J.M. Sorrell: Supports having people of color lead Sojourner Truth workshop this fall

Published: 3/28/2019 10:18:21 AM

I am writing to support Andrea Ayvazian’s March 16 column about the Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership and the directive of having people of color lead every single workshop this fall.

Full disclosure: I have been a trainer and host for the school, and I have awe and admiration for the team’s work and for Ayvazian’s initial vision. What is most impressive, however, is a leader who is experiential, reflective and flexible in her thinking and feeling about what needs to occur.

In this “which side are you on” moment regarding racism, understanding white privilege and its implications and doing something about it is an act of humility and courage. Andrea may not see it that way, but she will take flak from white people who somehow feel “left out.”

I have been in similar situations in progressive circles. I ask white people, “Do we lose anything when we cede power and space to people of color?” My answer is, “No, we all gain when we lift others up.” We learn and grow when we feel a bit uncomfortable and question our privilege.

This is a pivotal moment for the Sojourner Truth School for Social Justice. It is cause for celebration. Active anti-racist work includes showing up to support these efforts. I look forward to attending classes this fall and to helping in any way I can. I encourage others to do the same.

J.M. Sorrell


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