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Audacious Woman – Chanelle John

Twenty-four year old Chanelle John is making big moves. She’s the creator of a yoga class designed specifically for Black and Brown people, and it’s the first of its kind in Boston. WBUR – Boston’s NPR News Station – featured Chanelle recently in a piece that discussed the need for creating welcoming spaces for Black and Brown folks who don’t look like the typical model yoga student: young, white, slim, and female,

Chanelle doesn’t want to stop at teaching yoga. Through her Yoga Diversity Initiative she hopes to encourage more Black and Brown folks to become yoga instructors. The initiative has given out two yoga teacher training scholarships, and provides mentorship.

To learn more about Chanelle visit her website.

 

Some Perils of Working in White Work Cultures

For Black people, navigating professional spaces where White folks dominate the work culture is like navigating obstacle courses where the price of failure can be your career and livelihood. Of the many roadblocks to success — like enduring every possible racial micro-aggression, not sharing cultural references, and generally proving your competence and value to people who doubt it at the onset — the blurring of professional and personal lines definitely ranks among the shittiest.

In these white-dominated cultures — likely every place you’ve had a professional job — there’s an expectation that you’ll morph into some boundary-less person and allow your personal business to become fodder for a gossip mill under the guise of “bonding” and “relating”. The jig, though, is that they’re not going to tell you they expect this. Saying what they mean and meaning what they say is not a thing they have to do. Why say what you mean when you can just smile and do under-handed shit behind the scenes to compel people to do what you want them to do anyway. [As an aside, in my experience, when Miss Anns dominate the culture these phenomena are far more pronounced and even more unbearable.] (more…)

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