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Dear White Women

May 9, 2023

When the email came into our inbox introducing us to a multimedia project called “Jane Crow, Then & Now,” we were immediately intrigued.  After all, Jane Crow - or White women’s support for White supremacy - is something we’ve talked about a lot. This support, of white women for white supremacy, has gone on for way longer than most people realize; it’s not just confined to the South; and it’s a prevalent force in our schools, meaning that students and teachers of color are often oppressed due to the power of white women’s support of white supremacy. 


As we’ve often said, White women have a lot of power in their own spheres of influence, where two-thirds of women voters are white, 80% of public school teachers are white women, and beyond that, one of these many spheres is deeply personal: child-rearing. It’s the conversations and actions that White women are taking with regard to their own children, and what they’re teaching them, both implicitly and explicitly, that will change the course of the future - for the collective good, or for individual gain.


A lot of White women have chosen to uphold White supremacy through apathy or inaction, even if they don’t consider themselves racist. Those who have chosen to walk against the tide of our country’s trajectory toward racism have done so at great personal cost - but sometimes, for even greater collective gain: our children’s futures.


That’s why, on the eve of Mother’s Day, we’d like to highlight this project by EdPost which highlights the allies in history: the White women accomplices who challenged the system and worked for equity in education for Black and brown children, at great personal cost.  For white women looking for historical role models and sheroes, the Gallery of Accomplices provides a GREAT list of resources to encourage and inspire all people to deepen our historical knowledge and commitment to cultural humility, deeper listening when working with children, and families, and communities whose experiences differ from our own. 


What to listen for: 

  • Stories of incredible white women who risked their own reputations and capital to do the right thing.

  • Lydia Maria Child, Sandra Adickes, The Grimké Sisters, Myrtilla Miner, and Barbara Henry are all people whose names you should know

  • Huge thank you to Maureen Kelleher, editorial director at Brightbeam, publisher for EdPost, who brought the Jane Crow Gallery of Accomplices to our attention


Gallery of Accomplices:

More info about the project overall: