Today I talk with Renee Wells about what could be white women’s nonsense: sitting around thinking about ourselves as nice antiracist ladies. Instead, Renee pushes us to find ways to take continuous action to disrupt all the -isms that harm people and focus on educating for equity through the lens of restorative justice. An educator and consultant with a grounding in the work of bell hooks and Paolo Freire, Renee is open and frank about all the things we sometimes find hard to deal with…or to talk about…or to change…in our work on campuses.
I wanted to speak with Renee particularly because she’s white and spends her time helping predominantly white campuses think about how to act and intervene in ways that disrupt racism, misogyny, homophobia, and all the other structural things that cause harm. Our shared whiteness frames our whole conversation: as Renee says at the end, we’re two white women with the time and energy to talk about these issues in ways that could easily be construed as just white women’s nonsense.
Renee has a preference for action. In that spirit, consider this an invitation to shift from the nonsense of white women who are nice ladies thinking about themselves as antiracist, to being intersectional feminists who take action in support of all minoritized people on campus, across the many multiple minoritized identities they hold.
If you’re leading on a campus, Renee’s call is to include in your decision-making and action-taking frameworks the focus on reducing harm. 🧡
Renee’s website: reneewells.com
Advice for Confronting Microaggressions Head On (from Connecticut Public Radio, featuring Renee).
Renee’s free, downloadable resources.
Episode 47: White Women’s Work: An invitation (with Jayne Sommers)
Episode 37: Inclusion: Stage 1 of Psychological Safety
Episode 26: In Community: Interracial Feminist Co-Mentoring
Episode 22: Feminism is Optimism
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