Bonus Solo Episode: Becoming Anti-Racist as a White OT Entrepreneur
It’s been a very hard week…months…decades for black OT practitioners and people of color in our nation here in the United States. I’ve been personally challenged in how I can be anti-racist as a person, but also as an OT entrepreneur. I’m sharing my heart in this solo episode. I hope you will listen, especially if you are in the 86.2% of United States occupational therapy practitioners who are white. A short list, perhaps not in the order I say it on the podcast episode:
White people need to self-reflect deeply on our own biases, our discomfort, our defensiveness. Consider why you might be feeling these things. (Usually it is because we’re uncomfortable with our privilege being checked…but we’re unaware of it.)
Reflect deeply on teaching from black people and people of color…even when it makes you really uncomfortable. This is how we “do the work” to become more anti-racist in our work.
Don’t ask black people to explain things to you or to teach you or to speak for their entire race. Our job as white colleagues in our profession is to do the work to educate ourselves with the TONS of books, podcasts, social media posts, and content that exists already. A list is below if you want to get started.
Whatever you do: DON’T BE SILENT.* Speak out against racism. It is not enough for us to claim we’re not racist as individuals (which is not true no matter what because we ALL have biases). The key is to check your bias, examine your privilege, and to be actively ANTI-RACIST in our interactions in the world and in our work. And among our colleagues in our profession…as the story I share in the podcast so unfortunately illustrates. We have WORK to do. (*Shout out to @marvelousmirracles.ot and @doctorconners on Instagram. Their posts moved me to action and for that I am grateful. I can’t wait to meet you both in person one day and am so glad you are part of our profession.)
Here’s a short list of resources. There are MANY more, but when you read/consume these, you will find many other voices to help inform your work in becoming more anti-racist in your work in our world. I have mainly focused on female activists and authors because those are the voices I want to learn from.
On Instagram (warning white people: content WILL make you uncomfortable. That’s the point. Being uncomfortable is a good thing. It helps you consider other perspectives and your own biases and privileges.)
@laylafsaad Visit her website here: http://laylafsaad.com/
@thegreatunlearn (also @rachel.cargle) Visit her website here: https://www.rachelcargle.com/
@ijeomaoluo Visit her website here: http://www.ijeomaoluo.com/
@ckyourprivilege Website: https://checkyourprivilege.co/
@nowhitesaviors Website: https://nowhitesaviors.org/
@wastefreemarie (Thought-provoking discussions within her instagram feed.)
And here’s a FABULOUS Anti-Racist Resource Guide compiled by Dr. Victoria Alexander.
What else you can do in our profession:
Support the efforts of the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD)
This is the work of all of us white OT practitioners. As OT entrepreneurs, we are leaders in our profession. We must make it our mission to become anti-racist in our profession and in our work in the world. Being anti-racist has everything to do with our OT entrepreneurship. We must stand up for justice with our black colleagues and with people of color in our nation. We’ve gotta do the work.