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About

My name is Diane Schmitz and I live in Seattle, Washington.

I started this blog to focus on the impact of the power and privilege of whiteness and why it matters. As a white, heterosexual, middle-class, highly educated woman, I have much privilege in my life. My experience as a woman also means that I know what it is to experience sexism in my daily life and to live with the fear of the violence that is so often directed at women.

All of us have multiple threads of identity; some of which may place us in dominant groups; other in groups that face oppression. I understand that attention to the intersections of these identities is important. I also experience times where discussions of race are avoided by focusing on class, gender, etc.  Part of my white socialization taught me that talking about race means talking about “the other” – those who aren’t white.  I’ve learned how important it is to acknowledge and be attentive to what it means to be white at an individual level, how whiteness manifests as “the norm” in cultural and institutional systems, and the daily impact of all of this on people from communities of color.

There are other aspects of my life that contribute to my worldview. I am an ordained minister belonging to a religious denomination with a long history of being involved in social justice and yet I struggle with how the Christian church as an institution has used its dominance in ways that marginalize and cause harm to others. I am a mom who cares about the future in which my young adult sons will live and who wonders about the way, as white, heterosexual men, they will be aware of their own privilege. I have multiple years of leadership experience in the corporate world and higher education in the United States and recognize that organizational cultures mirror and reinforce the culture at large, which means they are infused with whiteness. My leadership positions have granted me power and authority; I have not always utilized that power with an awareness of system inequities and the injustice that occurs daily because of the color of someone’s skin.

On a personal note:

I  tend to take myself too seriously; making music, communing with nature, relaxing with friends and family, doing yoga, and gardening help to keep me whole.

My husband’s unwavering support and encouragement to live life fully has helped me to reach beyond what I imagined was possible.  A partner in the pursuit of justice is a blessing.

I am blessed everyday by the presence in my life of my two young adult sons who have, from the very beginning, been my teachers about many things.

Life-long learning is one of my core values.   I appreciate the wisdom of Walt Whitman when he said:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

I started this blog inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt’s words: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

My intention is for this blog to generate dialogue. I hope to hear from you.

6 comments

  1. Diane, thank you for the courage and commitment to begin this blog! I have to do some catching up on the reading and then I can make it a daily time in my life. Thank you for doing this truly sacred work.
    E.


    • Thanks for being part of the journey, Elizabeth!


  2. Thank you for your commitment to this courageous work. It is encouraging to find fellow- travelers along this road. May God richly bless you for your vigilance.


  3. Thanks for your encouraging words, Starlette. I feel abundantly blessed in so many ways by all I continue to learn from fellow travelers. I appreciate your interest and look forward to reading your blog!


  4. You go gurl!


    • Thanks for your encouragement, getgin. I look forward to exploring your blog! Diane



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