How is it possible to be accountable as a white person doing racial equity work? After thinking about this deeply, I came to the conclusion that there is a place for white people in antiracism work, and that place is bringing along other white folks. Working with white people is my job. I work towards economic justice by giving 15% of my income from racial equity work to people of color and people of color-led organizations with no strings attached (see a list of donation recipients here). Making sure that when I am hired there is a corresponding facilitator of color hired at the same time ensures that people of color who have chosen to do this work also make money. Referring many jobs out to facilitators or trainers of color instead of taking those jobs myself is a way of sharing my access. I know a number of facilitators of color with whom I partner and have ongoing conversations about this work. Those relationships have a large impact on the way I show up in multi-racial spaces. For further information on my process, please take a look at my article from November 2018.
I have a masters degree in history from the University of Glasgow, and I completed Partners for Youth Empowerment’s Heart of Facilitation course in 2016. I am primarily indebted, however, to Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites (CARW) and the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB) for my basic understanding of racial oppression in the United States. I am also grateful to the many people from whom I have learned either via their written words or their conversation. I truly stand on the shoulders of giants.
In addition, I have an extensive background in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. I have worked on both sides of the non-profit divide: as operational staff and as a board member, and these experiences inform my understanding of the purpose and the purview of each. My years of experience in the for-profit world also means that I am no stranger to the needs of corporations.
Most of my engagements have been with smaller organizations, but I have the capacity to work with larger institutions as well. A partial client list includes: Hilltop Children’s Center, Puget Sound Community School, South Shore Pre-K-8, Zeno, Schools Out Washington, Ada Developers Academy, Amara, Phinney Neighborhood Association Breaking White Silence Book Club, and North Seattle Progressives.
As a white woman who immigrated to the United States from the United Kingdom as a child, I have a unique perspective on the systems of oppression at work in our culture. My immigrant experience gives me some critical distance when examining tough topics, but it also lends empathy to those who have struggled and continue to struggle. This blend of compassion and analysis informs my work as a facilitator and the way I interact with people every day.
The Blair family name can be traced to Scotland, and the Blair Clan crest includes a stag, lodged proper. Using this image is a way for me to express part of my heritage, a way of honoring my birthplace.
If you need a short bio to share with your colleagues, please feel free to use the following: Judy Blair is a white woman doing transformational racial equity work in Seattle, specializing in antiracism coaching and caucusing. Her approach is extremely relational, focusing on helping people find their own power and figure out concrete responses to the racial oppression they see or experience every day. She has spent the past decade thinking deeply about how white folks can use their social position to dismantle racist systems and what it means to be a white person doing antiracism work. The majority of her clients are youth-serving organizations, but she has worked with a number of corporations, government entities, and other groups.
I am also available for speaking engagements; please feel free to download my speaking flyer for more information.