Sunday, November 1, 2009

Drowning in the Work

Close to two months since my last post and I have a list of things that could be, should be, said. What happened? I became inundated with the work. This wasn't really surprising, as I saw it coming. In fact, the truth is that I invited it. For a few months I decided to do something different. I decided to say "yes" to anything that sounded like a good idea, even if I wasn't sure that I'd have time to accomplish it.

I now have various projects and issues being worked on, about 5, in addition to my full-time job, and it leaves me precious little energy to sit and ponder in front of the computer this way.

Pondering? I do plenty of that. In the car, in the shower, and walking the dogs. So much has transpired that the self-reflection necessary to witness it all has been required. I just haven't written it down.

Perhaps the best moment, inspiring just 1 of the projects, was an early October experience where, for the first time, I ended up (note that I'm acting like I didn't help set things up this way :) leading a group of my college's faculty and staff through an initial dialogue on race.

It was an open invitation. The session would occur after a major meeting on a Friday evening. My colleague and I imagined maybe 10-13 people might attend. We had 23. This included the Provost and the President of the College (who showed up to truly participate, not simply observe).

The session went really, really well...perhaps the best experience I've had leading dialogues/workshops about witnessing so far. For several, they mentioned that this is the first time they've really spoken to people about race in the workplace and how nervous they were walking in the door. It was really gratifying to know how many thought we should really continue this process and dig in to how race and racism are present on our campus.

And, so now...what did that mean?

It's now my (volunteer) role to help prepare and facilitate the workshops for the rest of the year.

I'm really not complaining. It's amazing to have the opportunity. My only recognition is how essential it will be to do this well....and take the time to ensure that I can do this well!

And, this is just 1 of the many...and I'm drowning with this work...hoping to find my strokes so that it feels like swimming again soon. Even in the midst of the turbulence, though, the water is healing.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Shelly,
    Hello, there, Shelly! I know and understand how hard it can be to get everything done, I am so appreciative as to how you have such a powerful witnessing whiteness in all you do! You are also witnessing whiteness and being a great and very powerfully effective ally and advocate in all areas of your life, including the daily routines and busyness of life! I am so excited about hearing of your involvement in now leading and facilitating the dialogues on race. What a wonderful opportunity this is for you, the faculty and staff, and all of your colleagues, even for the students and the community! I am so pleased at how the people who attended were very open and receptive, this is really great! I always encourage you, you are such a superb and progressive woman in all that you do for the witnessing whiteness movement, in promoting and enhancing Radical White Identity, and in being an agent for change in healing people and systems of racism and white privilege! You are doing so excellent, Shelly, and such needed, important, and marvelous work and advocacy in all of the areas you are involved in, and I appreciate all of your fine efforts so much! Blessings so much to you always, Shelly!
    Sincerely always,
    Sherry Gordon