I grew up near chocolate town, USA- Hershey PA. If you've ever been to Hershey, PA, then you know most of the "chocolate" in the area are the edible sweets, not the people. There isn't much diversity. I lived in a middle-class neighborhood with many well-intentioned people, but the impact of their biases was much stronger.
Being a first-generation Ghanaian-American and also one of the only black families in town, I fit in well enough, but microaggressions were too common. The frequent implicit and explicit bias I experienced throughout grade school was difficult to understand when you don't have a solid, accurate foundation of factual history of race relations in America. Teaching black history was not a strength of the Palmyra Area School District. .
For many reasons, I didn't quite fit in with the white girls and didn't connect with the black Americans I met. College life at Penn State felt like a bigger version of Hershey. I didn't expect more of the same of my hometown in college but I should have done my research on college demographics.. .
Then I entered corporate America. where I was always one of the only people of color at my job. I barely saw any people of color, let alone women, in leaderships positions wherever I was employed. I had felt like a "token" in white spaces most of my life.
The Starbucks incident motivated me to become a speaker and facilitator on race relations. So, I co-found an anti-racist organization called From Privilege to Progress (P2P). P2P is a national movement to desegregate the public conversation about racism. We encourages all Americans to #ShowUp against racism by educating themselves, speaking out in their daily lives, and amplifying the voices of people of color by desegregating the conversation about race on social media.
Intent and impact are very different. That is why I have directed my activism towards helping others address their internal biases and work towards active-anti-racism. My unique experiences with implicit bias from many well-intentioned people gives me the patience and empathy, to facilitate these race related conversations.
Get to know me more, and let's have these conversations together.