We had the good fortune of connecting with Sara Blanchard and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sara, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
I abide by the phrase “we rise by lifting others.” When I’m in a rush, glazing over it, it seems like another pretty affirmation. But when I pause and take it in again, I feel the gravity of it. We Rise By Lifting Others. It’s a critical philosophy in these times. 2020 is nearly in our rearview mirror, but the truths the year have reflected are difficult to accept: a downtick in society’s empathy, an uptick in selfishness, and a deep lack of understanding that we are all interconnected. The truth is, none of us make it on our own. From the teachers who influenced us, to the teams who heal us from illness, to those who keep our shelves stocked with food, we are surrounded by people working together to make society work. We all need each other. The misguided attempt to paint ourselves as independent, to tout that our success is solely due to our own hard work, is leading us into a very divided society – one that kneels on Black necks, one that strips healthcare from citizens during a pandemic. To reverse this trend, we can make choices in the voting booth and advocate for policy change. Perhaps even more importantly, we can make choices in our daily lives to see the humanity in every person we come across. Seeing humanity doesn’t have to be difficult. It might be smiling at your fellow shopper – over your mask – in the grocery store aisle. It might be waving to acknowledge the unstably housed individual at the stop light asking for money. You can leave water or snacks for your delivery drivers, take a moment to chat with the person manning the front desk of the doctor’s office, reach out to an old friend who’s gone quiet during these dark days. According to psychology, reaching out to help others helps us feel good about ourselves, too. It’s a virtuous cycle, and goodness we all know what rough times look like now. So going back to it, I ask you, what can you do today to lift another human being up?

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I really appreciate creating opportunities for conversations that matter. A lot of these conversations have to do with race and identity, and how we can create a happier life for everyone in our country. I do that through our podcast, Dear White Women, which helps ease people into uncomfortable conversations about race, racism, and how to be more anti-racist. My co-host and I are both half-Japanese, half-White, and have spent our lives bridging cultures and understanding different perspectives. We work hard to shine the spotlight on narratives that aren’t always shared, so we can work together to grow – without defensiveness – to build a more anti-racist society. I’ve also recently helped launch a local project, Voices From Next Door, which showcases our neighbors in Colorado talking about their lives being Black in America. We have been blown away by people’s willingness to share vulnerable stories about the first time they were called the n-word, or what it’s like to get out the door to go jogging, or the feelings involved with watching your Black teenager protesting for Black Lives Matter. The consulting work I’ve been doing lately has involved bringing these conversations into organizations and companies that want to learn more about anti-racism, but don’t know where to start. I think the power of my personal identity and involvement in the space is that I’m on the journey along with them, learning and sharing and growing, so I aim to create as welcoming of a space as possible to have uncomfortable conversations without triggering (too much) defensiveness.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
During COVID?! My husband whips up a mean dinner, and we love hanging out on the porch for some cocktails. Our favorite sushi place has to be Misaki at the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora, and the owners just recently opened their very own ramen shop Qi Lin in the same area – both are top quality. As for visiting the area, we’d probably get a hike in around Chautauqua Park or Mt. Sanitas in Boulder, and then stop by Pearl Street afterwards for some food and drinks. And if they were here for a while, we’d be heading to the mountains! Depending on the people, we would either spend a day or two in a rental somewhere at one of the main ski resorts or we’d do the local thing closer to Winter Park to avoid the tunnel traffic. So much fun stuff to do, whether it’s hiking or snowshoeing or skiing or boarding or tubing or boating or snowmobiling!!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Everybody who’s touched my life until this very moment deserves a shoutout, because without each one of those interactions, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I’d love to dedicate this shoutout to my father, who passed away over 15 years ago. He was a man who headed up volunteer efforts in the community, baked cookies not only for his colleagues but also for the copy-room team, and always made time to chat with a neighbor. He taught me through his actions that we’re all in it together.

Website: https://www.dearwhitewomen.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dearwhitewomenpodcast/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarablanchardauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dwwpodcast
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dearwhitewomenpodcast/
Other: https://www.sarablanchard.com/ https://www.voicesfromnextdoor.com/

Image Credits
Rebecca Milam photography.

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