THERESA SCOTT It’s not nearly let’s take a knee, let’s be silent for eight minutes and 46 seconds for George Floyd. It goes approach past that.

KAI KOERBER I’m African-American and that is one thing that would occur to me. It may occur to me tomorrow, may occur to me subsequent week. I need to create a future that permits me to not solely be protected on this society, however permits everybody else who appears to be like like me to be protected.

JENNIFER KEITT The fact of police violence and institutional racism have been occurring on this nation for a whole lot of years. Black folks have been having conversations on this nation, the US of America for a whole lot of years. It’s actually tough to suppose to perform straight to not having this low stress of all the time being on. That issues me as a result of racism is taking its toll. The poisonous toll of stress of racism is taking its toll.

ADRIAN MICHAEL GREEN I feel we’re drained and pissed off and indignant. And greater than something, we all know that this isn’t new and this received’t be the top. Will probably be, it has been, a continuation of hatred and bigotry and oppression and racism that folks of coloration, black our bodies specifically, on this second, have suffered by means of.

JUSTIN MICHAEL WILLIAMS I feel now we have to be actually cautious on the subject of our well-being, as a result of the way in which that you just present up on this time can and needs to be fully genuine and in alignment along with your values, and along with your self care as prime precedence. Particularly for black, brown, indigenous individuals of coloration, as a result of we don’t need this motion to create extra hurt inside our communities and inside ourselves.

DACHER KELTNER These have been the voices of Theresa Scott, Adrien Michael Inexperienced, Jennifer Keitt, Kai Koerber, and Justin Michael Williams –– they’ve all been friends on The Science of Happiness. For at present’s present, we requested them how they’re discovering which means throughout these extraordinary instances of the Black Lives Matter protests, and supporting their well-being, and the individuals they care about.

JUSTIN MICHAEL WILLIAMS I spotted that the way in which that my nervous system was jacked up, I imply, I’m a meditation instructor. Like, so the truth that I used to be that fully overwhelmed, I can solely think about the place different individuals have been. And I then reminded myself, no, no, no, no. You may have permission to relaxation. You may have permission to get well. Your individuals and your ancestors have been going by means of this for generations and centuries. And when you don’t look after your self, you’re internalizing the identical oppression that you just’re combating in opposition to.

JENNIFER KEITT Firstly I feel that I discover well-being in my tribe, having a really familial household and associates assist system. With the ability to on an ongoing foundation return to the folks that love and that love me. That’s the energy of my properly being that’s the supply of my properly being.

ADRIAN MICHAEL GREEN I feel what’s extra vital now than ever is for all individuals to assemble in affinity teams. So people of coloration, it’s regular and essential to go and search refuge and respite and say, “Hey, you realize, I’m drained. I’m indignant and pissed off. I’m afraid. I’m unhappy. I’m terrified.”

THERESA SCOTT I proceed to work, you realize, at my eight to 5 job. I’m attempting to eat, proper. So I’m attempting to maintain that in stability. I’m attempting to train and attempting to ensure I deal with myself.

ADRIAN MICHAEL GREEN I feel now much more than ever, individuals could make artwork or faucet into artwork. And that could possibly be studying and writing and listening and singing and responding, as a result of we all know artwork is remedy.

THERESA SCOTT And likewise reaching out to household and associates by way of Zoom or on the cellphone. Simply attempting to make it possible for I’m okay by ensuring that everybody is OK. As a result of once I know everybody else is OK, I’m doing good myself, you realize.

ADRIAN MICHAEL GREEN A part of well-being for folk who’re coping with trauma proper now on this second is to unplug, to actually get off of the social grid as a result of we can’t management the entire ongoing repetitive movies.

JUSTIN MICHAEL WILLIAMS I did three full days taking in no information, hiked in nature, and introduced myself again to pleasure. And, you realize, one factor that I’m going to say about this motion, particularly with black and brown communities, a part of our revolution is experiencing pleasure within the face of this oppression and dismantling white supremacy. And the system, like our potential to look after ourselves and expertise pleasure, is what our era can do in another way than was performed earlier than.

DACHER KELTNER That is Dacher Keltner, and we’re within the midst of nationwide protests which might be giving voice to the damage and the outrage that so many people are experiencing proper now into the murders of unarmed black individuals. One of many issues that I’ve realized within the science of happiness is which you can’t have happiness on the particular person stage inside a household, inside a neighborhood, inside a group, when you don’t have justice, when you don’t have equity and we’re studying so much about how racial and sophistication disparities hurt the soul of a nation. And what we’ve been interested by it, The Science of Happiness is how will we leverage the sorts of abilities that we cowl in our present, find out how to bounce again from adversity, deal with trauma, discover which means, discover group within the face of huge divisions and likewise the significance of actually listening. And so this week what we thought we might do is carry again co-host Allison Briscoe-Smith, who’s a professor of psychology and director of the Variety Fairness and Inclusion Group on the Wright Institute. And plenty of of you most likely acknowledged her voice as a result of she’s been a visitor host quite a few instances so we’re very delighted and honored at hand over the mike to Allison at present.

ALLISON BRISCOE-SMITH Thanks a lot, Dacher, for having me right here. I’m actually excited to have this chance, particularly on this context, to speak to our visitor at present, who’s john powell. John powell is an knowledgeable in civil rights and civil liberties and points regarding race, poverty within the regulation. He’s a professor of African-American research and ethnic research at UC Berkeley, in addition to the director of Berkeley’s Othering and Belonging Institute, which works to determine and eradicate obstacles to an inclusive, simply and sustainable society as a way to create transformative change. Welcome, john powell.

john powell Thanks, Allison. Good to see you once more.

ALLISON BRISCOE-SMITH So I wished to type of begin with context that Dacher set for us, the place in a selected time right here, the mixture of being within the midst of a worldwide pandemic and this present, one more wave of an rebellion and with protests and bearing witness to racialized violence. This isn’t a brand new phenomena. Maybe it’s a little bit bit completely different on this context of Coronavirus. However all of what we’re type of bearing witness to is how a lot racism and oppression are actually impacting black communities and different communities of coloration typically. So I wished to ask you to suppose a little bit bit in regards to the connection between what’s type of happening when it comes to how we’re sheltering-in-place, incidences of police brutality, what we’re seeing, what’s happening with all of these points? And the way are you making sense about the place we’re on the planet at present?

john powell So I feel there are numerous various things occurring without delay. And likewise, I feel that inside these various things, we’re in these inflection factors the place we are able to both transfer very quickly, very deeply into extra entrenched othering, extra entrenched racism, extra entrenched posturing to counsel, as some individuals don’t actually belong, that black lives don’t matter, that perhaps homosexual lives don’t matter, that perhaps immigrant lives don’t matter. Within the context of that, what we’re seeing is a problem to these, not simply statements, however these assumptions. So black lives do matter. However how do they matter? And inside that, you’re seeing a push not simply from the black group, I feel the black group in Minneapolis, and throughout the nation, and actually internationally, that is simply standing up and demanding change. And that’s really very stunning and hopeful in some methods. Along with that, although, you’re seeing individuals who usually don’t get entangled. You’re seeing a number of white people who find themselves not racial justice or social justice advocates. You’re seeing generals within the navy. You’re seeing ambassadors. You’re seeing the prime minister of Canada discuss anti-black racism, which I feel is vital to call it, proper? It’s not simply racism. It’s sort black racism. Is the US model of racism. However you’re seeing cracks within the wall of oppression and injustice that we’ve by no means seen earlier than. And our job partly is to really shine a light-weight on these cracks. It cracks into holes after which ultimately it takes the wall down.

ALLISON BRISCOE-SMITH You talk about inflection factors, which nearly to me speaks to, now we have a alternative right here as to which approach this may go. And I hear you actually talking with a number of hope and positivity. What do you suppose is perhaps out there to us on this second?

john powell Effectively, Allison, I’m not knowledgeable organizer, however I’m hoping I’d say there’s greater than a little bit little bit of hope. However much more vital than hope, there’s an enormous likelihood to have interaction. Not simply {that a} private however in a private, collective, institutional make, Los Angeles simply voting to take between 100 and 150 million {dollars} out of the funds of the police and provides it to communities of coloration. That’s by no means occurred earlier than. And the College of Minnesota, instantly stopped a big contract with the police in Minnesota. The hope that now we have probably the most, I’d say, is the deep, profound, sustained engagement. We bought to carry these two truths. Proper. These two truths. Sure, we’re grieving. We’re in ache. We’re shocked. We’re disgusted. We’re drained. However on the similar time, we’re seeing this outpouring once I come house there are younger individuals out with indicators, Black Lives Matter. Their vehicles are going by honking. After which the opposite factor is fascinating is that that is occurring in the course of a worldwide pandemic. The world has already modified. The world has already modified. After which we add this on prime of that change. This morning, I bought up and I begin calling my veteran associates saying there’s a crack within the navy, the place some individuals are saying, “No, this isn’t what we’re presupposed to do.” I confess I’ve generally adverse emotions in regards to the navy, however to see individuals within the navy, related navy standing up for our nation, standing up for everybody right here, standing up for black lives is admittedly a tremendous shift. You merely haven’t had that at this scale any time in American historical past.

ALLISON BRISCOE-SMITH Many people are weary, are drained or numb or overwhelmed and are doing so within the context of being separated from their households, not with the ability to see their grandmothers having academic outcomes which might be so disparate, this concept of sustaining is a spot that I’d love to listen to you discuss. What will be performed to maintain us? After which I really want to have a comply with up, which is what will be performed to maintain us as black people? What can we do to maintain ourselves?

john powell The factor that sustains us probably the most is one another. And inside that, I feel the complete, full panoply, you realize, like, I’ve a stepdaughter who has had 30 operations. She has a tumor on her mind. We all the time fear about how lengthy she’s gonna reside or if the following operation would be the final. There’s no actual remedy. Her brother was once they have been youngsters. He bought invited to a camp or playdate and he turned to his mom and he mentioned, “Is it okay if I’ve enjoyable and revel in myself? And what he was saying is that there was a lot ache and trauma in the home and within the lives of his sister, he needed to ask permission to have pleasure to have enjoyable. So I’d say within the midst of the intense factor, We additionally want permission to bop. Permission permission to be quiet to meditate. To not go away, to not disengage, however to recharge. To reconnect each with the bigger society, each with the challenges that we’re dealing with. Additionally with life. What sustains me is the love of individuals in life typically. Music, dance, artwork, poetry. And that’s why you take a look at any motion that’s been comparatively profitable, artwork and tradition is all the time part of it. I grew up within the 60s and, you realize, we had, you realize, from James Brown, “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” to Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?” I imply, these have been songs in regards to the wrestle, however they have been additionally uplifting. I feel now we have to recollect to uplift one another. And it’s not particular person, as Dacher was saying, isn’t my doing it on my own. Judith Butler simply wrote a brand new e-book referred to as “The Energy of Nonviolence.” She says the fascinating factor is oftentimes not examined and what she posits within the e-book is the self isn’t this remoted particular person disconnected from one another that we’re a part of one another. That I breathe within the air that you just breathe out and that one of many issues that silver lining probably with this pandemic is reminding us how deeply interconnected we’re. It’s painful to attempt to separate from one another. It’s painful. We want one another. And so what is going to maintain us, and this has significantly been the case within the black group, is that solidarity. And we have to develop the solidarity.

ALLISON BRISCOE-SMITH I feel we’re in a spot of feeling that want for group so desperately as a result of we’ve been separated from them in so alternative ways, or now we have to resort to Zoom or to do different issues after which to additionally see an rebellion of individuals standing in group on behalf of others. I noticed photographs of Mennonites and folks in Fargo, North Dakota and in New Zealand doing a haka. , the methods during which that type of group has simply, once more, type of expanded out. It’s actually transferring and helps us take into consideration resilience.

john powell So to begin with, resilience is a gaggle phenomenon. Everyone knows that on some stage one thing unhealthy occurs and we are able to’t wait to name our good friend or get house and inform her husband or spouse or partner. And in some methods, we don’t even perceive what occurred till we discuss to others. And so, in a approach, resilience is about having the collective assets to assist maintain us in these moments of deep ache. There’s a number of work round self care. However I need to warning us. We solely look after ourselves. We don’t. We want assist. All of us need assistance so we are able to do one thing, issues. However I meet my associates. I want my household. I may have my canine or my pet, my. So in our society, that’s so hyper individualistic, we consider it as simply one thing I do by myself. Is it one thing we do collectively. So we are able to take into consideration resiliency, of with the ability to have our group maintain our ache collectively. After we do this, we are able to maintain extra ache. It’s not saying we take pleasure in ache, however we’re not as overwhelmed. We don’t see each slight, each ache as a set off to a bigger physique of ache that paralyzes us. So I feel a apply of mindfulness and different issues also can assist, particularly in a group. We must always have a good time the truth that we are able to really feel and really feel one another’s ache. We will have empathy.

ALLISON BRISCOE-SMITH I’m a medical psychologist and it’s fascinating as a black clinician they’ve been turning to me. Lots of the people I serve usually are not black. Or individuals of coloration. They’ve been turning to me as a therapist asking me, “oh my goodness, how can I come discuss to you as a therapist, discuss my issues whenever you’re black and also you’re coping with all these items that’s happening?” And my reply to them could be very, quite simple, which is I want for them to be properly. And it’s the expanded notion of self like, “I’m okay when you will be OK.” And, you realize, my calling and repair is to assist different individuals be OK. And I hear this type of guilt so typically, each by means of my educating the oldsters, that folks really feel responsible once they deal with themselves. They really feel responsible to go for that stroll. They really feel overwhelmed by each their privilege, however by guilt. However what I hear you saying is that all of us have to be properly.

john powell We’re linked. We expertise a connection, we additionally expertise one another’s pleasure. We’re experiencing this ache. Within the mists of COVID I’d say, I don’t actually fear that a lot about myself. I attempt to be accountable. , I’ve a number of the adverse indicators, proper. I’m, I’m a person. I’m black. I’m over 60. That’s three strikes already. However I additionally suppose if I get it, I’ll most likely survive it. And I additionally suppose if I don’t survive it, it’s OK. , I’ve this glorious household, have fantastic children, I’ve fantastic associates. And I do know that a part of life is sooner or later transitioning. And I’m not saying I take that calmly. I’m not saying I’m attempting to try this. However I really feel at peace with that. What I don’t have peace with. Is the destruction of the black group, destruction of individuals, destruction of the planet? I’m not at peace with that. There’s struggling in life, you realize, on small and huge scales. However there’s additionally surplus struggling. There’s no want for anybody to go to mattress hungry. There’s no want for anybody to fall asleep with no mattress. There’s no want for black individuals to be excoriated by an entire society. That’s surplus struggling. , Toni Morrison wrote years in the past, she mentioned, you realize, we spent many years speaking in regards to the results of slavery. And that’s respectable. So we pay little or no consideration to the results of slavery on white individuals.


john powell And so I really feel this as a rustic. This can be a likelihood for us to actually heal, however now we have to type of hold the wound open. Now we have to take a look at it, aggravated trying. Now we have to type of be grounded in our pasts. However we additionally need to be targeted on the long run, our collective future, not my future and your future. Our future. And to me, that’s the hope that we are able to do this. Then we may have a future value residing if we don’t do this. I’m afraid we received’t have a future in any respect, or a minimum of not one value residing.

ALLISON BRISCOE-SMITH I can hear as you’re talking, you’re drawing the circles of who’s inside your circle, wider and wider and wider, to maintain on transferring forwards and backwards when it comes to pushing this notion of self, even. So self as an entire, self because the world.

john powell Who we’re, what it means to be black is altering. What it means to be white should change, should change. We’re now extra snug, a few of us, with a number of identities, with fluid identities. I’m not flattened. Once you see somebody as an different, you additionally flatten them. So the primary definition of white was, “Not black.” However it’s altering. The quickest rising group in the US isn’t blacks, not Latinos, their blended race, blended ethnicities. And so individuals even arguing that, like if somebody’s like President Obama, half white, half black. Is he black? Or is he white? Attention-grabbing to nobody requested that query about W.E.B Du Bois was additionally half black. For those who set a time inside half black and half white was simply black, and in some circumstances that’s nonetheless the case. However it’s not as clear anymore. And so you concentrate on, Kamala Harris ran for president. Proper. And a few individuals are saying, what, is she actually black? We don’t have categorical communities in the way in which that we did 100 years in the past. Persons are individuals and fluid communities. Persons are fluid relationships. They suppose by 2025, greater than half of the brand new households shaped in California can be blended at this, the blended race. So what are the youngsters? Which group they belong to? The black group? The white group? Latino group, the areas, the classes received’t work anymore. Now we have to create new classes. However the arduous edge when it comes to addressing the issue in America isn’t fixing the black group. It’s really rethinking whiteness as an ideology.

DACHER KELTNER Effectively, John and Alison, there’s so many deep insights in right here that I really feel like we have to examine scientifically and convey into the science of happiness. I’m struck with the concept we could also be on this second of reworking our sense of self and id to a extra expanded, interconnected self that John was speaking about. And I need to ask you guys each this query, and it actually comes out as one thing that John mentioned in considered one of his talks, which is he mentioned, you realize, “You would possibly suppose that the world is fabricated from atoms, however the world and specifically human historical past within the second we’re residing in proper now’s fabricated from tales. And one of many issues that I’ve observed on this specific second of George Floyd and the protests is, individuals have been struggling to seek out like what’s the story right here? What’s the narrative? And I feel it’s coming into focus. And we’re listening to so much about defunding the police and transferring assets to actual psychological well being. We’re beginning to grapple with issues that Allison has studied, like what does it actually wish to be resilient within the face of actual trauma. And I need to get your guys ideas on like what do you suppose this story is true now that we’re going to be telling about this second?

ALLISON BRISCOE-SMITH Effectively, I imply, I’ve a hope for what the story is. , I hope that the story is, you realize, in 10 years once I’m speaking to my two yr outdated, that my eleven yr outdated that at the moment will inform her the story about, you realize, “There was this time in the course of the instances of Corona the place we had to stick with one another and we needed to love one another. And that helped us to actually learn to be higher and kinder as a result of we missed everyone a lot. And we knew that we needed to do one thing higher.” So I hope that this can be a catalyst to have us recognize a hug, a contact and the opposite. That’s the story that I hope will get instructed. I’m anxious that it received’t be. However I’m additionally actually type of dedicated, particularly by the science round how this may work. The work of john as properly. So I’m holding on to hope that we are able to use this as an inflection level.

john powell Now we have our particular person tales. Now we have our household tales. Now we have our gender race tales. Now we have nationwide tales. These different tales intersected in that very same. And at some stage, all of us. Take part in creating the tales. So we get an opportunity to be storytellers. And a few say the long run belongs to those that take part in creating. You need to be a visitor in somebody’s future as a visitor. You will be invited out completely. If it’s yours, you’ll be able to. So I hope our tales is rising in our story. The story of how we met, the story of me. The story of we. And that story has every kind of bridges in. Bridges are connecting individuals and have a T-shirt saying. When the wall is turned on, his aspect turns into a bridge. So now we have to study the bridge.

ALLISON BRISCOE-SMITH I simply actually need to recognize you, john, on your management, your vulnerability, your tales. So thanks very, very a lot.

john powell Thanks. And, you realize, I used a quote by King with a slight edit, “if it doesn’t transfer to regulate as we bend it to regulate. It doesn’t bend by itself. Now we have to bend it to regulate.” However I feel I recognize your work, Allison. And those who white individuals who have you ever as a therapist are fortunate.

ALLISON BRISCOE-SMITH They suppose so too. So it’s good.

DACHER KELTNER John and Allison, I simply need to thanks for taking day trip of your very busy days as professors and sharing all this knowledge. I really feel such as you’ve given us a story to consider the place we’re going from this second and every kind of deep concepts to work on collectively. So thanks a lot.

john powell Thanks. And I recognize your work.

We’ve created assets on our web site exploring the psychology of racism and methods to confront it in your self and in our felony justice system. Go to to study extra.

I’m Dacher Keltner, thanks for becoming a member of me and my colleague Allison-Briscoe Smith on The Science of Happiness.

Our podcast is a co-production of PRX and UC Berkeley’s Higher Good Science Middle. Our senior producer is Shuka Kalantari. Manufacturing help is from Jennie Cataldo and Ben Manilla of BMP Audio. Our affiliate producer is Ariella Markowitz. Our govt producer is Jane Park. Our editor-in-chief is Jason Marsh. Our science director is Emiliana Simon-Thomas.

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