My greatest blessing is our community. I would love to hear from you and know how you are. I greatly appreciate your feedback on how I can do better and as always, I welcome your referrals for workshops.
As I turn 50, I pledge to:
Own my truth
Write my book
Continue to learn and teach how to relate across difference as equals
Accept and provide feedback with grace
Unite with like-minded people to create our own organizations and systems
Embrace all people who want to make change and figure out how to build together, wherever our starting point
Throw no one away
Celebrate our wins
Connect people I care about with other people I care about
Honor those who came before us
Follow the leadership of young people
Follow and amplify womxn of color
Call out harm whenever I see it
Engage locally and nationally
Raise my profile
Value and love myself
Act in solidarity with all marginalized people
When I feel exhausted and depleted, restore myself with my favorite quote from Frederick Douglass:
“The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
- Frederick Douglass, August 3, 1857, “West India Emancipation” speech at Canandaigua, New York, on the twenty-third anniversary of the event.
Thank you for being part of my journey! I am looking forward to all the change we will make together.
Karen Fleshman, Esq. is an attorney, activist, single soccer mom, and a nationally recognized expert on racism, feminism, workplace fair practices, police brutality, and politics. In 2014, Karen founded Racy Conversations, a workshop facilitation company, to help people feel more willing and able to communicate honestly with each other about racism and to do so with increased empathy and understanding.
Karen’s passion project is to build interracial sisterhood and raise antiracist children. She is the author of a forthcoming book for white women about racism, blogs for Huffington Post, Moguldom, and Blavity, and is a Medium Top Voice on Racism, Feminism, and Politics. Karen is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, the University of Texas at Austin, and New York Law School, and is admitted to practice law in New York.
As she has since 2017, in 2019 Karen will cohost Inclusive Conversations in cities across the United States, events designed to unite women across age, race, sexual orientation, and class, and will speak about interracial sisterhood With Minda Harts and Dr. Avis Jones De Weever, Karen will speak at SXSW 2019 on building interracial sisterhood. For more information, contact her here.