Eps 503: Examining Whiteness in Parent Education with Yolanda Williams

Episode 503

My guest today is my returning friend, Yolanda Williams!  We’re getting a little meta this week as we focus on what white parent educators can be doing better, but believe me, this episode is full of great content for all parents.  

After catching-up on how Yolanda, Parenting Decolonized, and her daughter are doing, Yolanda jumps in and explains who takes on the emotional, physical, and spiritual labor of what’s going on in our world and why it’s such a huge deal for white parent educators to choose silence in order to not offend their clients.  The labor, racism, and speaking out about hot topics that parent educators who are people of color are doing take so much time and effort that white parent educators may not even think of.  I get vulnerable with Yolanda and ask about what I can do when I feel uninformed and uncomfortable about topics that I know are important to call out (spoiler: you don’t need to have all the answers to start speaking out).  I ask Yolanda specifically what I can do to make Joyful Courage a more equitable podcast & platform and what I can be teaching new, fresh parent educators. 

Guest Description

Yolanda Williams is the woman behind Parenting Decolonized, and as a single mom, racial-justice educator, and Positive Discipline coach, she empowers parents with tools to decolonize their mindsets and divest from white supremacy, in order to raise the next generation of emotionally-well, liberated, free thinkers, and in the process, form deeper, more intentional relationships with their children.  She is unapologetically dedicated to serving the black parenting community and to celebrating the culture and beauty as often as she can, and to helping people become accomplices in the fight for intersectional, racial justice. 

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Takeaways from the show

  • The roots of traditional parenting in our country is uncomfortable and rooted in racism, sexism, & capitalism 
  • What’s the responsibility of white parent educators around race?  Where can we grow?  What’s completely missing?  
  • Who is taking on the spiritual, physical, and emotional labor of what’s going on in the world right now?
  • How can we weigh in and stand-up for people when we don’t know or understand enough information to feel confident about doing so? 
  • Asking yourself what you’re scared of that’s keeping you from speaking out?  Sit with it, and do it anyway 
  • Centering what our most marginalized children need – everything that they need to be liberated will liberate us, too 
  • Using media as a starting point for these conversations

What does joyful courage mean to you

What we’ve been speaking about is an example of joyful courage.  Having the courage and doing it from a place of, “I want to bring more joy to the world, I want to bring more liberation to the world,” and being willing to be unliked, being willing to be wrong (a big part of whiteness is fear of being wrong or being called racist – well, is it going to kill you or is it going to kill me to be affected by racism?), to sit with it, and course correct is so courageous.  The more that people lean into the courage of it all, the more joy we all can experience!  It’s hard, it’s ugly, and it’s messy, but at the end of the day, you just feel so much better when you know that you’re doing something that will make an impact. 



Parenting Decolonized

Joyful Courage Episode 223: Decolonizing Parenting with Yolanda Williams 

Natasha Nelson on Yolanda’s Podcast 

Parenting Decolonized Podcast 

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Parenting Decolonized Conference July 2024

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Casey O'Roarty, Yolanda Williams

Casey O'Roarty 00:02
Hey, welcome to the joyful courage podcast a place for inspiration and transformation as we try and keep it together. While parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people and when we can focus on our own growth, and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at Sprout double. I am also the mama to a 20 year old daughter and 17 year old son walking right beside you on this path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is an interview and I have no doubt that what you hear will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families all around the globe. I'm so glad that you're here. Enjoy the show.

Casey O'Roarty 01:23
Hey listeners, welcome back to the podcast. I am so excited to share my guest today Yolanda Williams a returning guest to joyful courage. Yolanda is the woman behind parenting decolonized. And as a single mom, racial justice educator and positive discipline coach, she empowers parents with tools to decolonize their mindsets and divest from white supremacy in order to raise the next generation of emotionally well liberated freethinkers. And in the process form deeper, more intentional relationships with their children. She is unapologetically dedicated to serving the black parenting community and to celebrating the culture and beauty as often as she can, and to helping people become accomplices in the fight for intersectional. Racial Justice. Hi, Yolanda. Welcome back to the podcast.

Yolanda Williams 02:16
Thanks for inviting me back. I really appreciate it. Always love talking to you. Yes.

Casey O'Roarty 02:19
And I want to just start with how are you the last time we talked parenting decolonised was newer. And I don't think you had done any of your conferences. So how's business,

Yolanda Williams 02:32
it's been, you know, a lot of ups and downs. Parent coaching, as you know, is like a lot of sometimes you have clients, sometimes you don't. And I went through while I'm still going through this phase where I don't want one on one clients, because it just takes a lot out of me. And so figuring out what that looks like, for my business has been a little bit difficult. But I've been since we last spoke, I think I've done four summits, virtual conferences, my fifth one this year. And you know, the platform has grown exponentially. Unfortunately, there's been some setbacks with like Facebook, my page was stolen. And there's no one so I couldn't get into my new page. But, you know, I've been learning how to pivot. It's so funny. You know, when we start talking about like emotional intelligence, you just realize how little you have totally realized, like, man,

Casey O'Roarty 03:28
it's like, oh,

Yolanda Williams 03:29
my parents didn't teach me nothing. So I've had to really learn how to navigate a lot of emotional ups and downs. For a while I did fall into like a really deep depression. And I was very just held by community, like, I had to push a conference back like months, because I just couldn't get it together. And everyone really just was like, Girl, take care of yourself. And I felt good just to know that the community that I've cultivated is reciprocal. I don't feel like I'm just giving and giving and giving people give back to me. And so it's it's been really good. It's also been tough. It's all the thing. It's life. Yeah, and raise the autistic daughter, who's just beginning her. You know, when do kids usually go to the no face?

Casey O'Roarty 04:14
Yeah, right. I'd like to. She's there now. Oh, good. Yeah,

Yolanda Williams 04:19
time starting that she's starting that and so it's really, I'm like, Oh, this is the part of conscious parenting that you really have to be very, very conscious, because it's a lot when they start to speak up for themselves. And you're just like, oh, okay, I don't know if I like how that felt. And working through all that stuff. Yeah, it was interesting for years. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 04:39
She's training you up for adolescents. Oh, my God pay attention.

Yolanda Williams 04:45
I was like, what? I said she was doing something. I was like, What did I just say? She was like, nothing. Like, oh, okay, we've made it here now. Okay. Yeah, we were here and I have to learn how to actually walk the talk. You know,

Casey O'Roarty 05:00
right, that's what I was just gonna say, I feel so grateful to be in the work that we're in. And because of the high reps simply of supporting other people, like I often will have parents that say, Oh, I was channeling my inner Casey or, Oh, you always know what I should say. And I'm like, Well, I'm on the outside looking in. And that's a really lovely place to be. And in my personal practice, you know, I aim for like, I mean, 7030 on a great day, right. And I love what you said about remembering as leaders in our communities, remembering that we also get to be held, because life, it's unfolding for all of us, right? And you never know what's going to hit and remembering that we've cultivated a really special space for others, as well as ourselves. I think that's such a gift. It's such a gift is that it

Yolanda Williams 05:59
only happens when you are intentional about actually putting up boundaries and building that community. You know, I've seen a lot of online personalities and their comment section be a hot mess. Yes. And the way that you deal with them is really just like, you know, I've been very vocal about you're not going to come over here and talk to me any kind of way. Yeah, if your space we you're part of this community, and you have to act like you got some sense, I'm sorry. It's over here and abuse me or say harmful things, or you get blocked and I don't feel bad about that. I blocked for fun. Yeah, well block somebody, even if I'm on your page and see how they talk to you. I go, and I go block that person so they can ever find me. I'm not allowing anyone to serve my piece. And I think because I've put those boundaries up and been very transparent about my struggles as a conscious parent, that people have really felt like, Okay, I can't just come over here and say and do whatever I want, right? Because that's not what community does. Just because we're together is a liberated sort of community, there's still boundaries that you have to have it

Casey O'Roarty 07:01
100%. And I think there's a that goes back to that walking the talk, too. It's how you lead, right? How I lead, I think ripples into the norms of the communities that we hold space for. And I love that. And I think that you are so innovative. I love the way that you've taken the work of parent education and made it your own. Like you said, I've done some summits, I've done some conferences, what you do, I don't think fits in either of those words. The what you put on is so cool. And nobody else is doing it. Yeah, like a summit. I think the summit days are over. Right? I mean, come on. The model is not that useful. And by the way, quit sending me eat not you but out into the world. Like this is not a win win for me. Okay. So quit acting like participating in your Summit is somehow going to, you know, exponentially grow.

Yolanda Williams 08:02
Email the same emails, like you've been invited to speak at my Summon, you just got to pre record this, and you got to market to your audience. emails for no money. Yeah. When we don't worry,

this will come back to you. You're gonna have my feet. Yeah, I'm helping you with your Summit. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 08:19
for sure. Well, and I love your conference. It's so I mean, I wouldn't say speaker centered. That's not the right word for it. But like you pay your people and people invest to be there. And you make it available in a way that people can say yes. Because I know, for me with parents, you know, it's amazing what they'll invest in for their kids. And when it comes time to, like, do some work around parent education. Everything's too expensive. I remind them I have over 500 podcast episodes, they are free. Yeah. But also to step into some deeper work. You know, there's some blocks around investing in parenting, and I really appreciate the pathways that you create for parents to step into that in your work.

Yolanda Williams 09:02
Yeah, what I what I try to do is not necessarily like Okay, first of all, I try to do make it equitable, as far as pricing. Yeah, accessible, as far as anyone should be able to listen or watch this, but also for the speakers. I don't want anyone to feel like they are not valued. And the information isn't just about parenting. Yeah, I don't want to come off as like some kind of self help person because I'm just not because I only know about myself at the time. But I do feel like the way that I speak about parenting is from a different lens, and it does have a anti oppression sort of layer there. And so it doesn't just feel like you're being spoken at A and I do live you know, I do I do live recording because I don't listen to pre recorded stuff. I generally don't. So we do it live and there's a DJ and it's fun, like it's a fun guy. And so, I think when the difference is you're showing up and you feel like it's for you. We just as parents, we want to feel like something is for us. Like, when I speak about parenting, I am more parent centered. And that's just because I feel like we have to support parents if we really, really want to support children. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 10:14
I love that. And, you know, I would say, I think that when I talk about the work that I'm doing, it is more than parenting. And I'm unapologetic in it is self help. Like, yeah, let me help you get your shit together. Let me help you recognize how you're making it worse, or a part of the dynamic, which I know that there's parts of that that you do as well. And I'm sure that you have the experience, I love first timers that come in to a workshop or something that I'm doing. And when they say, Oh, I thought this was about fixing my kid. But actually, I get to take a really good look at myself is my conditioning my beliefs, I know for you, and we're gonna talk more about that there's an expanded idea. And I, in the learning of this, around how the system's right, the patriarchy and white supremacy and colonization, how all of that is also a part of our conditioning, regardless of who we are. And that's a whole thing that's so much bigger than, you know, in my case, like, Oh, my teenager, you know, won't get up on time to go to school, you know, so I'm so excited to get into it.

Yolanda Williams 11:23
The same, like, once you start getting into that, you start to what I always want people to understand is like, we should not have a job with this, that'd be a thing. Right? Right. And so what I want people to always ask is, why is it a thing? Like, what is that? What is the foundations of that? And once you start digging at the roots, you realize how messed up the history of parenting in this country is, right? After colonization interrupted indigenous practices, it became a shitshow. Yeah, and when you go even further back, you know, before, when, you know, the Europeans were over in Europe, and you look at those practices, and you see how that was carried out over here. And you're just like, oh, that's the foundation, like the cruelty. You know, these people used to put people on racks Come on. Yeah, you know, and like, put stuff over their head, mice in the helmets. Like, there was a lot of cruelty that was happening over in the overall across the pond that transferred over here. And when you add in enslavement, you add in genocide of the indigenous people, there's a really ugly foundation that is not spoken about enough. In the parent education realm. It's just like, glossing it over. And that's why I think so many people feel unfulfilled when they hear people speaking at some parent educators speaking, it just feels very surface. And it is because you're not digging up the roots. And when you start digging out the roots, it becomes very uncomfortable. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 12:50
And we're gonna get uncomfortable, I'm probably gonna get, I'm gonna be probably more uncomfortable than you are. Because this is your area of genius. This is what you speak about. And this is why I reached out and said, hey, you know, I see you and I see others. There's other people that I follow, who have this message, specifically directed right towards white parent educators, which I am one, you know, around like, hey, kick it up a notch, you know, you're missing some things. And so, you know, I'm always trying to pay attention, right, as best I can. And so and you're my person, thank you for being my you for your emotional labor and supporting me in my growth, and like I said, last time you came on, we did talk about what it means to decolonize. Our parenting it was see episode 223. So that was many years ago. Yeah. Many years ago, we talked about race and racism and unconscious bias, and how all of it comes up in subtle and not so subtle ways in parenting. And yeah, so today, we're going to talk about that responsibility of white parenting educators, to bring it more to the forefront of our work. And when I reached out to you, I actually what I wrote was, I love to have you back on the pod full transparency. I don't know what I could be, or might be doing differently to be more aligned with what you're talking about. And I just really wanted to hear from you. And because I'm also a parent, educator trainer, so I certify parent educators, I want to make sure that I'm giving them a fuller experience and picture of what their responsibility is, as someone who's supporting family.

Casey O'Roarty 14:38
So let's get really specific here. Where are you seeing places of growth for white parenting educators? What are we missing?

Yolanda Williams 14:47
Let me let me you know, here's the problem. Your problem is that is capitalism, right? So many people may just look at what's happening right now. We are talking through this. And there's an act of genocide happening, right? And if you look at who is the most vocal about the genocide, right, that's happening. And it's not white parent educators, right? And so you look at that, and you realize who takes on the emotional and physical and spiritual labor of saying, hey, this inequity cannot stand, we need to fight against it. And we risk our livelihood doing this. So the biggest part of this is capitalism, and how invested, most white parent educators are in it. Because when you would rather be quiet about an act of genocide, because you don't want to upset your base, or you don't want to upset sponsors, or whatever. And you don't want to risk anything. And you leave that labor to the black and brown people. It really just shows because we already are underpaid. Most of the time when we are being asked to conferences, and we are being asked to do anything brand deals. I mean, when I say it's exponentially less than why parent educators make I'm not even joking, you get offered, let's say $2,500 to speak at a workshop, I'm getting up being offered 250. Like it literally is that can you tell

Casey O'Roarty 16:13
me where they're paying $2,500 to speak? I will sign up for that. And I will add

Yolanda Williams 16:20
$2,000 an hour? Yeah, it started and I got it last year, every workshop that I did was $2,000. Or an hour between an hour an hour and a half. Because I'm just like, This is what folks is getting paid. So it was uncomfortable. You know, when I was like, this is weird. Like, I can't believe that. But when I first got it, I was just like, oh, let me just continue this trend. And that helped me a lot. That's when I was just like, I feel like this is I had to start thinking about where my money was going to come from. Right. And I knew as much as I want to help people, it's not going to come from individual parents. I mean, to make $2,000 an hour for me to do one on one coaching. That's a lot of people

Casey O'Roarty 17:02
who are those clients, right? Like, that's a lot

Yolanda Williams 17:04
of people, multiple clients. And I sure know, you can speak to the fact that it takes a lot out of you. Yeah, I'm usually so tired, my back hurts, like, I take a lot of spiritual like in emotional labor. And so I actually, anytime I do something like this, even after podcasts, I generally need to rest, it just takes a lot out of me. So I have to stop. And I had to pivot that way. So all this to say, but capitalism lies at the forefront of all this. Because what we're seeing is, you know, most white paint educators know that we're going to do the labor, we're going to do the speaking out, we're going to risk our lives, like we've always done for justice. But until something affects y'all, it doesn't seem to matter. So I always tell people, like I shouldn't have to tell you that you have to care about other people that are not like you. Like when you are just invested in the money, or just invested in things that are only happening to you. It just leaves so many other people vulnerable. And it puts the labor back on us. And we already have a lot of labor, we're dealing with racism every day. I just put up a post in the boundary about people not coming onto my page being harmful and talking about children in disparaging ways. And someone was just like, well, you're black. I'm like, Yeah, I get this all the time. I got called a Shibumi on Twitter, you know me how much I have to deal with all the time. So that labor and that racism on top of misogyny, right, I started speaking out about things and Facebook will penalize you, Leslie she wants next parents who just got the platform pretty much she can't make any money on social media because of how she's speaking out about the genocide. And I don't see anybody else, you know, I'm saying on the side of that.

Casey O'Roarty 18:52
So I'm gonna be super vulnerable and say, that's it's really useful. And I really appreciate this lens, I know that I have a lot of listeners that are parent educators and supporters. And I'm grateful for the listeners that are simply parents just in broadening our lens because, you know, most of my listeners are white and we swim in white waters, we swim in the systems that benefit us and we don't even realize that we're being benefited because we're just swimming around doing our thing. And when I think about something like the speaking out about the genocide, you know, one thing that comes to me and maybe we can I just, like kind of look into this too, is I don't feel like I know enough. I feel uncomfortable just around like probably goes back to me and my dad having discussions and him quoting the economist and me in tears like what about the human beings? I don't have an argument other than what about the human beings and so it's probably an internal thing for me to sit inside of. I don't know how to have a like an argument or even really a good discussion where I am like, Well, let me tell you about the history. Let me tell you and I even as I say that it's like, well, Casey, you could learn it.

Yolanda Williams 20:06
A you can learn it and be going back to the white supremacy culture traits. You know, there's I think there's 12 I'm trying to look it up right now. You don't have to

tell me what they are. Oh, God.

Yolanda Williams 20:21
All the things culture. I'm pulling it up because I don't know what my heart after me things in my brain. That's okay. Okay. So, one of them is perfectionism. God

Casey O'Roarty 20:37
people pleasing also on there.

Yolanda Williams 20:39
So there's 15 Okay, I'm just gonna say perfectionism, sense of urgency, quantity over quality worship of the written word. Only one right way paternalism, defensiveness, either or, which is binary Thinking, Power hoarding, fear of open conflict, individualism, I'm the only one progress is bigger and more objectivity in right to comfort. So in that what you just said, like for those Yeah, it's not thing is, it's a cultural trait. Because you don't even like you said, you don't even know you're doing it. Yeah. And the thing is white supremacy, culture traits, everyone does them, because white supremacy is the water, not the shark. So I can, you know, also, uh, perpetuate white supremacy culture traits. And so I really don't have a large knowledge of the history of Palestine. But what I do know is what's happening over there. 15,000 Plus children being dead? I cannot not speak out about that. Right. So just with that lens, just like, Well, can you ever justify that many children being murdered? Just from that, you know, like, I need to know everything, because I know that there's nothing you can ever say to me, that justifies 15,000 children being murdered. And so I think needing to have all the answers and needing to do it perfectly hinders a lot of people from actually just being able to do something, right. Yeah, it doesn't have to be big. I don't speak out like Leslie does. Right. Leslie has a different support system. She's a white Latina. I am a single mother. I do have to, you know, I have a lot to risk. Yeah. And so I just speak out differently than her. I will repost. Right, right. Right. I will speak about like, how Israel learn a lot of their techniques from over here, because of white supremacy. Like, that's the kind of stuff I speak about. And so it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Yeah. And again, looking at, is it that, and what are you afraid of, and just being honest about that, because you can say, I am afraid that my customers will leave me and just dealing with what that feels like, sitting with what that feels like sitting with how that may affect you. But recognizing that that is a valid billing, you're not wrong. I have that feeling. Yeah, I'm gonna do it anyway. Because that's, and so I think that's what's missing, like, the unwillingness to say it, and then their willingness to be just sit within and do it anyway. Because I'm sorry, making money versus people's lives. Right? You know, right. And then when you also look at, if you're really concerned about the money and the audience, and like sponsors, and stuff like that, is your live set up to where you could lose a couple $1,000 in that Philly, you know, like, I've risked a lot I risk losing a whole platform and my livelihood. Yeah, y'all might be risking losing, you know, a few $1,000. Yeah, your risk is different, yet. I take more of it all the time. And that's what's Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 23:41
sorry about that.

I'm gonna be better after this conversation,

Yolanda Williams 23:46
I was really open. And that's because Casey and I have known each other for so many years, I don't feel a way about this happiness discussion. And I don't feel the need to be like wagging my finger. I'm just gonna say what I got to say, Yeah, I know that it probably makes you uncomfortable. But that's not mine to hold. You know, like, I totally learned about that. But also, I don't think I'm saying anything in a way that's just like, you're a bad person. No, you're

Casey O'Roarty 24:09
not here. Ya know. And that's not my experience at all. It's actually so interesting. And it happens in our relationships with our kids, too, with the places where we get to, like, go back and recognize what is it about this? So I mentioned that thing with my dad. There was also something deep inside of me, that's a growth edge a learning edge for me around not wanting people to be mad at me, that comes from my little girl experience. And I think that's also like when you said what is it that's getting in the way? I mean, that's probably at the top of the list for me what that last thing that you said in the list of you know, white supremacy traits around like avoiding conflict because it was so painful. It was so emotionally painful growing up that I have now created beliefs and just you know, the way that I be In the world, that's what it looks like. It's like, I need to avoid conflict. I don't want anyone to yell at me even if yelling looks like all caps. Right? And do it anyway, like, that message was loud and clear, that message was loud and clear. What I'm experiencing in this conversation is an I really appreciate it is what it felt like permission. Like, it's not about knowing the history and knowing all the details. It's about dead children, who did nothing have nothing to do with the conflict? And it's not just happening in Palestine, it's happening all over the world. And that's where I really feel like I can take a stand for the children without having to, like, know, the politics. Yeah. So thank you for that

Yolanda Williams 25:45
we're witnessing the effects of colonization in real time. Yeah. And that's what's really been jarring for me. I'm just like, wow, this is what the indigenous people the United States went through, just in a different, they were being actively exterminated. And then when that couldn't happen, they were being forced into whiteness, and you know, kidnapped and being told, like, No, you need to be white. And so we're witnessing that. And it really has just been so difficult to witness. It's been so difficult. But what I wanted to also, you know, you said most of your audience is white women, there's some history behind the fact that for most of y'all, you were taught to not get involved in politics, not speak about it to be kind above anything else be nice, I'm not gonna say the niceness you know about anything else. And to avoid conflict, like white girls are generally taught that in childhood. And so it's also a cultural thing. I think if you have a discussion with your inner circle, and you're like, was this true for you, too, you'll see a pattern there. And that carries over into a lot of why a lot of white women struggle, even when they're like married, and their politics might clash with their husbands, they might still vote like their husband, because that's the kind of training, indoctrination, that is a patriarchal thing. Yeah, BQ be nice, don't talk about politics, but you're supposed to be cute, nice and dumb. And you're not supposed to ruffle any feathers, because it might make him mad. It really is a patriarchy sort of thing. And that's why whiteness, patriarchy, capitalism, they all just go together, doing that, invest in and get keeps for capitalism, the unwillingness to mess up your money. And that may not be the underlying cause, you may not be actively saying, I'm not, I don't want to mess up my money. You meant to be saying that, but the day that's the effect of it, that's the effect of you not saying anything, is you choosing money over lives. So we just have to be honest with ourselves about what's really going on. And that's the beauty of conscious parenting as of the colonizing is digging up the roots and uncovering things and being like, Oh, these branches? Let me dig them out. Yeah, new stuff in here and do some deep programming, and some unlearning. So we can actually make effective change in parents. Yes.

Casey O'Roarty 28:22
Well, and I love how well that that I mean, it just fits in so well, with, you know, I talked about the iceberg metaphor a lot in the context of what's happening with our teens. Right. But we're kids, but it can also very much I mean, it's the honesty with ourselves. But even before we can be honest, we have to be curious, we have to be willing to question like, you know, what is driving this? And what does make Why is this so uncomfortable for me? And how can I heal or grow or evolve out of this mindset that is really driving the ship, right? And do I want it to be? So I work really hard. And there's so much right, I'm trying to make a big effort. And I do to make sure there's diversity here on my platform, my little baby, and voices and conversations about all different types of people and families. And I mean, I don't know, I'm guessing you get these two, I get a lot of, well, maybe you get a different group, but I get pitches all the time for people to come on my podcast. And every time I'm like, Okay, let's see who this person is, like visually see who this person is. And I hold my breath, and I click on their link, and that's another Middle Aged freaking white woman. There's already one here on the show. And, you know, which is not a terrible thing, because I think there's, you know, there's so much depth and wisdom out there and I want to tap into it. And sometimes I have to respond with Hey, I am holding space for guests of color right now. So circle back with me when I noticed, you know, I'm trying to make sure that there is representation Yeah. And I seek out right, I think I've reached out to you. I've reached out to others, I look at your speaker list. Yeah, tamari came on. I loved having Tamari on the show, and I've reached out to people, I look for a lot of different ways, because I'm not getting pitched very much by people of color. And so I get to be responsible and seek them out. And when I'm teaching classes and having conversations, you know what I'm realizing this might be me wanting validation from you, I'm just gonna own that right now. Okay, we'll get to look at how great I

just put myself right in the middle, Yolanda, this conversation,

Casey O'Roarty 30:43
but you know, when I am talking to parents or parent educators, and I noticed I get kind of a little hope, which does happen, even though the water is, you know, white, I try and point out like, and here's a place where if you're raising white kids here in America, you don't have to necessarily, you know, do XYZ. And when you think about demographics, it might look different for different families. And I try to talk about where people are on the privilege ladder. Is this enough or not? Is this enough? That feels like a weird question, is this enough? But is this helpful? It's helpful.

Yolanda Williams 31:21
So what is really helpful is when you know, it's not just them coming onto your podcast, it's also you highlighting people on social media, it's us saying, Hey, this is a list of, you know, anti racist or social justice parent educators that, you know, I really think you should be following. I'm going to take a step back, I'm gonna push this person forward. Because again, it's just the inequity of it all. Yeah, yeah, we are not in the forefront. The main voice in parent education is white women. And it's always so interesting, my friend Deseret she's so you think I'm blind. She's always like, they just started raising their children anyway. Because if you look at the history of parenting in the United States, yeah, a lot of white women were not raising their children for a long time. Now, the very poor women were, but if you were middle class, you had helped a lot to help the middle class pretty large or a little bit. So it's like you had all this help from from mostly black women, or your extended family members. But somehow you're the people that everyone's supposed to come to. And so it's really just like, How can I help to put the word out about other, you know, black, indigenous other people of color? Parent, educators, parent educators of the low majority? Yes. Love that. So they can be featured so they can be sought out? And then understanding who your audiences? Are they people that will go out and seek this information out. Like, I had an exchange with Janet lensbury on her page one time, because she reposted something that I did. And you know, just the white woman tears came on, and I was like, you have to start looking at you. Because if this is your audience, why are you attracting these racist people, because at the end of the day, the things that they were saying were ultimately racist things. And they may not have been the overtly inward type racism or Sure, they were still racist. And I was like, I don't feel safe in your comment section. And if you are going to be reposting, you know, people have the majority on your page, and your audience shows up like this, and you're not putting any boundaries. Don't post my words, then, because I don't want to be in your comment section feeling unsafe, like this is not a safe space for black folks. So you got to be willing to put that foot down and just be like, I'm not going to allow this here. Like you can go over to, you know, somebody else's page and do that. But over here, I'm not going to allow you to be racist in my comment section. I'm not going to allow you to attack people in my comment section, and be willing to like stand up for folks. Yeah,

Casey O'Roarty 34:08
I just adore you, Yolanda. I learned so much from you. And so now leveling up from working with parents to working with parent educators and training baby parent educators. What are some key things you know, that you believe and you've been through the positive discipline training? You did the,

Yolanda Williams 34:27
I mean, I started it and I was like, This is so exceptionally white, but I just can't please people. I did not feel at all that it was culturally responsive. I did not feel that I was like that my parenting style, which is conscious parenting, and I do think there is a difference because I feel like a lot of the gentle parenting community is very child centered, and that's not a bad thing, but it does not ever take socioeconomic status and racism. Well,

Casey O'Roarty 34:56
I think that child centered can also go A little sideways, I mean, and it becomes super permissive, which is not useful to children. So it

Yolanda Williams 35:05
become the children don't have the accountability. And we're saying like, Hey, speak your mind and say what you want to say. And you know, your child should be safe to say whatever to little white boys like, No, they can't just say what the fuck ever, they want to say they need to understand the impact of their words on other people. Yeah, when you're not invested in any kind of racial lens, then you're not teaching your child that their words matter, that the impact of the things that they say actually does matter. Right. So we're raising a bunch of really, and I hate to say this, because I see the comments section, but really entitled children who just feel like they can say whatever the hell they want. Right? Right. And then when they say to the wrong person, the wrong black person, the wrong, you know, Hispanic person, you're trying to figure out what happened here. Yeah, well, you're raising a little white supremacist is what's happening. And you haven't taken that into account, because you're just looking at the respect for the child, the autonomy of the child, when you're not going a little bit bigger, and being like, Okay, but what about respect, and agency and autonomy for the black child, I always say, if we started centering black children, because they are the most marginalized, the black disabled child is the most marginalized person in this country, we start centering what they need, and how we think about parenting policies, all this stuff, environment, we will all get free, because all the stuff that enables them to be liberated, is also gonna liberate us. So if you are a parent, and you know, you have a white child, and you're just like, what would that black child need? If they were in this environment and my white home? I'm sure there's probably white parents that have black children listening. And I see a lot of people that are just like, well, you know, they don't even think about the racial aspects and how they need to be culturally responsive in their homes. Yeah. And so many homes are just because what supremacy is the water, not the shark? You don't talk about anything, right? You just talk about everyday life and everyday life to us white myths. And so you're not talking about the stuff that's happening outside of whiteness, just living right

Casey O'Roarty 37:09
under the guise of we don't have to write not urgent, it doesn't affect us, right? Yeah.

Yolanda Williams 37:15
I have to tell you that you have to care about other people. Because even though it does not affect you, you know that racism exists, you know that classism and ableism exists? Why wouldn't you want your child to have a working understanding of this mess? Because you don't have a working understanding of it? Yeah, that means you need to seek out culturally responsive parent educators and most parent educators are not unless they are black and brown.

Casey O'Roarty 37:38
Yeah. Well, and shout out to our mutual friend Natasha Nelson two is doing some really profound work

Yolanda Williams 37:44
while we're doing our summit together. Yeah. So with her, love it, you know, I'm super excited, because that's another lens of ableism. You know, we're we're gonna be discussing autism and conscious parenting. And it just working with someone like her, it also helps me as another autistic child, everyone has privileged in some way, you know, ADHD, but I'm not autistic. So I don't know what it feels like to not have words, you know. And so I have to always be checking my internalized ableism. I used to always be checking how I'm showing up for her because for a long time, it was just really ablest. Mm hmm. So it's like, even though I had to learn that it didn't affect me until it affected me. Yeah. Then I had to be like, Oh, let me get my shit together and learn more. Right? Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 38:34
And what else is out there? That's not affecting me, but is a problem. And something that I can have a voice or support around? Yeah, it's

Yolanda Williams 38:42
easy to start. Just use media. Yeah, just use media, I saw a clip and it was so profound. And the guy showed a picture of a sports team and a black woman was covering her face like this. She was like Shane, and her teammates were around her, but their teammates were really excited, too. And it was so good. Because the instructor was able to show ask the kids like, what do you think the media is trying to portray to you with this image? And they all were so great. The kids were just like, oh, yeah, they're trying to blame this on the black person. And so you can use media all the time to help a get an understanding of where your child is actually at. You know, when you're not talking about things someone is they're learning anyway. Right? So you have to know where the starting point is, what do they think about black people? You know, if you see a black person that hoodie has that make you feel, you know, like, start to get to having these conversations. And then you can be like, Oh, wow, my child internalize this. Or maybe I said something that had the material maybe I'm acting this way, you can get an idea of where you need to start and just use media to show you this you can look up something like how media speaks about when a police killing happens. How you know, the the passive voice versus the active voice like all of these things. It's not that hard. It really isn't the hard part is actually the Yeah, yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 40:00
Being willing. Yep. Yeah. Oh my gosh, I'm looking at the time. Thank you so much for hanging out with me this morning, I have more I'm going to follow up with you on for sure. Because it's really important to me, especially in the parent education trainings that I'm doing is really important to me to dig in there about how I can do it better, because I do the positive discipline, parent educator trainings, I'm so grateful for you and your willingness to hold space with me, and everything that you exist as and put out in the world. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My last question is, and I asked you this last time, but it's joyful courage mean to you in the context of the work that you do? Well, I think

Yolanda Williams 40:45
just speaking of what we spoke about right now is an example of joyful courage. Having the courage and doing it from a place that I want to bring more joy into the world, I want to bring more liberation into the world, and being willing to be unliked being willing to be wrong, a big part of whiteness is fear of being wrong and being called, oh, I don't want to be called a racist. Well, is it going to kill you? Or is it going to kill me to be affected by racism? Right? So being willing to be wrong and sit with that? And then correct course, correct. That is to me just so courageous. And the more that people lean into the courage of it all, the more joy we all can experience.

Casey O'Roarty 41:30
Gosh, yeah, it's hard. It's

Yolanda Williams 41:32
ugly, and it is messy. But at the end of the day, you just feel so much better when you know that you're doing something that will make an impact. Yeah.

Casey O'Roarty 41:43
Where can people find you follow your work? And how can they check out the conference?

Yolanda Williams 41:47
Yeah. So if you go to parents who decolonised.com It's my website, you can sign up for my newsletter there. And I am trying to revamp my podcast. I'm not sure if I am just y'all have no idea how much work and how expensive it actually is. Yeah, to have a podcast. Yes.

Casey O'Roarty 42:06
Even with sponsors, listeners. It almost breaking even almost.

Yolanda Williams 42:14
It's just, it's expensive. And then even to have like a email list. It cost me $900 a year. Yeah, just email list. So it's expensive to run this business, yo. So I'm not sure about that. But what I decided to do after Facebook has dropped the ball in on me 5000 times now is really just make Patreon a hub for all that I'm going to be doing. So you can sign up for free as well. Like you can be a free Patreon person and just get updates like social media style updates for me, but you can also become a patron and for little as little as $5 and help support my work and some other perks. I'm going to be our conference is July 27, and 28th. All virtual, it's a live conference and we are tickets gonna go on sale for that in I think like June 10. I gotta check on that. Yeah, I'll send you all the links to this. And yeah, you can find me on social media still. Parents decolonised on Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter.

Casey O'Roarty 43:15
Awesome. Thank you so much. I so appreciate you for having me.

Yolanda Williams 43:19
I appreciate you.

Casey O'Roarty 43:26
Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you to my Sproutable partners as well as Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting the show out there and making it sound good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay connected at besproutable.com. Tune back in later this week for our Thursday show and I'll be back with another interview next Monday. Peace

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