My Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Journey Statement for
The School of MOM
One of my key values in life and business is authenticity. In order to show up as my full authentic self, I want to be laser-clear about what I stand for and what I am committed to when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion.
I am a privileged white, heterosexual, physically able and educated woman. My pronouns are she/her/hers, but in the light of transparency, I often forget about stating those because I also have the privilege of reflecting on the outside what I feel on the inside. This leads to no confusion or judgment from others when they see me in a picture or in person.
I've had the privilege to be a part of some incredible learning opportunities when it comes to DEI work. My clinical mental health training at Lesley was infused with regular conversation and education around the power of privilege and oppression. I spent my post-masters/pre-licensure time as a therapist at Wentworth Institute of Technology, and my department also provided regular diversity training and learning opportunities on race, socioeconomics, sexuality, gender and more.
More than the professional trainings, however, I will never forget the young adults at Wentworth who helped me understand what it’s like to be a young black man on a primarily white campus, or a brave and terrified young person who is transitioning from male to female, or a young woman from Saudi Arabia who is being abused by her brother but has to live with him in the states for her visa in order to get her degree.
While I’m incredibly grateful for the professional opportunities from Lesley and Wentworth, I’m most grateful for the clients I’ve worked with over the past decade who have welcomed me into their experiences as humans on this planet.
The clients who I had the privilege of sitting with in therapy sessions taught me and continue to teach me more than any professional training ever could. They also help me stay very conscious of my own privilege, as well as to stay accountable in doing my own DEI work so that I can best serve them in our work together.
And here’s where the real talk comes in…
When I went into private practice, my DEI work fell off because it wasn’t provided for me. And in the intention of being truthful, I think I had an underlying belief that because of all the DEI work and training I’d had early in my career, I had a “good-enough” foundation. As a result, I was confident in my awareness and ability to be a conscious therapist.
When George Floyd was murdered, like many of us, I got the very loud and needed call to get a grip on reality and frankly, get my blonde head out of my privileged white ass. And that reality is… I’m never “good-enough” when it comes to my own DEI work. It’s a privilege to even have that thought.
So there’s the back story… but what am I actually doing about it?
Here’s a high level overview:
#1 - I am currently a part of a group program for female business owners led by a Black DEI educator to help me stay accountable and do my own work, with the support of a professional. Thanks to this coach and group, I now have DEI goals I have prioritized right alongside all my other business goals.
#2 - While there are specifics within my DEI goals around my commitments, I am fully committed to building my communities and businesses to be culturally diverse and inclusive. The work of mothering ourselves is needed for all human beings, and I am committed to making that work accessible by creating communities that are welcoming for everyone.
While the way that my team and I will honor this commitment will always be evolving, we will start by providing education to our clients by having necessary and sometimes difficult conversations around DEI and antiracism work. These conversations will be led and facilitated by Black,Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) educators. I will provide resources and a brave community for women to be vulnerable and “do their own work.”
#3 - I know I won’t always get it right therefore, I am ALWAYS available to be called IN to do more work around my own unconscious bias and blind spots.
A final note:
If you are a human who does not identify as a white woman … Here's what I know as a human and therapist. Being welcome and FEELING welcome are 2 different things. You are SO welcome in The School of MOM community and I would love to support you in the work of mothering YOURSELF. I also understand that a significant part of this work is feeling connected to and welcome in the community. While everyone is different, for many of us - when we don’t see others that look like us, it can be hard to feel fully connected. While my community is primarily white right now, please know that I am committed to growing and evolving my community so that not only are you welcome, but you feel welcome.
If you are a human who identifies as a white woman and are open and committed to doing your own work around diversity, equity and inclusion - know that The School of MOM is a place for you to be held accountable, to feel brave being vulnerable and messy (ie. saying all the wrong and awkward things you’re not sure how to say) and to get support from teachers and DEI experts who believe that mindfulness and self-compassion are a foundation of the “inner work” that is required of us to step into a new level of consciousness and be an effective agent of change for our kids and communities. Also know that The School of MOM community has NO intention of being a white space now or in the future… quite the contrary. The School of MOM community will grow and evolve together as a space where all humans can feel welcome in embracing the practices of mindfulness and self-compassion, and integrating them into their everyday lives. So if that’s not something you are on board with, this is not the right community for you.