Bryana Clover is a Michigan-native, currently residing near Raleigh, North Carolina. For over a decade, she has worked in various strategic marketing roles within Agribusiness. She has a demonstrated history of collaborating, facilitating, and managing cross-functional projects and teams in animal health and nutrition. Bryana's lived experience working and worshipping in predominantly White communities, has cultivated within her an intense passion for creating brave spaces to have tough conversations about race. This passion has led her to be a student of a Master’s Certificate program: Anti-racism in Urban Education with UNC Charlotte. She brings an educational perspective to her work with the ultimate goal of inspiring individual and organizational change.
In August of 1619, a ship arrived on the shores of Virginia (present day Fort Monroe, Hampton, VA), carrying over 20 enslaved Africans. These Angolans were stolen from their native land, captured from a Portuguese slave ship, then sold by British pirates for food. We know the names of two of them. Antony and Isabella, who later married and had the first child of African ancestry, William Turner, born in America in 1624.
Why didn’t we learn this in school? How history is taught depends on who tells the story. Native people of this land, now called America, were here thousands of years before they were stripped of their land, communities, and languages. Enslaved African Americans shaped the nation through the sale of their bodies, the product of their labor, and their fight for freedom and equality. This moment in history, August 1619, shaped our Nation as we know it today.
We need to understand the complete story in order to experience racial healing. We all need this. Individually, as well as in our workplaces and our churches and in our communities. It’s time to change the narrative.
I'd always heard terms like systemic racism but never understood the concept; I don't see racism on a daily basis so how can it exist? The White Fragility book study completely opened my eyes to not only understand what systemic racism is but to have language to talk about it and understand how it impacts me, and others. Bryana did an amazing job 'calling us in' to the discussion in a way that challenged my views while creating a respectful place to ask questions and debrief what we were learning while reading the book. The study was high impact in and of itself, but perhaps the highest impact was helping me see that understanding someone else's experience and working to dismantle racism is a journey, not a destination.
- Janette Barnard, Managing Principal, Rock Road Consulting -