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Dear White Women

Apr 19, 2022

Sometimes we meet people completely new to the conversations about race and racism - and one of the things we say is important to do is to start with introspection.  Andre Brown stood out to us because of his very practical approach to DEI work - in particular, to help us address the question that we think is critical at the very beginning of starting to do this work, which is how to establish that personal baseline.  For example: how has race and racism shaped my life?  What are the things we can do to establish what lens we’re looking at the world through right now?  What do I know, what have I absorbed, and what are things that I might need to start unpacking and unraveling and unlearning and re-learning?  And also continuing to ask why in all of the spheres of influence that we all hold, and not taking “well, because it’s always been this way” as an acceptable answer.  


What to listen for: 

  • Ways that each of us can establish a personal baseline to start from when choosing to be more anti-racist
  • The importance of understanding how race and racism have shaped your actual community, state, and more
  • That there is no room for shaming and blaming in these conversations; it’s a commitment to continuously question why things are the way they are, and how you can make change


About Andre:

André M. Brown is an African American male who has had a lifetime of personally experiencing individual, institutional and structural racism. He earned an MS degree in Human Development and Family Studies and is also an International Coaching Federation (ICF) certified coach who provides diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) focused coaching on the BetterUp coaching platform.     

He spent over two decades working multiple roles within the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families (RIDCYF). Most recently André served as a Clinical Training Specialist where he trained new hires and veteran Social Caseworkers and Child Protective Investigators to effectively serve children and families opened to the department. In his role, He developed and facilitated several trainings including Cultural Competency in Child Welfare Through Self-Awareness I: The Impact of Implicit Bias and Understanding and Implementing Cultural Competence. In addition, André developed and coordinated a Child Protective Investigators’ team coaching program.     

In late 2019, he left DCYF and relocated to Miami, Florida. In 2020, He founded Racial Just Us, an agency whose primary mission is to provide DEI-focused coaching, consulting, training, and facilitation services. André developed the Coaching for Community Antiracism Series as a way to help participants create individualized antiracism action plans.