Family First #Courageous Conversations

Family First #Courageous Conversations

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What happens when a multi-racial family that has never talked about race is forced to do so? By one of its bi-racial family members? We find out in part 2 of our series #Courageous Conversations.

In the wake of George Floyd‘s death and massive protests confronting police brutality and racism, Tonya Kemper, a healthcare executive in south Texas, was compelled to act. Tonya’s birth parents are Black and Sicilian. She was adopted as a baby and raised by a white family. Her brother, Terry Hochstedler, is one of Tonya’s three white siblings who says he’s never thought of her as his “Black” sister; simply his sister.

The family had never really talked about race until Tonya pushed the subject front and center. She poured out her thoughts and feelings in a letter to her family, called a virtual meeting, and read it to them.

Tonya reached out to Our Voices Matter to share her story in hopes that it will inspire other families to have their own courageous conversations. We asked if one of her siblings might agree to engage in this dialogue, and Terry stepped up.

Humans across the globe are finally talking about race. Not in whispers, but out loud. Real, raw talk that requires self-examination while giving others #permissiontospeak and having the #couragetolisten with an open mind.

None of this is easy. All of this is necessary, if we are to get at the root of this disease called racism.

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