“We have to be able to have these uncomfortable conversations and put in some uncomfortable strategies for people to move forward.” ~Brandon Jones
What, exactly, is intergenerational trauma? How does structural racism even work? For Brandon Jones, the answers are balled up in the same knot of his origins story. As a psychotherapist, a professor with dual Masters degrees, and a 2013 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow, Brandon’s committed to educating people about the intentional cycles of trauma and drama that supremacist culture has fostered within families of color.
For white folks, confronting these life-long, centuries-old systems requires acknowledgement of advantages that most of us have come to rely on, consciously and unconsciously. It’s sticky business but, as Brandon says, “At some point, you have to be able to be comfortable enough to be uncomfortable and have these kinds of conversations in your day to day.”
Our conversation begins with Brandon’s winding journey of self-discovery and travels through instances of early bias conditioning and “bootstrapping” – the racist myth that hard work is enough to level the playing field for all – in his own life. He sheds light on aspects of everyday, institutional racism, easy to overlook if you’re not intimately acquainted with them. What I call out as ignorance or “blindness” on the part of white folks, Brandon defines as denial, the privilege to avoid confronting what is known – another underhanded tactic from the supremacy playbook. Seriously, they’re like Whack-A-Mole!
Listeners, you know how much I love a good chat! Well, Brandon humored yours truly so much that we almost ran out of time for the healer questions. Almost. Brandon approached the answers with humor and his trademark belief in living life with purpose, on purpose. OMG that’s so good!
Brandon Jones is a Psychotherapist, Professor and currently serves as the Integrated Services Manager at NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center. He specializes in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Historical and Intergenerational trauma, Social/Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Leadership, and Youth Justice. Born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Brandon has survived living in a home of domestic violence and various other forms of trauma. Brandon holds a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, a Masters in Community Psychology from Metropolitan State University, and a Masters in Psychotherapy (MFT) from Adler Graduate School. Brandon is also a 2013 Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow. He is also a professor at Metropolitan State University and Century College. He lives by the motto of “Live life with Purpose on Purpose.”
CONNECT WITH BRANDON JONES:
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
The Power Of Now: A Guide To Spiritual Enlightenment – by Eckhart Tolle
The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening – by Steve Taylor
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