Culture and White Body Supremacy

Uncategorized Mar 05, 2020

“One sick elephant doesn’t stop a circus; so figure it out.” 

More information can be found at www.socialchangeleaders.net 

On today’s episode we speak with Resmaa Menakem, a healer, author, trauma specialist and podcaster.  Resmaa shares his thoughts and insights about racialization as pedagogy and white body supremacy.  In our conversation, we dive into:

  • Key concepts about the impacts of racism on black and brown bodies
  • The concept of white body supremacy as the standard by which all bodies of humanity are measured and why white people must get comfortable with that term
  • How black and brown bodies can be harmed when white people seek validation and comfort from people of color
  • The recent work Resmaa has done with author and speaker Robin DiAngelo about identifying and combating White Fragility      
  • How current policies and procedures allow white body supremacy to multiply 
  • Why Resmaa believes white people must engage in a longer-term, embodied process of work and self study to transform as individuals to better address the dismantling of white body supremacy 
  • Why white people must learn to create their own culture to better hold space for discomfort when discussing race
  • Resmaa’s creative ideas about how to leverage technology and other innovative fields to support anti-racism work

In this episode:

  • Resmaa Website:  here
  • Robin DiAngelo Website:  here 
  • Resmaa Book, My Grandmother's Hands, Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies: here

More about Resmaa

Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP, has appeared on both The Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil as an expert on conflict and violence. He has served as director of counseling services for the Tubman Family Alliance; as behavioral health director for African American Family Services in Minneapolis; as a domestic violence counselor for Wilder Foundation; as a certified Military and Family Life Consultant for the U.S. Armed Forces; as a trauma consultant for the Minneapolis Public Schools; and as a Cultural Somatics consultant for the Minneapolis Police Department. As a Community Care Counselor, he managed the wellness and counseling services for civilians on fifty-three US military bases in Afghanistan. Resmaa studied and trained at Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute, as well as with Dr. David Schnarch (author of the bestselling Passionate Marriage) and Bessel van der Kolk, MD (author of the bestselling The Body Keeps the Score). He currently teaches workshops on Cultural Somatics for audiences of African Americans, European Americans, and police officers. He is also a therapist in private practice.

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