Hey my friends!
I’m Corey Williams. And I’m a lot of things.
A mom of three. A pro photographer. An community activist. A wearer of cowboy boots. And a Black woman.
And since you’re here, this is my origin story.
I was born in Alabama to amazing parents – a Black mom and a white father. Growing up in a small racially divided town was a challenge – with me constantly trying to understand my identity.
But in social interactions and African American studies at Harvard, I discovered how very many ways there were to be Black. I also realized that many Black people have white ancestry and that Black identity is wide and inclusive. I expanded my thinking about Black identity and began to unlearn and unpack my biases.
I avoided the subject of race in most post-college conversations. Unless I was in the safe cocoon of my family or Black friendships, I did not have challenging conversations – especially with white people.
My entire Facebook feed blew up. People exchanged angry words about race, honor, patriotism and truth. I was deeply hurt by the words of so many people that I’d liked, respected, even loved.
Post-election, I saw a lot of safe online spaces opening up for Black and brown people – spaces with rules of engagement that were a very positive development.
But I also realized that there were fewer and fewer places where white people could ask sincere questions and learn without getting piled on. They had earnest questions and were making mistakes along the way. And the pile on too often resulted in disengagement. So, I created that space on Facebook – an intentional discussion group with engagement rules called "Race Matters." Many patient, kind, and generous Black and brown people joined our group and put their immediate reactions aside to kindly educate. And over four years, we developed an impactful (and successful!) space where people unlearned bias, were exposed to new information and engaged sincerely.
Fast forward to the summer of 2020, and I knew that there was new work to do. More of the country was waking up and having a much-needed (and oft-begged for) conversations about police brutality, systemic racism and bias. I began making Facebook videos on the subject. I created tools for equity conversations that were employed by educational consultants and organizations. I began giving talks about overcoming racial boundaries in business. And, with the encouragement of so many, I am expanding these conversations through courses like Unlearn.
Today, I’m offering courses, consulting and coaching to individuals and businesses. I work with people and organizations who want to do better.
In addition to this work, I'm lucky enough to be parenting four charismatic children and to be the partner of a terrific man. We are, together, parenting across racial differences. My children are white presenting and his child has Korean ancestry. Our in-family racial differences make wonderfully rich and challenging dinner table conversation. Parenting across racial difference is one of my special interests and an area in which I've planned future courses.
I strongly believe that this antiracist work and education matters for our future.
I also believe that HOW we do the work matters. For antiracist educators, calling people in to relationship and learning while valuing the humanity of all involved is critical to progress. And it is a critical part of healing our collective racial wounds.
So, if you haven’t met me yet or checked out my work yet, well why not? No need to be a stranger! Follow me on facebook – that’s where I do lots of my live videos and discussion. And sign up for my newsletter below. You’ll get antiracist news, learnings and action suggestions biweekly. When you're ready to move from reading into action, sign up for a course.
Join me on this journey of learning, growth and healing. And let me hear from you! I look forward to getting to know you and your story.