HOW SEEING WHITE LED ME TO BECOME A JEDI WARRIOR: A MODEL FOR BUILDING THE 21ST CENTURY WORKFORCE
Until I understood how barriers and points of friction that were erected in the past affected people today, I could not truly understand why I needed to become a strong and vocal agent for change within my institution. Making the invisible throughlines of structural racism visible across systems enabled me to have courageous conversations. I was prepared to push back when I encountered resistance to JEDI work. I could see why policies and practices that address systemic inequities must be developed and sustained. Viewing current problems through the lens of history clarifies and focuses the need for change and for the development of equitable solutions to historical inequities. This historically based rational enables institutions to leverage their workforce to create a work environment in which everyone feels that they belong, they are heard, and that their work is valued. Making the invisible, visible allowed me to see the undertow of structural racism that has stymied the geoscience diversification efforts begun in earnest 50 years ago. Seeing White dismantles the power structures that allow racism to flourish.