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Derek's Story

Where do I begin? My journey begins when I was four, which is the first time I was threatened with the police. (see my Othered poem under Blog) But of course, this wouldn't be the last time. I just thought I was dealing with bullies, not White Supremacy, or racism. I continued this journey for another 55 years, yet I was not involved in anti-racism or social justice directly.

Along the way, I earned a  B.S.W. in Social Work, worked as a Chaplin, a case manager at a family homeless shelter, a counselor at boy's homes, volunteered as a Ombudsman for the state of Oregon, Co-produced an event called "Pledge Against Prejudice" sponsored by the YMCA, sold T-shirts that said "Racism Hurts All of Us" in the '90s, then designed the "Statue of Liberty BLM" T-shirt and sold them to anyone who was paying attention in 2020, participated in African American Jewish dialogs for seven years with an eye on Social Justice, then finally was invited to three anti-racism forums facilitated by my mentors Barbra O'Hare and Dr. Kathleen Perkins; and others, somewhere in there, George Floyd was murdered.

Then I felt compelled to write an open letter about my experience.

That's when I decided that diversity literacy and social justice should be my life's work!

PS. Just so you know a bit more about me I am a knowledge collector,

a truth aggregator, and a wisdom curator. I grew up as a child of an Air Force Sergent in red states, Montana, Texas, and Pennsylvania, and went to conservative white churches and schools, so I know something White Supremacist!

A thought on diversity coaching, "coaching is the practice of providing a window to future possibilities and mirror revealing what was already learned and the paths already traveled."

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