047: Become a co-conspirator for social justice, Sarah Dennis & Ashley Lana Scott

“We’re all different and that’s part of human nature, to celebrate those differences.” -Sarah Dennis

Calling in, rather than calling out…

In this episode, I had the privilege to discuss the history and the current reality of racism in our society as well as the potential for change from the inside out (and the outside in) with educator Sarah Dennis and artist & activist Ashley Lana Scott.

Sarah and Ashley had never met before so this was a truly candid conversation about what it takes to be an ally, how to support one another in looking inward at our internalized racism (regardless of skin color), and why these sometimes uncomfortable conversations are crucial to the cultural dialogue. (BTW, that’s the difference between calling in and calling out…  IN is initiating a conversation, OUT is pointing a finger in an accusatory way.)

Of course we talk about impostor syndrome and feeling like a total fraud when trying to have said difficult conversations, too!

This is a conversation that is humorous, sensitive, hopeful and deeply thought-provoking.

So take a deep breath, relax your mind open, have a listen, and let me know what you think over in the Facebook Group…

And if you haven’t already, check out Episode 045: Talking to strangers, where you’ll hear how I met Julie and why I’m taking on a theme on the show that pushes me out of my comfort zone. Also, Episode 046 with Andrea Ranae Johnson on how to use your power and privilege for good.

Connect with Ashley

Ashley Lana Scott’s Website
Ashley’s Facebook
Ashley’s Instagram
Ashley’s Twitter
Ashley’s LinkedIn

“At the end of the day, the thing that is pulling the strings is our silence, on every side, and that silence is deadly. Like Sarah was saying, when you allow yourself to feel that shame and then you don’t want to do anything about it, you allow it to overcome your action, it makes the decision for you… I suggest getting your hands dirty with that shame.” -Ashley Lana Scott

Connect with Sarah

Sarah Dennis’s Website

“I actually like the word ‘co-conspirator’ better, I think ‘ally’ is really soft and wimpy. For me it’s not a call to action, being an ally. But being a co-conspirator makes me feel like, “I want to dismantle this system and I’m going to do anything I can to figure out what that looks like.” -Sarah Dennis

Connect with Andrea

Facebook
Instagram
Chicago Women’s Creative Collective

I was featured on Jessi Frey’s video blog talking about “What to Do When You Feel Like a Fake!

One of my guided meditations was featured on the ASMR-based Sleep Whispers podcast. Skip forward to the 1hour mark just for the meditation (otherwise Harris might whisper you to sleep before you hear it if you listen to the whole episode!)

Resources & Links

The Creative Impostor Magic page! Get a special gift from Andrea here.

Power Your Story — My students’ new podcast!!!

The Movement for Black Lives – Policy platform mentioned by Sarah
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: Revised Edition By Beverly Tatum
SURJ – Showing Up for Racial Justice
A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki
What Does It Mean to be White? Developing White Racial Literacy by Robin Di Angelo
Article in the Atlantic: The Case for Reparations by Ta Nehisi-Coats
Online Seminar highly recommended by Sarah: http://www.37days.com/racism/

Mother’s Quest podcast with Julie Neale

Support the Creative Impostor

Andrea’s Patreon Page — where you can support the show, get cool gifts from me and can become an active participant in the creative community!

Free Audio Book & 30 day trial membership with Audible.com (support The Creative Impostor when you sign up!)

About Ashley Lana Scott

Ashley Lana Scott is a Visual Artist and Community Organizer from the Westside of Chicago. She creates art from innovative ideas that are grounded in Social Justice, Self- Love and Community Empowerment.

In 2006, she presented her first Art Installation titled “Inspire A Generation”, using Installation Art and Film to introduce the history of the impact that oppression had on young people in underprivileged communities and how Hip-Hop grew out of poverty into an outlet from the oppression that still thrives in underground communities as a Socially Conscious Art Culture.

In 2012, she presented an excerpt of her art exhibition called (Her)story: A Journey through Womanhood and Hip-Hop during Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood Art Walk/Second Friday Event at the Chicago Art Department.

Ashley Lana Scott serves Creative Young Women in discovering their own personal power through Socially Conscious Art Engagement so that they can transform the global consciousness and inspire connection with their own innovative Ideas, ArtWork and Business.

About Sarah Dennis

Ph.D, Biography

I grew up in Chicago, attending a Chicago Public Magnet school that attracted children from diverse racial, ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds near the Cabrini Green Housing Project in the mid-late 80s/early 90s. From the young age of about 10, I was inspired to become an engaging educator committed to social justice to help turn children on to the love of learning and reading, and try to change the inequities in many of the systems in the United States. Also from the age of 10, I was a proud member of the Chicago Children’s Choir, a multi-cultural, multi-racial, secular city-wide organization committed to social justice. My experiences at my elementary school and choir helped shape my commitment to social justice.

After attending New York University for a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and then teaching preschool/Kindergarten, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades at public schools in New York City, I began coaching and mentoring preschool teachers in the Best Practices in Early Literacy Project, which led to two Early Reading First projects (2002-’05 & 2005-’08). During these years, I earned a Masters in Literacy Education (2005) and a doctorate in Early Childhood (2008) from New York University.

I have presented at many dozens of conferences nationally including the National Head Start Research Conference in Washington D.C. (2002, ’04, ’06 & ’08), NAEYC’s Professional Development Institute (Pittsburg, 2007; Indianapolis, 2012), NIEER’s Conference (2002), the Early Reading First Grantees Meeting (2004 in AZ, 2005 in FL, 2007 in CA), the Illinois Reading Council Conference (Springfield, 2011-2014), and have provided professional development and coaching to many hundreds of teachers and coaches. I have also been assessing and tutoring children (Kindergarten-HS) for nearly 15 years in NYC and Chicago.

I am the founder and co-leader of the Illinois Chapter of the National Association for Multicultural Education: Advancing and Advocating for Social Justice & Equity, and have also founded and co-lead the Families for Racial Justice Chicago Facebook Group. I recently participated as part of a panel on anti-racism for the Quentin B. Young Equity Project (Feb 2017) (see photo below), and I am currently in training to hopefully become a trainer with the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.

I hope to hear from you soon to see how I can support your work to inspire the children of the next generation!


This episode was mixed by Edwin R. Ruiz of Mondo Machine.
The Creative Impostor theme music was created by JoVia Armstrong.


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