Beginning July 2022, Ellivate is partnering with Fatima Mann and Brandis Rawls of Love and Healing Work to provide our members with a 6-month series, How to Leverage White Privilege in Business. Each month, we’ll share some insights from the important work that Fatima guides us through.
Be aware of this:
The artificial construct of race has traumatized all of us, regardless of our designated “race.” Trauma gets stored in the body and is re-activated through our central nervous systems.
Because of this, whenever the subject of race comes up, our nervous systems usually get activated. We go into fight, flight or freeze mode. We do not feel safe. We may get defensive, argue, or try to flee from the conversation. This response is often unconscious and lives in the body, which means we are not always aware of it. As a result, most discussions around race go nowhere.
When engaging in conversations around race, it’s critical that you regulate your nervous system first. This will also help you avoid dysregulating other people’s nervous systems. To regulate your nervous system, try the following:
- First, do some breath-based grounding exercises as a group (e.g., group mediation focused on breath and feeling into different parts of the body).
- Create space at the beginning of the discussion for real human check-ins, where each person can share authentically and vulnerably about how they are feeling in the moment.
- Approach conversations from your body, rather than your head space. Feel into your body, and notice what is happening as you are listening or speaking.