Thank you.

“I am not a race and neither are you.

I’m not joking when I talk about White History Week. One of the things that most afflicts this country is that white people don’t know who they are or where they come from. That’s why you think I’m a problem.

I am not the problem; your history is. And as long as you pretend you don’t know your history, you’re gonna be the prisoner of it. And there’s no question of your liberating me, ‘cause you can’t liberate yourselves. We are in this together.

And finally, when white people talk about progress in relation to black people, all they are saying, and all they can possibly mean by the word ‘progress,’ is how quickly and how thoroughly I become white. I don’t want to become white; I want to grow up!

And so should you.”

James Baldwin, 1986

There are so many people who have taught me, rescued me, been gracious with me, corrected me and led me on this journey forward. I am a follower of so many black, indigenous and  people of color (BIPOC) who have been doing this work for decades before my awareness of the need for it. White folks need to follow, support, protect and pay these people. These are the folks I owe much gratitude to for my own growth. There are also other leaders whose research and education has expanded my awareness on ideology, gender, sexuality, faith and more. These are my teachers who have helped myself and so many others come to know truth more fully, listed below in no particular order. Instagram handles included if applicable.

Beyond Diversity 101, The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, Niyonu  Spann, James Baldwin, Nina Simone, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (@chimamanda_adichie), Rebecca Solnit, Roxane Gay (@roxanegay74), Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Betty Friedan, Yaa Gyasi, Alida Nugent, Pema Chodron, Mark Nepo, Tarana J. Burke (@taranajaneen) Bryan Stevenson, Asha Bandele (@ashabandele713), Patrisse Khan-Cullors (@osopepatrisse), Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisis.coatess), Amanda Seales (@amandaseales), Michelle Alexander, Brene Brown (@brenebrown), Tina Fey, B.K.S Iyengar, Don Miguel Ruiz (@donmiguelruiz), Austin Channing Brown (@austinchanning), Reni Eddo-Lodge (@renieddolodge), Carol Anderson, Robin DiAngelo (@diangelorobin), Richard Wright, Barbara Ehrenreich, Deirdre English, Leesa Renee Hall (@leesareneehall), Layla F. Saad (@laylafsaad), Rachel Cargle (@rachel.cargle), Glennon Doyle Melton (@glennondoyle), Sassy (@sassy_latte), Desiree Adaway (@desireeadaway), Ijeoma Oluo (@ijeomaoluo), Ibram X. Kendi (@ibramxk), Beyonce (@beyonce), Macklemore (@macklemore), John Biewen, Chenjerai Kumanyika (@chenjerai), Ericka Hart (@ihartericka), Shi Shi Rose (@shishi.rose), Rachel Ricketts (@iamrachelricketts), Brittany Packnett (@mspackyetti), Shay Neary (@watchshayslay),  Gxiana McQueen (@gxianabianca), Anna O'Brien (@glitterandlazers), Mark Kanemura (@mkik808), Andrea Ranae (@andrearanaej), Aaron Rose (@aaronxrose), Adriana Trenta (@adrianatrenta), ALOK (@alokvmenon), Travis (@travislabanza), Chani Nicholas (@chaninicholas), Rupi Kaur (@rupikaur_), Luvvie Ajayi (@luvvie), Harnaam Kaur (@harnaamkaur) Eleanor Wheeler (@elliewheels), Sonalee R (@thefatsextherapist), Khushi Malholtra (@khushface), Jasmine Rice LaBeija (@jasminericenyc), Allen (@lilnativeboy), Imogen Fox (@the_feeding_of_the_fox), alexandra elle (@alex_elle), Troy Solomon (@abearnamedtroy), Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour), Tamika Mallory (@tamikadmallory), Liz Plank (@feministabulous), Shaun King (@shaunking)

This list is not exhaustive & excludes my other friends, teachers & earthly family who circle around me daily to carry me forward. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.