Five lessons for antiracism work and healing

Reflections on racism and oppression in midwifery

By Janelle Allyn Lucido-Conate

I’ve been doing a lot of marinating in this work and I’d like to respond to the up-swell of awareness that is happening right now.

First, I want to disclose that this work is intimate to my life. I live in a bi-racial, bi-cultural, bi-national, bi-religious family with my husband and daughter. I’ve come to understand a couple of things along this path.

One is that, the work we are taking on is deeply personal. It lies in the thoughts we don’t even admit to ourselves. As we deepen our own awareness and those ripples move outward I believe that the most potent way to share our new found understanding is by revealing our innermost thoughts and assumptions that we are slowly becoming aware of.

Second, is that we are extremely ashamed of those thoughts. So they are difficult to share. But this is where the power lies, I promise you. When we release ourselves of shame and acknowledge our part in racism and oppression we are released from their grasp. We gain power over our thoughts rather than being subject to them.Third, is that racism and oppression cross all lines. It is something we hold collectively as a society. Each person, regardless of the color of their skin, country of origin, sexual orientation, or culture carry oppression inside of them. Each of us must face and heal these intimate thoughts–those secret ones we don’t want to face or even acknowledge much less admit to others. As we continue in this process of awareness and healing our collective consciousness begins to heal and we can move away from the ‘shoulds’ into true integrity which is love of ourselves and each other.Fourth, is that the work of awareness and healing comes in waves and each wave brings more nuance. Total awareness would knock us all over for good. So we integrate slowly and steadily. As we grow our awareness of the nuance grows. And so we must each hold a healing space in our hearts for everyone on this path whether they are totally unaware or completely healed and transformed by the journey. This is not unique to one race or class or orientation. It is true for all of humanity.

Fifth, we each play a role. Each of us, as we follow our soul’s longing for love and healing, finds ourselves in unique situations making choices as best we can with the awareness that we have at the time. There is no shame in this. This is important to remember as we engage with others in this arena. We each have a role. And there is abundant love for all.

Many blessings and peace dear ones on this path.
Love, Janelle

One thought on “Five lessons for antiracism work and healing

  1. Hi Janelle, I really appreciated this post. It’s such a great reminder to meet everyone where they are at, including ourselves… to be gentle with our own progess, and also to be incredibly patient with others.

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