Changing Narratives: More Than a Month
By Randy Corradine,
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Cultural holidays and the multicultural calendars of heritage months are more than months or days or moments: they are true history. These celebrations and acts of resistance are exercises of revolutionary work. Omittance is a dangerous tool of systemic oppression while Narrative Change (Resource: Narrative Change | Social Change Initiative) is vital in equity and racial justice work to end youth homelessness in Seattle. Let’s do our best to disrupt when and where we are able and have the resources and capacity to. Disruption is imperative, and it looks many ways. This month I have seen many staff and sites across YouthCare elevating PRIDE and Juneteenth. The contributions of everyone are crucial to how we create a culture of equity and inclusion at YouthCare; I learn about ways to be a better ally all the time from our YouthCare staff and our youth.
REFLECTION: PRIDE Month
I, Randy, acknowledge my cisgendered straight male privilege while also struggling at the intersection of my privilege and targeted racial identities. I am a project and I am trying to do and be better every single day. This PRIDE month I am engaging in a mindful mediation and journaling group which is made up of queer black men and black male allies from across the nation. We meet bi-weekly and engage in journaling, mindful mediation, and courageous conversations about love and brotherhood. This brave space is a space that society past and present would shut down immediately – black men from all identities of the spectrum coming together in the name of love and community. This experience helps me understand more about myself and how shallowing my pride helps me to be a better ally through vulnerability.
Here are some things I’ve learned and taken away from the experience into on-going practice. I shallow my pride to be vulnerable and a better ally. I shallow my pride to break down walls and pour out toxins of my social conditioning and the privileges of patriarchy and masculinity. I rumble most this month at the intersection of my blackness and masculinity. I get in laps around the question of: what does it mean to be a black man in America? I square up on the issues of homophobia and transphobia in the culture.
“I shallow my pride to be vulnerable and a better ally. I shallow my pride to break down walls and pour out toxins of my social conditioning and the privileges of patriarchy and masculinity.“
I shallow my pride to release myself from the emotional incarceration of the social conditioning of the manhood box. I box out my ego to round out the corners of myself. I shallow my pride to open myself up in questing to find, preserve, and illuminate my light. I try to live in gratitude and rediscover my purpose at every corner of this treasure hunt that is life. My hope is that my light’s little shine lights up others. I aspire to shine lights on others — specifically folxs not like me and folxs that are racialized, minoritized, and marginalized.
Be Inspired & Change Narratives!
Randy Corradine (he/him)
Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at YouthCare