S2 Episode 11:
Uncovering Our Narratives Pt. 2
December 1, 2020
Jessie Gebauer &
Listen to the podcast here:
Welcome to Uncovering Our Narratives Pt. 2 - Race. We are the Marigold Force. As Changemakers, we need to uncover, name, and know our narratives and how they impact our personal and professional life.
Lexi Walsh will be leading us through a 5-part series on uncovering and writing our own narratives throughout the month of November. As Lexi teaches, Joel and Jessie will be taking the action steps alongside you. We’ll share our thoughts and ideas to help you go through the process with us. Remember true change only happens with action.
Throughout this series, we will be looking at 3 different pillars- race, gender, and identity - and starting to think about how those pillars mold (and have molded) us and our story. In this episode, Lexi dives into race and how it impacts our narratives.
Digging Into Race
Jessie: Last week we introduced you to my dear friend, Lexi Walsh. Lexi is a second-grade teacher in Maryland and she also just completed her Master’s Degree in Equity and Excellence in Education. Lexi is so passionate about this topic and she’ll be leading all of us, Joel and I included, through the process of creating our own narratives. Welcome back, Lexi!
Joel: At the end of this 5-part series you’ll also have the opportunity to submit your narrative to Lexi! Lexi, what are you doing with all these narratives you’re collecting??
Lexi: As Jessie said, I am a second-grade teacher, and I am very passionate about making sure my students and anyone who walks into my classroom feel safe and represented. I quickly realized that in order to do that for others, I needed to really dig deep and take the time to examine myself. In my opinion, we function in a society that leans towards the stories of one culture and can often cripple the genius in the lives of so many others who don’t fit that narrative. So I am looking at three main areas: race, gender, and identity to make sure they are included and represented in my classroom and hopefully one day, the entire school system.
Taking a look at race and how that has impacted who we are can often be very challenging because it can elicit feelings we may not even know are there. I am speaking as a white woman and I realize that I hold white privilege but coming to that realization was not always a super-comfortable journey.
So in looking at race I pose these questions:
When did you first see someone who looked like you in the media, books, or curriculum you were learning? How did that representation of your race show up? (Example: Black students often see themselves as slaves or as people overcoming the civil rights movement.)
Did that representation of your race or lack thereof cause you to connect or disconnect?
Did that representation of your race change over time? How did that change impact you?
Have you faced stereotypes, comments, or different standards because of your race? Has that impacted you in any way- positive or negative?
Lexi: I would encourage you to take the time to reflect on the four questions that I posed today. As I said, the deep digging can definitely bring up feelings you may not know are there but doing the work and having a better understanding of yourself is so powerful in the long run. Jot down the first thoughts that come to mind and go easy on yourself when answering these questions.
Jessie: Thank you so, so much Lexi. For all those listening, these questions are linked in our show notes. Look for the “Crafting Your Narrative Guide (Race).” And in Marigold Force fashion we urge you to take the time to sit down and reflect.
Joel: Absolutely. Put pen to paper. Keep coming back to the questions and be gentle with yourself. Pause the podcast now to get some thoughts on paper.
Jessie: If you’ve never meditated before the Calm App is a great tool to start you out. Calm is a mental fitness app designed to help you build the strength to face life's ups and downs. It’s also free for teachers. Joel and I have used it for years, and we both love it.
All The Good Stuff From The Episode