be Continued. . .

This is not the end of our Korean drama, just opening a new season of episodes. Much appreciation and love to my sisters, Marki and Unnie for allowing me to share our story. I am grateful to have you as my sisters, both as a created family and as DNA family.

Thanks for allowing us to share our family story. In the wise words of Erin, “family stories like this are important to understanding how [identity, including] race is shaped, politicized, and increasing our racial literacy. Personal stories increase our understanding of the world and how race is shaped, mutable, and how we build compassion for each other.”

If you are interested in our unedited reactions to learning our results, you can watch it here. It is a bit long, but you can see for yourself the hilarity of misplaced passwords, wondering if I am really Korean or part chicken, and other random jokes.

 

Talking About White Supremacy without Using the Words White Supremacy

Yocelyn-Riojas.jpg

Artwork from Amplifier by Yocelyn Riojas

I got a little help with tonight’s blog topic. Lilliann challenged me to write about white supremacy without using the words white supremacy. My other friend Kirk then said, “but why tho.” I see his point, we need to name bad behaviors so we can speak truth to power and label them to disarm and increase white people’s racial literacy and tolerance. To bring both of these thoughts together in one, hopefully cohesive, blog post I’m going to list out ways white supremacy shows up in our everyday work lives that often goes unnamed.

First, let’s do a short primer on what is white supremacy. Many people, especially white people, see images of white supremacist such as the KKK, cross burnings, Confederate flag, and in modern times the white nationalist movement. Yet this one view of white supremacy is incomplete. White supremacy isn’t just a group of people behaving a certain way, it is also a set of beliefs and attitudes that allow white people to feel superior and demand actions that cater to their needs first. White supremacy is almost never named and because of this, it is an underlying way societies and communities organize that favor whiteness.

Back to Lilliann’s challenge to write about white supremacy without naming it, here is a list of ways white supremacy shows up but not always labeled as white supremacy. One of the reasons the challenge came up is many times as soon as we name white supremacy white people shut down and stop listening and processing. When this happens the conversation is stalled and white supremacy continues to reign. Below are examples where white supremacy happens but is rarely named.

  1. White dude complains loudly and vocally about having to go to diversity training. White supremacy shows up because as a white person he feels he is exempt from having to talk about and think about race. This same white dude will become defensive or sullen white dude in the training either saying “prove it to me,” or refusing to participate using his white power to focus on him versus learning about others.
  2. White business in Chicago that trademarked “Aloha Poke” and is enforcing the trademark and telling other Aloha Poke businesses to cease and desist using Aloha Poke. If you know anything about Hawaiian language and culture the word Aloha is ubiquitous as Hawaii itself. How dare a white guy feel he can ‘own’ (colonialism and a form of supremacy) the word Aloha.
  3. Who controls the giving and the resources, white people. There is no accountability to communities of color. Some foundations do better, some are woke, but overall as an industry and practice philanthropy upholds white supremacy yet we rarely ever name foundation’s as practicing white supremacy. Can you imagine telling the head of a large foundation that their foundation was practicing white supremacy, say goodbye to that multiyear general operating grant.
  4. Only talking about race when around people of color. I have a friend who is white passing and can easily navigate white spaces and poc spaces. He said the conversation changes when pocs are in the room, all white they rarely talk about race. Supremacy at play by not having to think or talk about race unless forced to think and talk about race.
  5. Talking about white fragility instead of talking about racism. Why are you focusing on whiteness instead of the real issue of racism? Supremacy at play, ability to control the conversation to what is more comfortable for white people.
  6. Saying All Lives Matter instead of saying Black Lives Matter. Need this one explained? Supremacy shows up by the dismissal and erasure of Black people. This is also how anti-Blackness shows up in liberal “we’re good people with Black friends” spaces.
  7. Talking about Trump but not talking about his racialized views and policies.
  8. This one isn’t work related, but I’ve seen it come up several times in several parent groups. Cosmic Kids Yoga. I cannot stand Cosmic Kids Yoga – cartoon themed yoga isn’t yoga. A perky blue jumpsuit wearing white women has taken an indigenous practice and stripped it to suit her needs and make a profit. Moana, Trolls, and Star Wars themed and narrated storylines with ‘yoga’ moves is stealing yoga from its indigenous Indian roots. Call it stretching, movement, anything but yoga and I’ll stop ranting, I’m not against teaching kids yoga even by video, I am against a white women stripping yoga of its roots for profit. White supremacy taking what you want when you want and not caring who you stole it from.

I didn’t quite rise to the full writing challenge of not naming white supremacy, but I hope you can now spot more easily how white supremacy behaviors show up in our everyday life. Some may argue some of the examples I used should fall under different terms. I won’t argue with them since naming things is an activity that white society makes us do too. In poc spaces I’ve been in we just talk story and share how annoyed we are with the way it but being able to name white supremacy is one of many ways we have to chip away at it.

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Aimie, Ali, Annie, Brooke, C+C, Calandra, Carrie, Chelsea, Clarissa, Edith, Elizabeth, Evan, Heidi, Janet, Janis, Jennifer, Jillian, Julie Anne, Kathryn, Kari, Kelli, Kirsten, Kristy, Laurel, Lori, Matthew, McKenzie, Michael, Megan, Miriam, Molly, Sarah, Selina. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support.

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up to date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. If you would like to subscribe there is a sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

 

Survey – Did you include a question about race? If you didn’t, uh oh.

By Erin Okuno

US-ANIMALS-PANDA-BIRTHDAYWe get them in our inboxes, surveys. They are the love/hate way of gathering information – easy, affordable, and we can say we’ve heard back from the community. Yet the cavalier attitude of easy and cheap surveys needs to stop. I was trained during my college days to think very carefully about survey design and to never put out a survey without doing a practice survey first. As the saying goes: junk questions, junk data back. Unfortunately, we don’t get too many chances to go out into the community to really collect good data, and you better do it right the first time. Getting it right means you also better include a question about race:

Without a question asking about the race of the survey taker, you can’t disaggregate your data. If you can’t disaggregate your data, you can’t tell who you’re NOT hearing from. If you’re not hearing from people and communities of color, what is

Excuses

A few months ago a state government agency launched a statewide survey to ask people to give input on budgeting priorities. It was heralded as an innovative way to influence the budgeting process which had become rote. The survey was posted online, the organization did their due diligence of having it translated into a few different languages. Since it was a pretty big deal to ask for public budgeting input the survey gained media attention. Out of curiosity I opened the survey link and scrolled through the list of options and dutifully clicked what I thought the priorities should be. Towards the end of the survey I saw they were collecting demographic information. There was an emphasis on making sure they were getting statewide representation since asked about what area of the state people lived, I can’t remember but there might have been a question about rural, suburban, and urban school districts. I think there was a question about how people identified by role—parent, teacher/educator, leadership, etc. Yet there was no question about race.

When I reached out to the organization’s leadership to ask why they didn’t include a question about race I got back a convoluted answer. It said in part: according to national rhetoric there is believed to be lower participation rates if the government is thought to be involved in collecting personal data, thus they wanted to avoid any appearance of collecting personal data. I rolled my eyes when I read that line. Excuses like this are how racism self-corrects to protect itself; underhanded ways of keeping racism alive. This organization has a public commitment to equity and they forgot to actualize it and live it, however I bet this same leader wouldn’t hesitate to use the word equity when talking to the media. This org is aren’t alone in putting out race-blind surveys, just this week a peer organization to them also put out a race-blind survey. Their staff must have traded notes since their excuse was similar.

Why We Ask About Race

It is important to ask about race in surveys because we need to track survey returns to figure out who we are and aren’t hearing from. If we want to make life better for people of color, whether by closing achievement gaps in education or infant mortality gaps, we need to hear from those most impacted by the problems. If I want to close an infant mortality gap I shouldn’t be asking or listening to white people; white people aren’t as negatively impacted by infant mortality as Native Americans/Indigenous and Black/African American people. People of color, especially people farthest from racial justice, must have a say in solution finding and their voices need to rise about the noise and din of a crowded data field. A race-blind/neutral survey that doesn’t allow for the disaggregation of survey results will distort the data in favor of white people.

Disaggregate

A better survey design allows survey collectors to disaggregate the survey returns by race. This disaggregation is important for multiple reasons. First, as you’re collecting surveys you can gauge who you aren’t hearing from. If you’re not hearing from a certain demographic you can double down on outreach and hopefully nimbly adjust to seek more input from whoever is missing. I once ran a family engagement survey and noticed we were missing input from East Africans. There are a lot of East Africans in our survey catchment area but they weren’t being reached by our traditional survey collection methods. Mid-way through our survey collection I reached out to a Somali colleague and hired her to help me with survey collection. Had we not been tracking our returns by race there is a high probability we wouldn’t have had any surveys from East African families in our survey pool.

It is also important to disaggregate the survey results. Race-neutral surveys don’t allow you to pull out the results of people of color. When we disaggregate we can also target resources with more precision and adaptively. Such as the data for one community of color might show different trends and the solutions should be different. Such as an intervention for a white student is probably not the right approach for a first generation Hmong student. A race-blind survey doesn’t allow us to get to this level of specificity.

What to Do

If you must put out a survey, please at a minimum include an optional question about race. If you don’t you’re squandering a chance to do something more meaningful with the results. If you do collect race data, then use it! Do the harder work of disaggregating your data and work with communities of color to make sense of the data. And really you should be doing this before you even write your survey, communities of color should be the ones writing the survey, but we’ve already blogged about that and will probably write about that again some other time.

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Aimie, Ali, Annie, Brooke, C+C, Carrie, Chelsea, Clarissa, Edith, Elizabeth, Evan, Heidi, Janis, Jennifer, Jillian, Julie Anne, Kathryn, Kari, Kelli, Kirsten, Kristy, Laurel, Lori, Matthew, McKenzie, Michael, Megan, Miriam, Molly, Sarah, Selina. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support.

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up to date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. If you would like to subscribe there is a sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

Presence isn’t Power — Shifting Power to Create Change

By Erin Okuno

A few years ago I attended the Othering and Belonging Conference hosted by the Haas Institute at UC Berkley. It still ranks in my top three of best conferences ever attended, and it didn’t make the list because of the after-hours networking, which let’s be real that is sometimes more important and powerful than actual conferences – relationship building is important to undoing racism. This conference was great because of the new thoughts generated and the disruption in old thinking.

One of my favorite lines from the conference came from the Rashad Robinson of Color of Change. During one of the talks, he said “Presence doesn’t equal power,” and went on to explain somewhere along the way his organization realized just turning out people and having a large social media presence didn’t matter. Having a social media post viral with millions of reshares and likes or turning out thousands of people at a rally are all great but they don’t equal the power to push for change. Power comes with using that presence and energy to build a movement, disrupt and have people take actions.

Presence is important and sometimes presence is action. Such as I am reminded of the story of how El Centro de la Raza in my adopted city came to be. In the 1972 Roberto Maestas and other local activist took over the El Centro building declaring by their presence that the community needed and deserved a community gathering site. By being physically present they galvanized each other and their power grew and they eventually were awarded the building. Their presence was intentional and part of a broader movement to uproot racism against people of color and to establish a physical place for the Latino community and other communities of color. Today El Centro’s presence is a comfort to many in the community. They provide housing, preschool education, and so much more from their perch on Beacon Hill. Without their presence in the community, there would be a power vacuum.

JoannaPrice-WMWA-poster

Artwork from Amplifier

What isn’t Power

On the flip side too often I see people trying to claim that just showing up is enough. Showing up is important. Systems and power holders see fear in numbers. Thousands of people showing up at a rally helps to convey a sense of urgency and importance, but we need to remember a one-time mass show up of people power doesn’t change power dynamics. Mere presence without intention and in isolation of other efforts doesn’t lead to change; put more simply a one-off action doesn’t have the power behind it to create change – sustained efforts and building a movement gain results.

Dismantling structural racism takes more than posting on social media and showing up at rallies and meetings. Showing up one-time at a rally or posting an article about a topic is a one-off, a one-time presence will gain you exactly one-wokeness point. One-wokeness point doesn’t buy enough to unearth the layers of historical history, oppression, or even begin to unpack the racism that we are all charged with undoing. You’ll need way more wokeness-points to make changes.

Shifting Power

We need to use our presence as people of color and allies to disrupt and create a new counterculture. These new disruptions and countercultures have to be rooted in who we are as people and communities of color and built to withstand racism and to undo the historical legacies of slavery, oppression, of stolen land, and assimilation.

In order to shift from presence to power we need to remember the things we’re asking people to do are gateways to deeper engagement. Such as why are you posting something on social media, is it to share out information or is it to engage with people on a deeper level. If you want to engage people on a deeper level, then your presence needs to be felt more deeply as well – are you then doing the deeper work to build a deeper relationship with them to talk about the topic of the article.

Some ways to move beyond presence:

Learn about what you plan to attend—If you are attending a rally do the deeper work about learning about the topic, and learn about it from a poc perspective.

Learn what it means at the national level, state and local levels:

If you attended the rally protesting the separation of migrant families read about the topic in national newspapers (i.e. Washington Post, NY Times, Wall Street Journal, foreign papers).

Next, learn what is happening in your state and city – on immigration in Seattle recently a local immigrant lawfully here with a Green Card was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, you can also learn what organizations are working on the issue and work to support them.

Finally, think about what it means for your sphere of influence. What conversations do you need to have to disrupt and be a powerful ally? On immigration, have you contacted your lawmakers? If you run an organization or work with kids do you know what policies are in place if ICE shows up? Can you help families create emergency plans? These steps equal power to make change, not just power to be seen.

You can use this same format for almost any topic – homelessness, education, literacy, maternal justice, disabilities, etc. When we shift from simply showing up to thinking more critically about our individual roles in disrupting racism this is where we shift power for good.

Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Aimie, Ali, Annie, Brooke, C+C, Carrie, Chelsea, Clarissa, Edith, Elizabeth, Evan, Heidi, Janis, Jennifer, Jillian, Julie Anne, Kathryn, Kari, Kelli, Kirsten, Kristy, Laurel, Lori, Matthew, Michael, Megan, Miriam, Molly, Sarah, Selina. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support.

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up to date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. If you would like to subscribe there is a sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.

White Allies — What Desserts are You?

Editor’s Note: For the second week in a row, woohoo, we welcome back white ally Carrie Basas. This blog post emerged out of a late night online conversation when we both should have been writing other assignments.

By Erin Okuno and Carrie Basas

45796_459658071498_764214_n

Dessert and flower table centerpiece [photo copyright: fakequity, do not use without premission]

It is summer and we’ve had several serious posts so it is time to talk about something a little less serious — DESSERTS! Don’t expect a lot of how-tos, let’s make things better, or really anything serious out of this blog post. This is in jest and good fun so don’t get all crumbly like a dry cake.

Snowflake cookie— We’ll start with an easy one. Are you a snowflake cookie, pretty to look at and pretend to be cool, but as soon as the conversation gets heated in talking about race the frosting on you melts into a white glob of stickiness.

Oatmeal cookie with raisins— You enjoy being crunchy and healthy. You talk about health justice for POCs and community gardening, have a few friends who are POC, but in the end, tend to gravitate toward fairly safe and sometimes boring choices. If we were throwing a culturally responsive potluck, you’d show up with some more oatmeal cookies or a kale salad. For talks about race, others need to come to where you are— the middle.

Trifle cake— You understand race, equality, and like to have woke-offs to prove how down with the people you are. But you forget that people are complex and issues don’t come in neat packages or layers. The term intersectionality and multiplicity of identities are too much for your taste buds to handle. Stop thinking in layers and mix up that cake to get a more delicious bite; equity work requires us to think in complex ways and not in layers/silos. 

Berry Chantilly cake— You’re covered in a thick white coating of whipped frosting. You ooze luxury and deliciousness (in cake form only— no cannibalism). When people think fancy, they think you. And how could they not? You can be found at all the big fundraising events. Inside is another delicious layer of white cream between layers of white cake, you bring in people of color and display them like diversity bits into your cake. Remember diversity isn’t equity, sticking people of color into an all white environment doesn’t yield equitable outcomes, equity takes harder work and sometimes means baking a whole different dessert. (Unrelated trivia: Chantilly cake originated in Hawaii at Liliha Bakery.)

Creme brûlée— When race comes up, you’ve got a bit of a hard exterior. It’s been a bit burnt, shall we say? You started out all sugary on the outside but apply some heat and you were cracking. Deep conversations about race feel like a spoon has been jammed into that thin exterior. You’re soft inside. We know. Unlike the snowflake cookie, you can stand the fire. It’s just not where you want your whole time to be and if you feel the heat, you’ll turn it back on others. Do what is right and soften that hard exterior, get to know people who are different then you, break that shell and share a little about yourself and let others see your soft-sweet creamy insides, but remember your job is to mostly listen.

Fortune cookie— You’ve got it, or so you hope. Now, you’re on a mission to tell others how to be woke and equity-fancy. If we asked your white friends, they’d say that you have an extensive collection of multicultural cookbooks AND you tell them often about how they need to do better for racial equity, as they are eating something you made with fair trade chocolate. We love this advocacy but don’t avoid doing your own work by handing out overly simplified social justice warrior one-liners. If it fits in the cookie, it ain’t equity — equity is harder to achieve and doesn’t fit on a little slip of paper.

Magic bars— Think of people dumping everything and everyone together and hoping they come to some tasty resolution without any hard work or difficult stirring. Is this you? Mix in a few choice terms like equity, diversity, gender-neutral pronouns, but really when we ask you to take a stand or for an opinion, you just spout more -isms without substance.

Cake donuts— Like a plain ordinary everyday cake donut you don’t pass yourself off as an expert, you sit dutifully in trainings and engage just enough to be engaged, but when forced to rise up and confront racism you’re hollow like the donut hole. As you sit through the diversity and equity trainings start to engage and do some deep thinking. If you need to do more deep thinking find a poc owned donut or coffeeshop and buy yourself a donut, sit down and reflect on what you learned. If you want to buy yourself another donut this time eat it while reading a book by a poc author and invite a few friends (poc or white allies) to discuss it with you (don’t make your poc friends do all of your thinking though).

Vanilla soft-serv (twist optional)— You are coming in hot with all of these equity words. Or should I say cool and smooth? The words are flowing so fast that it’s hard to keep you from hitting the floor like some ice cream soup that we’ll clean up at the end of this discussion. Engaging is good but pace yourself. Be aware of how much space you’re taking up or risk running over the edge of the cone of community.

So, what’s the ideal dessert? Just like in life there is no one ideal. The good news is you get to taste your way through race, equity, and diversity work, lick a little frosting along the way, and occasionally get a stomach ache from eating too much. Take some time to savor the lessons you are learning, explore new desserts including from communities of color, dig deeper and learn important food history, how food is colonized and decolonized, and how food stories relate to the present and future. When you do this we’ll be a richer and more connected community, and you can put away those snowflake cookies for some true poc-homemade desserts.


Thank you to our Patreon subscribers who help to keep the blog going: Aimie, Ali, Annie, Brooke, C+C, Carrie, Chelsea, Clarissa, Edith, Elizabeth, Evan, Janis, Jennifer, Jillian, Julie Anne, Kathryn, Kari, Kelli, Kirsten, Kristy, Laurel, Lori, Matthew, Michael, Megan, Miriam, Molly, Sarah, Selina. If I missed anyone my apologies and thank you for your support.

If you subscribe to the blog, thank you. Please check fakequity.com for the most up to date version of the post. We often make grammatical and stylistic corrections after the first publishing which shows up in your inbox. If you would like to subscribe there is a sign-up box on the right sidebar (desktop version). Support the blog by becoming a Patreon supporter.