Stay tuned to Liza’s blog over the next few days as she writes live from the People of Color Conference (National Association of Independent Schools) in Nashville, TN!

It’s the end of Day 1 at The People of Color Conference!

I was in the elevator at the end of Day 1 and noticed that the person riding with me had on a PoCC badge. So, you know me, I was all up in their business. #ElevatorSpeech4Real

“I see it’s your first year at PoCC. So, how are you doing?”

The person’s face summed it all up. “Amazing. Exhausted. Not really sure what happened today. But, I know it was a incredible.”

“Yeah, I get that.”

Elevator door opens.

“See you tomorrow. You got this!” I said as she left.

PoCC can be all of these emotions: overwhelming, outstanding, exhausting, exciting, affirming, alienating. For many of us, it is totally out of our comfort zone to be around so many people of color; and, at the same time, being surrounded by so many people of color also feels like the most important and natural thing ever. These feelings can be confusing and conflicting at times.

For some, it is the first time they are in a group of people where Black and Brownness is centered. Where whiteness is named. Where stating that “we live in a white supremacist society” is as common as “what time is the next session.” It’s the first time where we, as people of color, do not have to play small to make others comfortable. It’s the first time, for some, where your entire self is loved.

At the end of each day, or perhaps the next morning I encourage you to reflect on a few aspects of your experience at PoCC. If you are here with a group, take some time to go around and offer up your reflections. If you are by yourself or prefer to reflect in your own space, be intentional about this experience.

I offer this advice because, pretty soon, you’re going to have to read about this thing called “Re-Entry". And, it’s not easy. Engaging in some of these reflection questions, though, might help you both be in the moment and prepare for what’s to come.

I often think about these experiences in terms of head space, heart space, and gut space:

  1. What did you experience in your head space (your thinking space)? What kind of knowledge, data, information, and/or facts did you learn today? What information or experiences caused you to stop and think?

  2. What did you experience in your heart space (your feeling space)? What emotions did you experience today? What were some moments that impacted you emotionally? What moved you today?

  3. What did you experience in your gut space (your reaction space)? What kind of feelings, experiences, reactions or thoughts surprised you? What were some moments where you felt something “in your gut” — like, you couldn’t quite explain it but it just stuck with you?

Time moves very quickly here at PoCC and this type of reflection does require some intentionality.

Head, heart, gut.

Peace and love,