DEI Racial Equity Principle of the Week: Principle #1

Racial Equity Principle 1

For the next several weeks we will be sharing 1 of 10 Racial Equity Principles created through the work of several grassroots organizations, most notably the Dismantling Racism Works collaborative, and curated by Tema Okun. Each Racial Equity Principle includes a definition and description of how applying that principle may look in our daily lives. We encourage you to reflect on the description of each principle, how much you can relate to or see value in it, and to what extent you may want to apply any of the approaches suggested in your daily lives, inside and outside of the Kent School. 

Racial Equity Principle #1: Know Yourself

"Taking action for racial justice requires a level of self-awareness that supports us to be clear about what we are called to do, what we know how to do, and where we need to grow. Said another way, we need to know our strengths, our weaknesses, and our desire for growth. Knowing ourselves means that we develop the capacity to show up more appropriately and effectively to whatever the work is, that we ask for help when needed, admit when we don’t know what we’re doing and claim our skills gracefully when we do. Knowing ourselves mean that we are committed to our own emotional maturity and wisdom. Knowing ourselves means admitting that white supremacy and racism affect all of us. We need to develop the habit of catching how we have internalized cultural messages about our worth or lack of worth and often act out of those messages without realizing it. We need to develop the habit of catching how we reproduce dominant culture habits of leadership - power hoarding, individualism, one right way. We need to offer ourselves deep compassion and grace if we are dealing with severe trauma related to oppression. We must notice if we are addicted to a culture of critique, where all we know to do is point out what is not working or how others need to change. We need to be able to see how our conditioning gets in our own way and in the way of others." Retrieved from: