For the last few weeks, I’ve had the honor to participate in The National Girls and Women of Color Council (NGWCC) and their Complexity Talk Radio. The host is Dr. Donnamaria Culbreth, a scholar and activist, who works to give a voice for the underrepresented: girls and women of color. Please check out the links above to learn about the many amazing projects Dr. Culbreth runs (spoiler: She’s a busy lady).
I’ve been a panelist on three shows, here’s a summary of one episode:
Mental and Physical Issues Affecting Girls and Women of Color: The panel consisted of graduate student, Sonia Renee Brown and myself. Neither one of us are medical professionals, but I think speaking candidly about our experiences navigating the medical community was important. Sometimes women of color need a safe space to speak openly about being on the receiving end of medical treatments. I think this was our space to do that. We talked about the need for more mental health and how we should seek it out. We also discussed the stigma placed on therapy within certain ethnic groups. Speaking for myself, a black women, I could say that my own mother was not supportive when I decided to seek a therapist. All that business about “airing your dirty laundry” to a stranger (and not Jesus). Sonia also spoke of the stigma in her own Filipino family and how she was able overcome it as an adult. Dr. Culbreth also made links to the stress of racially charged workplaces or classrooms contributing to mental and physical health issues. All three of us could attest to racial discrimination affecting our health in adverse way.
Also, if you missed my YouTube video, regarding Patient Shaming, you can check it out here. There were some points that I repeated in the Complexity episode
I’ve had an excellent experience talking to these women. This radio show is desperately needed at a time when America is having a difficult time articulating our race issues. Dr. Culbreth not only creates the safe space for women of various backgrounds and education to sit down and talk to one another, but she has also created a series of lessons, that anyone (regardless of race or gender) can listen to and hopefully LEARN SOMETHING! All too often, many whites complain about not know what to say or do in front of people of color. “If you could just teach us what we’re doing wrong,” some say in exasperation. Well, as a woman of color, I can tell you that these constant teachable moments can be exhausting. There are many resources out there for white people to learn from. I would count this as one of them. Women of color speaking frankly to one another about the issues that affect them the most. Please feel free to eavesdrop.
These episodes are still being produced (catch them on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 8 p.m. EST). Here is the series schedule. Dr. Donnamaria Culbreth encourages listeners to call in with questions, so please take advantage of adding to the conversation.