Today, I finished a workshop with a number of youth-serving professionals called Knowing Who You Are by the Casey Foundation to identify and propose strategies for addressing personal and professional biases.
I loved it. So much of what I write about is related to identity and the benefits to finding our roots. Whether it’s about finding a lost family member or the trauma created by interpersonal violence or parental kidnapping, for me, it is all based on the critical journey of getting to know who you are.
There is much about my culture that I don’t know since I grew up in a splintered home. What foods do people of my ethnic or cultural group love? What traditions did my family observe? Honestly, I have no idea.
What I do know, having talked to around twenty strangers for the past two days, is that there are a lot of people like me (and like my kids) who have missing family members that they hope to find and reunite with, and it’s that journey that helps us develop healthy racial and ethnic identities.
I go to great efforts and expense to know my family in Kentucky and Indiana, and it’s been one of the greatest joys of my life. I get to see them every two years, and I can’t imagine my life without them. But I’ve made much too little effort to know my maternal relatives from Louisiana. That’s on my bucket list, I’ve decided.
What were your family’s traditions growing up? Do your people eat anything in particular that brings you comfort and joy?
There’s no question that you can create a new family in life if you need to, but getting to know and accept your history, finding your lost family members goes a great distance in truly knowing who you are.
Have a great week. I’ll be off with my kids in the sun, having some intense family time and getting some much-needed rest and relaxation.