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A Reflection by Sr. Rosanne Szocinski OP

Today, as a white person, I need to admit that if I am not part of the solution, I am part of the problem.

Recognizing that areas of my life may have incurred some blind spots over the years, I had a chance to participate in the Grand Rapids Chamber’s Inclusion Institute. Just as the eye doctor has instruments to detect inner growths, the workshop provided me “tools” to evaluate my attitude toward Inclusion.

At an early age I was taught to “stay away/avoid” people of color. Residual fear can last a lifetime!

I asked myself, “Do I want to remain in this stance?” The workshop allowed me to consider some tools for growth towards inclusion.

• What are my blind spots?
• How do I listen to other’s perspectives?
• What resources will I use to educate myself?
• What’s my action plan?

Since my experience with the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Inclusion Institute, I have read Black authors to influence my understanding. I have begun to view news reports with ears attuned to systemic racist attitudes. I also seek to reach out to my neighbors of different races, cultures, and opinions. I pray that with my tools, I am growing to be part of the solution to eradicate racism.