My Personal Journey toward Anti-Racism
Katie Tucker Trippi 1/16/2021
I am a 61-year-old, white, cis gendered, female identifying,
woman of privilege on a journey toward becoming an
anti-racist. I am seeking the office of Alderman of the
6th ward to serve as a leader in this community that I love.
I offer myself as an ally to Black, indigenous, and people of
color. I understand that my role in promoting racial equity,
human equality and anti-racist ideas and actions is to listen
to the voices of those around me who have experienced
the personal pain and systemic racism every day. I need to
speak up as a witness.
For the 16 years I have worked at the Y, I have taken advantage of numerous diversity, equity, equality and anti-racism trainings offered through the YMCA and the Evanston community. My mentors at the YMCA, Bill Geiger and Monique Parsons have stressed the importance of this work in our community and have promoted and encouraged all of us to put these principles into practice in our work. With each training, with every conversation and every book that I read, I face my privilege and implicit biases. There is more work to be done. I have more work to do.
Nine years ago. Daejae Coleman was shot and killed - a vibrant, young, black, ETHS freshman. Grieving with all of Evanston, I attended a community meeting held at the McGaw YMCA Children’s Center. I heard the family’s community talk of two Evanstons. In the Evanston that I knew, we live in a racially and economically diverse, progressive, well-educated, suburb where hate, and racism have no place. This is the Evanston we all aspire to be.
That night, I learned more about the other Evanston, where neighborhoods are segregated due to years of redlining and intentional housing discrimination. I learned there are students who are not making it, who graduate from our top ranked high school with a less than 5th grade reading level. Students who live in trauma and fear of violence because of opportunity gaps and economic disparity. Families who live with the fear their children will be harmed because of the color of their skin.
We are experiencing a moment in history at the confluence of a worldwide pandemic, a tumultuous national election, and a series of racist events which have illuminate the inequities in our society and the systemic racism in our institutions.
I am called to public service because I love my community. I will work tirelessly for my constituents in the Sixth Ward. I will call others in to work with me to find solutions to the problems that challenge our neighborhood and our community. I will stand with the Black, indigenous and people of color who have been historically denied both privilege and access. I will challenge my white friends to check their privilege and join discussions on how to become anti-racist and what that means. What does this mean for our institutions and our city? I am still learning.
If I am elected, I will serve and legislate through an anti-racist lens. Our community has much to offer each other. We have an opportunity to reimagine and rebuild economic and political structures in new and inclusive and innovative ways. I feel optimism and opportunity as we emerge from the pandemic. I hear Studs Terkel reminding me that “Hope Dies Last”.