Emely, a Black Waldorf alumna, speaks with me in this episode all about her experience attending a Waldorf school. Emely, currently a student at George Washington University, is articulate in speaking about what she liked about her years attending a Waldorf school, and in sharing the struggles she faced.
I can not thank Emely enough for speaking with me in this interview. As she will share in this episode, some of Emely’s experiences as a Black Waldorf student are intense and even traumatic. As I said in the pervious episode, I’m not looking to point fingers or call out individuals and communities. “Inclusion and Belonging for the Black community in Waldorf Education” is a call to start a conversation. My hope is that individuals can hear these episodes and feel inspired to start a dialogue with friends, family and community members about how they can help dismantle the racism and white supremacy so rampant in our society today. If you’re a white individual and feel confused, conflicted, or triggered by this episode or any of the episodes in this season I encourage you to pursue other resources to continue to explore equity and inclusion. Some resources can be found below.
Many of the experiences Emely speaks about in this episode are less about blatant racism and more about a lack of understanding and care around race issues. In hearing Emely’s story I hope you gain perspective and begin to understand the need for these authentic experiences to be shared.
If you're interested in learning more about why it's not fair to ask the BIPOC community to educate white people about their experiences. I found this article that may help you gain understanding. this article
In the episode Emely references a teacher's use of the n-word. I can't say for sure the context in which the teacher used the word, I neglected to ask Emely, although I think this article could be helpful for white people who need more clarity on how that word should actually not even be referenced.
If you're interested in learning more about what equity vs. equality is, you may have already come across this image, but I'm still finding it helpful to explain this concept.
A really great book that introduced me to many of the themes that have come up across this series is "White Fragility" by Robin D'Angelo. I think it's also a great starting off point if you're wanting to familiarize yourself with the basics of racism and white supremacy today.
Another fantastic book speaking to why these conversations are so important and for becoming more acquainted with how prevalent racism and white supremacy are in our world today I strongly recommend "How To Be An Anti-Racist" by Ibram X Kendi. It's a brilliant book.
I'm a big book person so I'll recommend just one more here that talks about racism and inequity in education across the board, not specific to Waldorf, "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" by Beverly Daniel Tatum.