Feedback – Beyond White Fragility Workshop

The following are the comments made on the workshop feedback form

January 23, 2021

What did you learn about yourself that was unexpected?

I need to keep chipping away on this journey of undoing white supremacy.
– it’s not about doing, its about being
– stop focusing on we/them and focus on I/me
– white guilt doesn’t help anything, BIPOC people don’t need it
– just not adding harm is not good enough, you are still walking around being white
Not a surprise – Nursing graduate education focuses on systems and system change. That is my training, my bias and where I think change needs to occur. This is not a binary choice: individual vs. system change – both are required. I did get the message, standing up in the moment as an anti-racist is as important as working on larger system structures. It is not only important it is my responsibility.
I wrote a lot of notes this time, I find myself reflecting this time a lot more . The video was eye-opening. It’s not we but I. I did not expect that. It was an a ha moment. I do not want to take up space where black voices need to be raised like Peggy we need to lift up and yield and support to be true allyship
That I am the system. I find myself feeling like a victim but I have power. Micro and macro.
As a white woman, I think much of what I reflected on over the past months of reading, listening, and learning is that white people take up too much air time. We do. My initial plan was to “get out of the way” so that my non-white colleagues could have more air time. This workshop helped me to reframe this to see that I can be more effective by taking some space and then quickly handing it off to my non-white colleagues or using it to invite others into the conversation. To us a football analogy (go Bills!), I can do some blocking to clear a path for others.
I vacillate between anger and compassion for my white colleagues. I am intolerant of willful ignorance. Now that white people are becoming woke, it will be interesting to see what they do with this new found awareness. I really am hopeful.
How much internal dialogue I have absorbed from my white upbringing that I have not realized until now.
I learned a great deal. I learned that I can embrace my privilege to do this work. I have been trying to shed it incessantly and… that is a waste of effort.
I am finding it hard to shift away from this need to be a good white person. This shouldn’t be unexpected, but somehow it still is. I learnt that I have resources and capacity at my disposal to make changes, but that I need to look in my own corner of the world first – where I can make a difference – rather than looking towards grand schemes that allow me to say, “it’s too big!”, or “but what can I do!”. There’s plenty in my corner to be getting on with.

Is there anything else you would like to share? Suggestions?

Thank you for creating this space and inviting great speakers. XXOO
my notes:
– segregation lets white people ignore the pain of racism
– real change happens at micro level and is expressed on macro level
– white people need to call out when BIPOC people are interrupted during meetings
– code words of racism within nursing: “not safe”, “don’t have the skills” and “we have standards”
– notions of professionalism are informed by white supremacy
– concepts and definitions of prejudice, racism & white privilege (p 19-21)
I felt that the emphasis on individual work over system change was discouraging (see above). I have investigated abuse/neglect in long term care facilities for > 20 years. I can listen, report and validate the individual but change occurs when the facility is required to change their system of care. Conversely, when long term care facilities have strong systems to prevent and report abuse – residents are protected. I liked what Wyona said – she is at a different level and could bring about powerful change beyond an individual level. The biggest take away from these sessions is that Daily Work AND Structural Systems work (long term, life work) both need to occur equally and intentionally.
I feel like last week’s feedback was fixed and this one went so smooth.
Of course in situations where there is some disagreement, people will feel uncomfortable like a debate on zoom or in-person where everyone has to take turns to speak write a message
Thank you Lucinda, Jess, Peggy, and Nanette. I wish I came to the first one. I understand that Nanette is a salesperson it makes sense now she is a firecracker!!!
I do not need QTBIPOC to “trust me” in order to provide the best care for them.
I will share your name with my college.
I know we sometimes got off track of what you were supposed to cover, but you did a great job of bringing us back and bringing meaning to what we felt compelled to share.
I look forward to my lifetime of work.
Thank you for your time and your energy. There is no one way to learn to do better, and I am appreciative of the opportunity to hear your perspective and to listen to others in the space you have created for discussion.
Over the months I have made it a point to engage in conversations about racism with white nurses and doctors. I have bought copies of the book “White Fragility” and have given them to my white nurse colleagues. I am hopeful they will come to see the racism in this country and how they continue to benefit from white privilege. I am also hopeful to that they will begin to LISTEN and use their privileges for the benefit of black, brown, and all people who need to be treated fairly and justly. I just want them to see black people/all people for who we are and not through a racist lens.
Thank you Nannette, it was wonderful! Stay on the battle field my sister.
I did not complete the prior two evaluations so I will include here at the conclusion. I am humbled and in the reflection stage of understanding my own white fragility and how I have been raised in this mantra. Each layer I dig in racism, disparities etc over years of work and this has struck a cord for me, one that is so needed. I have literally used these sessions to make changes both to my everyday listening, and pushing the envelope to things I didnt previously have the courage to do. I am thankful for the reflections, the stories and how they ask us to really search ourselves, I needed that and didnt know how much I needed this as a nurse. It should be a mandtory nursing class! Eternally grateful!
I would like to see a reunion in 3-6 months for folks to share how this work has impacted them in their professional. Our group is unique in that we provide care for other humans and I think instead of asking our collogues of color over and over to tell us how, we can learn from each other as we find our voice. There were some very quiet attendees and I liked that those in the “whiteness protection plan” were called on to participate.
For a while I have been asking myself, “what am I willing to risk to be a person who stands up?”. I have come to believe that this is important not only because it is the righteous thing, but also because it is the only way I can grow into my authenticity and continue to chase the best version of myself. I didn’t have any means of conceptualising this. Often felt like I was going in loops in my head that led me to nowhere but inaction. The discussion you facilitated and your teaching on habitus, field and capital has given me a framework to dig into what I can do, to not feel so afraid and to recognise the place of abundance from which I am fortunate enough to start.
Thank you, Nanette. I treasure your patience, passion and prodding (I say this kindly – it is absolutely necessary to draw me and my fellow white people out of our comfort zones!).

January 16, 2021

What did you learn about yourself that was unexpected?

That I actually have to harness my capital – I have lower self-esteem, so I often don’t feel like I should have a voice. I need to just push through that and realize that I have the capital and use it. I have used in in many situations in my personal life and in the community, but for some reason in academia, as a newer faculty, I ‘m more hesitant.
You don’t need more books and workshops, its about WHO YOU ARE. and you have to have skin in the game. When you ask what do I say/do? You’re saying I want to do this painlessly, and THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE.
I need to be think more about what risks I am need to do to change in my environment. I need to be willing to take risks!
to talk more about your habitus and capitol – using to create change small or large
I need to be willing to march to my own tune/my own being/and do my part to change the world.
Confirmed things that I’ve been doing well at the bedside and with my black nurse colleagues who there are 1 in like 448094589 white nurses . As a person of color (asian) we come together and break down the habitis to build up a new one (fairer nurse patient assignments, equitable care to black patients).
Taking action will require that I become willing to expend more of my capital. I need to make a conscious decision to do this by reflecting upon my own behaviors and preconceived notions and recognizing my own discomfort.
I loved the way Nanette focused on helping everyone understand these concepts. As I interact with my executive leadership team and my colleagues, I will be more aware of the interplay of these concepts and their role in white fragility.
Disturbing self recognition that there have been times in the past when my actions were contributing to maintaining habitus. The discussion and examples r/t habitus, field, and capital were very helpful
I didn’t expect to make so much progress in clarifying my challenges to dismantle white supremacy. The vocabulary (field, capital, habitus) and examples we shared helped me understand the complexity I felt in the past when I was a bystander or participant in racism. I think I was lost in all the things that are in play in maintaining habitus beside white dominance, i.e. sexism, hierarchy, enabling/co-dependence. I feel better prepared to move efficiently to make a decision to intervene.
The talk about the love of policies as weapons and writing people up as microagressions. Made me realize I have self reflection to do here.
Admitting that I’m racist and that I benefit from white supremacy DOES NOT wash my hands of the whole thing. Read the books and artcles, do the work but stay focused on WHO I AM and WHO I WANT TO BE. Find ways to use my capital.
That we lie to ourselves and others.
How difficult it is for POC to draw attention to issues of unfairness / discrimination without being met with hostility, the conversation needs to focus on the underlying concern and fair response.
…that I have judgements about alcohol
I learned that I have been hesitant to upset the habitus at times when it was necessary to change a dynamic.

Is there anything else you would like to share? Suggestions?

loved the resources shared in the chat and the conversation with the amazing facilitators and participants. Amazing session. Appreciate everyone.
Thank you for this workshop!
would you consider using some sort of polling to ensure everyone can respond — i love that feature of Zoom
I like that we had the opportunity to discuss the theory referenced in a book and come with real life examples .
We need more responses from the group not just nanette. she also interrupted a lot of people I feel like the topic would be more powerful if we followed the chain of speakers in the group not just one person
This was a really good session for me and I sensed for others. It has encouraged me to seek out your Sunday Webinar!
Really appreciated the mechanism for signally desire to speak via use of chat
The analogy of liars/lying and cheaters/cheating was great as a way to look at racists/racism. I also liked the overlying theme of that it doesn’t really matter how we get caught up in words/conversations, and really is all about being and action and just doing better. I also liked the point about not even needing to apologize, just repent through actions and be different/better. The conversation about field, capital and habitus was also very illuminating in that it really gave concrete examples of what white women/people/nurses need to do to actually create change.
I’ve found this training really helpful. Thinking of healthcare as a system that is part of white supremacy and my part in the system is a good way for me to start looking at this more personally. It’s a lot, thinking about my interactions with patients, coworkers and colleagues, there is a lot to unpack. I appreciate the space to do this and its helpful to hear others experiences.
Much better integration of participants
I would like to hear more about how white fragility and racism impacts nursing specifically and provide at least some strategies for how to address this.
What specific barriers are preventing more BIPOC from entering nursing , the obvious ones of economics aside ? What institutional factors are feeding this,are we so hostile that they want to steer clear of us?
I have always noticed the discrepancy especially in our OR where so many POC are OR techs but very few scrub/circulating RNs. How many are motivated by the institution to continue their education, maybe these systems could help.
I appreciated the emphasis on Being not Doing. I found the exploration of field, habitus and capital to be very helpful-I am already applying this! I had not thought about how “going to the policies” can be used to impose racism on people of color and how commonly that happens in nursing. This was eye opening for me.

January 9, 2021

What did you learn about yourself that was unexpected?
I need to do more work to actively dismantle systemic racism and white supremacy from the inside of the nursing discipline and that includes challenging my superiors directly in their beliefs to drive nursing into a more equitable, just, and inclusive future.
That I am making an effort but not doing enough
The privilege that I carry- I think about this often, but it’s a journey and this session has helped me along the way.
That my desire to be seen as a “good white person” is ahead of my actions to be anti-racist
Reflected further on how I perform whiteness as a white woman, reflecting also on the modeling of whiteness from my mother
I continuously appreciate the willingness of people of color to share their raw experiences hearing these stories keeps reminding me about my own privilege. I very much appreciated at the end when Nanette and others gave specific suggestions on how I as a white person can respond when I see injustice or racism in a setting. To respond as me, being distressed by behavior that reflect inappropriate, racist, unjust behavior to another. I hope this makes sense.
Trying to unpack my desire to be an individual/helper/ally and separate out what part of that is good and what part of that is white supremacy showing itself.
Not unexpected, but it is hard to listen to painful experiences when I prefer to focus on action & specific efforts to change or improve what is under my control.
The point was made that allyship still points out that WE are protecting THEM – and it is still an us/them dichotomy. True allyship really means fighting for us, with “us” including Black colleagues. I didn’t realize how much of my thoughts or concerns about being an antiracist still focused on helping out those “others” and how they are treated, breezing past the fact that I need to accept them as already whole and not needing validation from me first (recognizing my own role as an active participant within the system).
Identified some of my past behaviors that were white fragility despite me thinking I am an “ally” because…
My ability to listen and try to understand the depth of the American denial and why
a need to reflect upon the experience of others.
I was looking for an enlightened group of people to help me approach POC as a white NP so they could trust me and my motives in recommending care. I need to learn so much but believe listening is my most important job as I discovered when I read The inner work of racial justice.
I was impatient. It felt like listening to a several year old Facebook discussion 1) didn’t relate to the complicated experience of nursing and 2) was limited in its applicability. Yes, of course, we white people are racist and blind to it much of the time, but this particular exchange didn’t offer as much widespread applicability for us to identify with and reflect on as it might have.
I learned that as a nursing instructor I have a serious obligation to bring the learning from this workshop into my practice. I also learned that its truly internal work, rather than bringing others in who didn’t ask to be brought in.
more awareness of how my family has benefited form white skin privilege; sitting in the discomfort of liberal racism;
I didn’t have any learning that was truly unexpected, however, the session helped me to recognize more patterns of white supremacy and white fragility within my own thoughts and actions.
Nothing that I had not already learned while I was reading the book. There were many discoveries then.
I really took to heart the part about listening. And I listened with intention to hear what was being said without trying to think of a response. I think that made my reflection on the meeting even deeper and more meaningful.
I don’t need to confirm with a BIPOC that I noticed racism or white fragility. I can call it out/in if I see it. I can make a difference without having BIPOC in the conversation. I don’t need to get any credit or say exactly the right thing.
I am a part of the healthcare institution which is a system steeped in white supremacy and it takes constant self-reflection and continued education to make myself confront my role in this as a white person.
I learned that I am not an activist for the sake of being an activist but that I may encounter many people like that with diversity work. I learned that I am intimidated by White women who speak with anger in their voices more so than Black women with anger in their voices. With Black speakers, when comments are direct, demand action, and hold me accountable for the energy and pain that has been caused through racism, my heart is filled with compassion and understanding. When a White person has spoken and used weighted terminology (lynching), loud voice and demand for direct action, internally, I asked “Is it right for you to be saying and demanding these things in this meeting? Though important, could this be approached in a different way? Is this the most appropriate time?”-I doubted and questioned. It was just something I noticed that I am working through.
I was more aware of not making my comments about me.
When a non-white person calls me out on something, I need to appreciate the depth & breadth of the risk that they are taking. By doing so, they risk losing – a job, social position, their very lives, as examples. It also means that they believe that I matter/that I can hear them.
The discomfort and sadness I felt at the anger and hopelessness expressed by the black woman (Victoria?).
how much I still do not know about the American history and racism but that was expected.
I was not born in this country and I am still learning.
Is there anything else you would like to share? Suggestions?
Not at this time – just ready to listen and do the work. Thank you.
I think it would be great to further detail how whiteness (not just white fragility) is performed by white nurses and the values of whiteness show up in nursing (individualism, competition, patriarchy).
I think that prompts for self reflection in between sessions could be useful.
Could there be a policy😱😳😱 that people raise hands, and that someone monitor the hand raises as a way to provide for opportunity for dialogue or comments within the whole group? I’ve noticed that this works well in other zoom meetings I attend. Someone tracks the people wanting to comment, and announces who is ‘Next’ in the que to speak to the group based on hand raises. Multiple people trying to get their voices heard by jumping in is chaotic.
Things I took notes on:

– Given what’s at stake, when a white person is being called out by a BIPOC person its because you matter to them and they believe you can hear it

– Individualism is very important to white people

– The way white people feel about the insurrection on Wednesday and the discomfort they feel about how hospitals are impacted by COVID (ie there might not be room, or quality of care is decreased) is white fragility. Black people have been living these feelings every day.

– Nursing is the most trusted profession, for white people

– Healthcare is a marginalized profession

– Its not about conversations, its about doing/being better

Thank you for this excellent workshop.
I thought the most helpful parts of the day were comments about supporting black colleagues & not asking for fellow nurses to be interpreters or speak for all black experience. It goes back to what is incumbent on white persons/nurses – to understand and recognize racism – both events & structures and call them out in real time. I appreciate the comment about allyship – several people in the chat talked of the white savior role. There were some good examples of lifting up black voices and points of view without co-opting the message or making an issue or event about whiteness.
I really appreciated the concrete examples of the facebook discussion and connecting them to the concepts in the book. This helps me to be able to review my own words and actions in conversations with colleagues and recognize where I have made errors — and how to do better next time. This was a way to “bring the book to life” and gave me actionable takeaways.
I really appreciated the generosity of the nurses of color who shared during the session. I also LOVED Nanette’s straight forward manner– fabulous! I am really looking forward to next week! Thank you.
It was a slow start for me but I am glad I hung in there. Nanette was able to bring the audience on board. The others I am sure have a lot to think about. That is a win. I look forward to next week’s session.
A need to give others time to catch up with reflections and self understanding.
Maybe send out quick surveys/ questions to focus our thoughts pre the workshop as I’m not good at coming up with answers on the fly.
That wasn’t enough?!? I want to identify how we white people been socialized—before we can even walk or talk—with that deadly sense of superiority and how it negatively effects everything (personal, political, nursing, you-name-it). I’d like less lecture and more risk-taking and supportive discussion.
I appreciated the way that Nanette reframed a response from a participant. “say it with “I” and “we” instead of “us” and “them”. That was so powerful. As white people we sometimes think our feelings are mutual to the collective. THAT’S and example of White Fragility!!! The examples abound in more than just defensiveness. Its to the ignorance of not recognizing water for water…..its in the assuming and not recognizing historical context.
I appreciate the strong tie-in to white fragility in nursing near the end….and I look forward to exploring more of the connection….and the steps toward action. The advice and comments made so far were extremely helpful.
thank you for organizing. Look forward to next week.
I appreciate the specific and personal examples that were shared. This makes it easier to apply the learning to myself. I found this to be true in reading White Fragility as well, but the first workshop session helped me go a little deeper. Thank you! I am looking forward to next week.
Great first session. I appreciated all of it and realize the need to set up the concept of white fragility and explore it with participants at the first session. I am hoping that the next two sessions will focus more on specific situations in nursing practice and offer guidance as to how I can improve my nursing practice. Thanks for the opportunity to provide feedback before the next session.
I really appreciate the women (including Nannette) who shared personal experiences. They made quite an impact on me.
I am so grateful for the time Nanette took to educate me and she doesn’t even know me!
I realized how much work I need to do in nursing education.
Not at this time
Some questions that I have been reflecting on as I strive to grow and develop in my role as a nursing educator and a nursing leader ( had been teaching in a BSN program and now I am in a supervisory position at a hospital trying to integrate diversity training into leadership development courses):
1) As I am learning and reading, I am hearing some conflicting messages. For example, one is that we need White women (as the majority in nursing) to speak up to and for issues of diversity (in this instance, racism) and use their priviledge to facilitate these discussions further into meaningful and sustained action. I am also hearing (and not just from this group) that White people should stop talking and listen AND also that as a White person, I shouldn’t have the audacity to speak on behalf of POC. As someone in a largely white community, I am wrestling with this to find a place where I am not presenting myself in anyway to be a white savior speaking truth to power while still not being complicit with my silence. I am trying to navigate where to step in and when to step out.
With this, I also recognize we live in a society where multiple identities with different meanings and assumptions converge. One nurse gave a great example of this when she discussed the heirarchy of power as a nurse and then the added dimension of being a POC and a nurse and its implications for safety. There have also been times in meetings where I have spoken to issues like this and been dismissed only to have the same idea accepted by a man of color re-presenting it. Though I don’t feel slighted in any way or take it personally, what I think I am witnessing is the interplay between two dynamics, racism and sexism in leadership, and I am interested in learning more about navigating that role when intersectionality is at play.
Secondly, I am a nurse educator and have recognized so many instances where White nurses have assumed they have done the work of “cultural competence” and they aren’t racists,sexist,etc because they are nurses who look at people as individuals. I am actually targeting my grad school work on what work I can do to hold White nursing faculty accountable for internal reflection and honest work regarding their own implicit biases. I would be really interested in any insights as to how to move people who think they have already done enough work and are competent from attitiudes of competence to attitudes of growth and actions that demonstrate accountability to self evaluation of complicity in the systems of oppression. So much of what I have been reading has discussed the invisibility of advantages and priviledges yet the reported biggest need is for staff and nurses to do their own self-work. Thank you for everything!!
I would have liked a concrete discussion of exactly what the white woman should have said.
Figuring out what needs to happen to support Nanette in her technology.
Nanette’s personal FB posts, the video, and the black woman’s testimony were awesomely rich examples of DiAngelo’s thesis.
I am glad that is pre-work as it helps to related during the discussion.