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  • - Welcome to The Next Question, I'm Jenny.

  • - I'm Austin.

  • - I'm Chi-Chi.

  • - So today ladies we have Brené Brown with us.

  • - Whoop, whoop!

  • - Yeah!

  • - She is a New York Times bestselling author

  • of books like "Daring Greatly",

  • "Rising Strong", "Dare to Lead".

  • She is also a sociology researcher focused on shame,

  • vulnerability and courage.

  • She also has a TED Talk that I think

  • has like 48 million views or something.

  • So no pressure.

  • - Also "The Gifts of Imperfection".

  • - Yes, which is our collective favorite.

  • So ladies, what did we love about this conversation?

  • - We've been listening to Brené talk for

  • a long time about shame and vulnerability.

  • But it doesn't often penetrate specifically

  • into the lives of women of color,

  • and how being vulnerable and being courageous

  • and being brave can have extra costs associated to it.

  • So it's so good to sit down with her and say Brené,

  • but what about marginalized people?

  • What does all of this research have to say for us

  • who are dealing with so many systemic issues.

  • - And I really loved how we got to

  • some of the tough questions,

  • when you start talking about human connection.

  • What's at the core of all of this division.

  • Because so many times they can become an issue,

  • but we forget what it was supposed to be the fact

  • that we're supposed to be connected to each other,

  • and the fact that we're not

  • is what really causes all of these problems.

  • And I really appreciated her willingness to go there.

  • - Yes. - Totally.

  • - To have some really tough dialogue.

  • But also in the same way to imagine what

  • a better world can look like.

  • Especially between white women

  • and black women and women of color.

  • That was a part where we don't often get to do that,

  • name the thing,

  • name ways that white women have hurt women of color.

  • But also imagine it a different way.

  • And that was a really special conversation.

  • - Totally.

  • I think one of my favorite parts

  • of just doing the series in general

  • is when our guest will say,

  • I don't usually talk about this,

  • or I've never been asked this question,

  • and she said that a couple of times.

  • And that felt really just special

  • that we were tapping into a side of her

  • that is very much there,

  • like to hear about her being

  • in grad school reading bell hooks,

  • and just that she has been,

  • she's been in this work for a long time,

  • eyes wide open.

  • And for her to have an outlet to really dive in,

  • it felt kind of like an honor

  • to create that kind of space together with her.

  • - Shall we get to it?

  • - Yeah, it's time for The Next Question.

  • Brené, it seems that you have become more

  • and more vocal about racial justice issues.

  • Is there a recent moment that has sparked this,

  • or some sort of personal change

  • that has made you much more vocal about equity?

  • - I love all the warmup questions, I really--

  • I was like, hell, we're here.

  • So let me tell you the weird story.

  • I am a social worker,

  • I have a bachelors, Masters and PhD in social work.

  • The first class I ever took was like

  • structural oppression and genocide.

  • Like this is just how we're trained.

  • And so I didn't even,

  • and I was raised on a very healthy dose of bell hooks.

  • - Hey.

  • - That's what I'm talking about.

  • - Yeah huge,

  • when I first started teaching

  • I started teaching my first year in the doctoral program

  • I would sleep with "Teaching to Transgress".

  • - Listen.

  • - Next to my bed with her picture up,

  • so when I saw it in the morning,

  • I was like because I wanted to control the classroom

  • and everything that she said was like,

  • education is liberation, let it go, let it go.

  • And I was like, be aware of your whiteness.

  • So I think I've always been,

  • even if you go back to,

  • I Thought It Was Just Me.

  • Which was like, before The Gifts of Imperfection.

  • I write about race, privilege.

  • It's like I didn't,

  • it was weird to me that we use the term white supremacy,

  • when I was in graduate school like I was like,

  • that just seems like

  • a technically accurate term for what's happening.

  • And then I think there was a lulling into complacency.

  • And kind of always aware of it.

  • So I think I've always written about it and talked about it,

  • I just think it was always to the converted.

  • And so I think, do you know what I mean?

  • So now I think--

  • - Your audience has expanded

  • so much since then.

  • - And it's so interesting,

  • because I'll put something out there,

  • and they're like, oh my God you've become so radical.

  • And I'm like you know page 155,

  • 20 years ago, every paper I've ever written.

  • Like no, you become so complacent like.

  • And so I think I have a bigger audience now.

  • But I don't think it's,

  • I don't think I've changed that much, does that make sense?

  • - Absolutely.

  • - Who introduced bell hooks to you?

  • Like where did that come from?

  • - Who introduced bell hooks to me?

  • Probably either Jean Contabu Lating,

  • one of my mentors in graduate school.

  • Karen Stout, another mentor of Barbara Novak,

  • all mentors for me in graduate school.

  • We read you know like,

  • and I'm rereading her right now, rereading the trilogy.

  • The Love.

  • I am really working on a new strategy this month.

  • - What do you mean?

  • You're like, how your?

  • - It's like they got my hate.

  • I swore they wouldn't take my hate.

  • But they got my hate.

  • And then after that El Paso and Ohio shootings

  • I haven't been online in over a month.

  • - Wow.

  • - Like not Instagram, nothing.

  • Like I'm just something, I have to shift something.

  • So I'm trying to think maybe I've abandoned love too much,

  • so I'm rereading bell hooks right now.

  • And I think I have to start fighting.

  • I have this theory that if you're motivated by hate,

  • it's just not sustainable.

  • And I'll tell you this,

  • I've never talked about this publicly,

  • so these ideas are percolating,

  • like be gentle with me on social media as you watch this.

  • I think,

  • let me think about this for a minute,

  • I'm not filtering

  • I'm just really thinking about my thoughts,

  • I'm a pauser.

  • I don't think like hate

  • and shame-fueled activism is sustainable.

  • - I think there are a lot

  • of movement builders who would say the same thing,

  • and I think they would add anger actually to that list.

  • - I would add it too.

  • - Right, but it can maybe be

  • a catalyst. - A catalyst, yeah.

  • - But for sustainability.

  • - What doesn't work for me

  • and I find myself in these arguments like you know,

  • you're in your whiteness when you argue for privilege,

  • I mean for civility,

  • you're in your whiteness when you're saying no hate.

  • But I just wonder, I look at the health outcomes

  • for disenfranchised marginalized populations.

  • I look at blood pressure,

  • I look at like, even at the rage,

  • like what a price to pay.

  • When you're paying with your life.

  • And then it was really hard

  • and I'll be curious to see what you all think about this,

  • this is the part I haven't talked about.

  • I thought for like the last year

  • that it was maybe a return to my faith

  • where I would find a sustained fighting energy.

  • - Right.

  • - I'm not with the program --

  • I'm having a hard time,

  • I'm having a hard time.

  • I'm having a hard time.

  • - I found myself redefining what it means.

  • - Really?

  • Because I grew up Christian, evangelical.

  • And for the last three years I've had

  • just a complete.

  • First it all fell apart

  • where there was some things that happened,

  • specifically after a certain election where I was just like,

  • I do not understand this.

  • Like I don't understand how our faith,

  • this is how it's manifesting.

  • And I had to start from the beginning and just say,

  • what does this mean?

  • And my faith now doesn't look like what it did five, 10,

  • even when I was younger,

  • it has become this for me

  • it's more about how do I show up in the world

  • and the decisions that I make, how do they affect the whole.

  • Not just me.

  • Even as a black woman.

  • Because I think I resonate when you talk about

  • you can't let hate be the thing,

  • because at the end of the day I find myself getting to

  • the point where I don't even care if you're okay.

  • I don't care if you ever understand

  • that your privilege is wrong.

  • Demolish the whole thing, let's just move forward.

  • But how far does that actually get us?

  • - I don't know, I mean it's the right question.

  • - Right, are we just recreating what we've lived in now,

  • or are we actually creating something new

  • and imagining a world where there is actual connection

  • and believing that real community can exist.

  • Because there was a period of time

  • and I still struggle with it,

  • I didn't know if that was possible.

  • I was like, I don't know if we can actually live together.

  • - Yeah, I think I'm living in that question right now.

  • And it so goes against everything I believe.

  • But I don't see church helping.

  • - No right, no.

  • - It's definitely not leading on anything.

  • - It's not leading.

  • - It's not pastoring, it's not showing up.

  • - It's not telling the truth.

  • - It's not telling the truth.

  • I think it's marketing

  • and it staying safe and it's staying quiet,

  • it's trying not to ruffle too many feathers.

  • And I don't think that's not

  • the origins of the faith that I grew up in,

  • I don't recognize it today.

  • So I think I'm going back to the people that are,

  • shifting the lens.

  • Like shifting the lens helping me see it more,

  • like within the confines of what's happening today.

  • Like you can't be having it just be like all ideology

  • without it actually being implemented until today.

  • Whose life is different because of their faith,

  • those are the people I want to be around.

  • - That's right, reading your book,

  • your book got a lot of airtime

  • and airtime is not good for books in my house.