Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian

Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian

Building more equitable and inclusive relationships and communities requires a commitment to increasing our understanding of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice in thought, and in practice. Actively committing ourselves to a lifetime of learning and critical self-reflection can show us the roles we can play in creating a better world by being the change we wish to see in it. Hosted by Social Worker, Social Justice Educator, Writer, and Organizational Consultant Relando Thompkins-Jones, The Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian Podcast is an extension of the blog of the same name. In each Episode, Relando covers important topics geared toward increasing your capacity to learn and lead for equity, and social justice. Since 2011, Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian has been a place where he's written about and curated content on issues of equity and social justice. Through using media for social justice education, Relando hopes to expand and enrich the narratives about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take action while encouraging others to do the same, in their own ways. No matter where you come from, what your identities are, or what area of work or study you’re in, there’s room for all of us in this work, and Relando hopes that engaging with the podcast and the blog can move you closer to discovering or reaffirming your own answers to questions you have about how to best be of service. Hit subscribe to join the dialogue.

Episodes

June 28, 2021 54 min

In this week's episode, Relando shares an introductory talk he provided on Critical Race Theory as part of a Social Justice Speaker's Series in April of 2021. Much has happened since then from increased pushback against Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and her work in creating the 1619 Project, to efforts in states to effectively ban the teaching of critical race theory. These manifestations of white ba...

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Contrary to what many of us have been told, there is a place for Black anger and rage in racial justice work. In this week's episode, Relando affirms that there are things that we just should never get used to, and that Black people have every right to be angry about their oppression.

Blog Post referenced in this episode: Yes, Anger Does Influence My Work for Racial Justice, and No, We Won't Calm Down: https://notesfromana...

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Establishing community agreements goes a long way toward building psychological safety between people and groups in social justice work. In this week's episode Relando shares some examples of community agreements that he's found helpful in this process, with the message that establishing community agreements should be a liberatory activity. They are intended to open authentic, radically candid communication instead of limit...

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March 2, 2021 17 min

The pandemic has had a disproportionately negative impact on the lives of people with marginalized identities, and the workplace is no exception. In this week's episode, Relando shares a call for organizational leaders to center equity in their decision-making, and an affirmation for staff with marginalized identities in the event that their organizations are unwilling to do that.

Blog Post referenced in this episode: Reflecti...

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Acknowledging power dynamics is important in social justice work. When working in closed groups, none of us passes through some invisible barrier that removes our privilege or oppression. In this week's episode, Relando shares four socially just considerations for practitioners to keep at the top of their minds when engaging in group work.

Blog Post referenced in this episode: 4 Ways to Stay Mindful of Social Justice Issues in ...

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We make Black History Everyday. We rise, we survive, we fly. Dedicated to Black people everywhere; in this week's episode Relando shares some important imagery that helps to remind him of how we are connected to a larger whole on the path to racial equity and justice.

Blog Post referenced in this episode: We Make Black History Everyday. We Rise, We Survive, We Fly https://notesfromanaspiringhumanitarian.com/we-make-black-histor...

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If you are passionate about social justice work in education and are currently in the interview phase for a position that works toward inclusion and equity at an institution, it is important to recognize that you are interviewing that institution as much as they are interviewing you. This is especially true if you hold multiple marginalized identities. In this week's episode, Relando shares examples of questions to ask to provi...

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Think of a time where you have let others down in your social justice journey. What happened? How did you feel? What did you do? This week, Relando discusses the importance of embracing both-and-thinking, and taking ownership of the moments when we don't follow through with practicing solidarity in social justice work.

Blog Post referenced in this episode: Sometimes, We Really Let Each Other Down in Social Justice Work: https:...

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December 22, 2020 15 min

Some people want everyone to strictly address one another with a "Merry Christmas", while others instead prefer to use "Happy Holidays" as a greeting this time of year. This week, Relando explores the underlying issues of this familiar debate and explains why choosing the inclusive route is the most affirming way to care for others this season.

Blog Post referenced in this episode: What's with the Conflict? Mer...

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The time for false advertisement is over. Anti-racism is about actions not just words. In this week's episode, Relando shares six reasons colleges and universities need to face race and not ignore it.

Blog Post referenced in this episode: 6 Reasons Colleges and Universities Need to Face Race and Not Ignore It: https://notesfromanaspiringhumanitarian.com/6-reasons-colleges-and-universities-need-to-face-race-and-not-ignore-it/

...

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Are you a person who is older? Can you remember times in your youth when you were dismissed due to your age? Are you a person who is younger? Have you heard others make jokes or stereotypes against people who are older? In this week's episode, Relando shares how pausing to reflect on aging as a shared experience can create opportunities for empathy and connection.

Blog Post referenced in this episode: Considering Age as a Shar...

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In this week's episode, Relando shares an experience helping his white therapist understand power and privilege instead of processing his feelings as a client highlighted the need for more Black therapists and Social Workers.

Blog Post referenced in this episode: Representation Matters in Social Work: We Need More Black Therapists

Support the podcast by becoming a patron: patreon.com/NAHBlog

Other Important Links:

  • Blog: notesf...
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    November 24, 2020 14 min

    Who has created a positive rippling effect in your life? In this week's episode, Relando shares one example of a person who influenced his social justice journey and invites you to consider the ways you can do the same for others.

    Blog Post referenced in this episode: Ripples

    Support the podcast by becoming a patron: patreon.com/NAHBlog

    Other Important Links:

  • Blog: notesfromanaspiringhumanitarian.com
  • Podcast Website: podcast.not...
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    November 10, 2020 9 min

    There's room for you to lead for equity even if you struggle with public speaking. In this week's episode, Relando shares what keeps him energized about speaking publicly for social justice as an introvert, as draining as it might be.

    Blog Post referenced in this episode: Speaking

    Support the podcast by becoming a patron: patreon.com/NAHBlog

    Other Important Links:

  • Blog: notesfromanaspiringhumanitarian.com
  • Podcast Website: p...
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    Black people. If your friendships with the white people in your life require your silence, if the glue that holds those relationships together is predicated on the assumption that you will never hold them accountable for the ways they are complicit with white supremacy, then those “friendships” are no friendships at all, as those relationships do not allow you to be seen as your full self. You deserve better. In this week's epi...

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    Supporting Black male students on campus means supporting students that institutions are the worst at retaining. For historically white institutions especially, it is imperative that leaders remain critical of the ways white supremacy culture negatively impacts Black male students’ experiences, persistence, and retention. In this week's episode, Relando offers advice to those who wish to take on this important work.

    Blog Post ...

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    To be Black and raise Black children comes with a lifetime commitment to safeguarding their physical and emotional safety as much as possible as they navigate systems that are hostile to them. The education system is but one of many. In this week's episode, Relando shares an experience that highlights how some things that are taken as "normal" or "routine" pieces of curriculum can be harmful to Black children.

    ...

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    October 24, 2020 12 min

    Far too often, the burden of responsibility to change and adapt to inequitable systems is unjustly placed on the shoulders of students with marginalized identities. But who is it that really needs to change? Who is it that really needs to adapt to the world as it is now, and be prepared to respond to where it's going? In this week's episode, Relando shifts the burden of responsibility to where it truly belongs.

    Blog Post r...

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    October 24, 2020 10 min

    One of Relando's challenges with faux positivity thinking is that there’s a really thin line between it and gaslighting.

    There’s a point when the law of attraction stuff crosses a line into victim blaming territory that offers simplistic explanations for complex, systemic problems. In this week's podcast, Relando reflects on toxic positivity, and the need for people in our lives who can hold space for a wide variety of emot...

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    Have you ever been warned against using social media to speak out for topics related to diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice out of fear of being perceived as "disruptive" by current or prospective employers? In this week's podcast, Relando uses an equity perspective to explain his three rules for using media for social justice, as an example of why it's time to redefine "professionalsm" in this ...

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