New from Jen Fry Talks: The N-word Workshop

blog Dec 01, 2021
 

Jen's released a new workshop to help coaches, staff, and student-athletes have a conversation about the N-word.

 Let’s be honest -- most of us don’t want to have a conversation about the N-word. It can feel too controversial. The word is steeped in historical pain and talking about it feels too hard and too heavy. We worry that having the conversation will actually cause more harm to their Black athletes. Like many coaches, Jen's had that same worry.

That's why she created this workshop. Because we need to talk about the N-word. We need to have a real conversation about where the word came from, what we’ve learned about it, and where we learned those things. We need to talk about the ways the N-word has been used to inflict violence on Black people. Jen doesn't want fear to keep you from having these conversations.

What makes this workshop special? In addition to the main session, Jen's included a facilitation guide...

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JenFryTalks Social Justice E-Learning Series

blog Sep 26, 2020

It has been a challenging and unprecedented few days, weeks, and months and it has left us breathless and sometimes voiceless. We are looking for certainty in an uncertain time, hope that we can find some grounding, normalcy, or "the usual," and the reality is we can't. What we thought was normal has disappeared, and I feel that it is for the better. Our Black and Brown student-athletes, coaches, and staff have been sitting with the pain of microaggressions, macroaggressions, racially charged comments, being the only person of color on the team, staff, or even the department. It is hard. It is painful. This summer showed us our Black, and Brown student-athletes felt voiceless and suppressed when speaking out about their experiences both in and outside of their sport.

Many White coaches, staff members, administrators, and teammates are trying to figure out what is next and how they help. They are worried about saying or doing the wrong thing, which leaves them sitting on the...

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THE KARENS, BECKYS, OR AMYS ARE NOT CONSERVATIVES, THEY CAN BE YOUR LIBERAL FRIEND… OR YOU.

blog May 31, 2020

Not every overtly racist White woman like the Karens, Beckys, or Amys is a conservative. It’s time to start understanding that problematic behavior transcends political parties. It’s time to understand how racism and bias run through the veins of everyone- including you. Yes. I am talking about you. You vote Democrat, consider yourself liberal, and have zero tolerance for those within the GOP who are against everything you believe in. Those Karens and Beckys consistently in videos calling the police on Black and Brown people or in intense rages are as far away from liberal as possible… so you think. They could not be a liberal. They could not be someone who considers themselves a Democratic. They could not be feminists, pro-gay marriage, or against racism. But the Amys are closer than you realize and that scares you. It scares you because Amy is a registered Democratic, and Democrats don’t do… that. It is easy to separate yourself...

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WE ARE NOT YOUR TOKEN DIVERSE FRIEND

blog Jan 21, 2020

 I cringe because I know it is coming once the conversation starts going in the direction of race. “My best friend is Black,” “I have dated a Black guy,” “you don’t know anything about my background, I have helped (fill in the blank).” These excuses are the usual responses when a White person is challenged about their potentially problematic behavior or language. Black and brown people will not be the pawns used to explain away something that we would not accept had we been present. I tire of the excuses that seem to be sitting in your back pockets, ready to be used as if they will somehow make all of the comments not only allowable but also acceptable.  Many times, those who weaponize their Black or Latinx friends in response to critical comments from minority groups tend to not wonder if this action is acceptable at all. It is a mechanism stemming from being uncomfortable in a situation that makes people feel as if they are...

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THE DECADE OF BEING SCARED BUT DOING IT ANYWAY. SAY SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING.

blog Jan 03, 2020

It’s time, friends. You may have spent the last few years or decades being a witness to problematic words, behavior, and people only to excuse it away. You sit in meetings or on committees and see your co-workers, those who we espouse to love and respect, get eaten alive when they voice concern over racist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, or ableist language or views. You have sat idly as they looked your way for help, only to see the top of your head because you were afraid to make eye contact. Eye contact that would ask you not only why you weren’t standing next to them, but also why you weren’t standing up against something they know you knew was wrong. You see the continual vulnerable look on their faces as they glance around the room to get help from someone, anyone, and help does not come. Not only does help not come, but they also get complete silence. A type of silence that painfully fills the room and urges them to sit down and be quiet. A...

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FIX YOUR HOUSE UP BEFORE YOU INVITE PEOPLE OVER: HOW ATHLETIC ADMINISTRATORS CAN CREATE AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT WITHIN ATHLETICS

blog Dec 26, 2018

When many athletic administrators or coaches step into new roles, we see them stand at the podium or speak into the microphone affirming their commitment to diversity and inclusion. They repeat the athletic department or university mission of diversity and how important it is to them. They talk about the words diversity and inclusion both earnestly and vaguely, but have no real defined strategic plan that focuses on both recruitment/hiring AND education. Those listening do not get an in-depth explanation of how they will create diverse pipelines when hiring/recruiting and we certainly do not hear how they will create a social justice educational plan that will assist in laying an inclusive culture to be in place when the diverse hirings or recruits come on board.

It is falsely assumed that the more student-athletes of color they have the more inclusive they are. You can have a diverse group within a culture that is not inclusive. As Verna Myers explains, “ Diversity is about...

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DREADS VS. SPORT. IDENTITY VS TEAM. COVERT RACISM VS. OVERT RACISM.

blog Dec 23, 2018
 http://www.utahwrestling.org/2014_15WrestlingRuleBook.pdf

http://www.utahwrestling.org/2014_15WrestlingRuleBook.pdf

 https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/dec/22/high-school-wrestler-dreadlocks-hair-cut-video-racism

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/dec/22/high-school-wrestler-dreadlocks-hair-cut-video-racism

Over the last few years we have been hearing the stories of students of color being humiliated and forced out of school because of their hair. Most times we only read about the story or hear from the victim afterward, but this time it was different. This time we watched the painful incident in real time and it wasn’t a child being sent home, but video of the pain a student-athlete was going through while having to decide between his identity and his team. It was a video of a student-athlete of color feeling the true effects of racism one snip at a time. In case you haven’t heard the story, in New Jersey, a student-athlete of color was told by a referee that he had to cut his dreads or forfeit his match as, “According to a letter from the school district Superintendent David Cappuccio Jr., the wrestler...

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HOW DO I TALK TO MY STUDENT-ATHLETES ABOUT….

blog Dec 23, 2018

How Do I Talk To My Student-Athletes About…Race, Gender, Sexuality, or LGBT Issues, or any other uncomfortable topic? How do I start that conversation with my student-athletes so that they know I am coming from a place of loving, caring and not a place of trying to get into their business or “out” them. How do I as someone who is white, straight, Christian, male, or whatever other privileges that are at the top of the food chain, talk to my student-athletes that do not have the same privilege as I do? 

These are the type of questions I get from coaches who really do want to talk to their student-athletes about issues that are occurring on the national level, state level, local level or in their institution. They see their student-athletes struggling with issues and are afraid to say something because they don’t know how to start the conversation, they do not want to say the wrong thing, or they really are unsure of what to talk about. They know what...

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GIVE ME A CLEAR EXAMPLE OF A RACIST…

blog Nov 21, 2018

Give me a CLEAR EXAMPLE of a racist… I hear this all the time when talking about racist issues or how Trump is a racist. A clear example is wanted- but it is wanted only in a certain way. It seems that white people have been sold a lie about racism. I am sorry that I will be the one to break it to you, but here’s hoping I can help you undo years if not decades of a whitewashed history that has made you think of racism as person and not a system. An educational system and media organization has socialized you to think of racism as one thing and one thing only- the KKK, white hoods, the burning of crosse, saying nigger (but of course not when singing a song), the anger faces during the civil rights movements, or clear cut examples of discrimination and overt that even racists are like “ya that is racist”. When racism is only thought to be those overt examples, the way racism really is is missed, almost like when you look at one side of the road for a store...

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BLACK FEMALE ATHLETE… WHITE TENNIS… RACISM AND SEXISM IS STILL ALIVE

blog Sep 16, 2018

By now, if you have not been living in a cave or on a cruise you know about the situation that occurred with Serena Williams at the US Open and the conversation/controversy surrounding it. I am not going to get into the weeds of “was the correct to do it or not”. What I will speak to is the conversation surrounding identity and how some people are trying to remove gender and race from the conversation. Not only do they want to remove it, they want to make the argument that the reaction from Serena is a stand alone incident that has no bias attached to it. Not only is that foolish, but we cannot allow that to happen. The oppression and “isms” women, people of color, and women of color have had to and currently deal with will never make a situation equal to that of a white man- even if those identities are taking out of the conversation because ignoring them doesn’t change that they occur. When researching a topic, many times researchers will talk about...

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