Each month as we wrap up an issue, we come away having learned something new. Sometimes it’s as simple as meeting a new artist and what inspires her brush strokes. Or maybe it is the passion behind a nonprofit organization and what drives them to make a difference each day. Before approaching this February issue, I knew we wanted to touch on Black History Month. But how can I as a white woman do this thoughtfully? Making this reflection helped me to uncover a blindspot in my own thinking.
I realized there is so much more that we can do. Having just dipped our toes in our third year, we want to use this platform to highlight organizations and initiatives that support people with marginalized identities. At the end of the day, we thrive by learning and growing from our own vulnerability.
I’ve made it my goal to become a stronger ally, so I plan on reading White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DeAngelo. I’m going to do my research
about Elisabeth Epps and the Colorado Freedom Fund. I will study the work of Nylah Burton, a Denver Black Jewish woman writer working on navigating being in the margins of a religious minority. Her boyfriend was one of the leaders of the Abolish Slavery Amendment.
And I’ll dig deeper into Tay Anderson’s campaign. He is running for DPS school board, and is a man who champions black students and educators. He shines a light on institutional racism that isn’t just in the south or rural areas but right here in Denver, where immigrant teachers in DPS are threatened to be reported and/or lose work visas if they strike.
These may seem obvious, but they are a step in the right direction. We’re going to continue to educate ourselves and honor black history all year long.
Your neighbor – Shaleen DeStefano