Unearthing Our Roots
BY KRISTA R. PÉREZ
LEAD CONSULTANT, PÉREZ CONSULTING
When asked, Where did you find the time to write a book? I responded with, during the first 6 months of my daughter’s life. There is something about the tension that exists with being needed so much by a fresh out-of-the-womb newborn and the euphoria of just having birthed a being that created the ideal environment for me to finally write this book. This book had been living in my iPhone notes for far too long, and it was time for it to be shared with folks in a way that made my experiences and strategy accessible and real.
In this book, you will find bits of my personal experiences, wins, and lessons in building community, as well as the strategy that I developed throughout various settings with various communities. In this book, I will commiserate with you just a little, but mostly I will call you to activate the skills that you have acquired to move equity forward and to invest in and strengthen our communities.
To learn more about Unearthing Our Roots and upcoming events, please read below:
On Nov. 1, 2022, Blue Cactus Press released Unearthing Our Roots: Restorative practices for cultivating spaces of belonging by community organizer and entrepreneur Krista R. Pérez. Unearthing Our Roots is a call to action in which Pérez rallies advocates, activists, and leaders from historically marginalized groups to implement transformative and healing practices within their communities. Pérez calls readers in, asking them to unearth and uproot anti-Black, racist, ableist, and biased values that fracture relationships in and surrounding our communities. With decades of lived experience and a multidisciplinary approach, Pérez presents guided journal prompts within the book to guide readers through examining intentions, strategies for unraveling harmful biases and behaviors, and transformative and restorative practices for communities of historically marginalized groups at both micro and macro levels.
“Krista Pérez has written a marvel of a book—part memoir, part community organizing guidebook—that will touch and transform many lives,” writes Renee Simms, author of Meet Behind Mars and professor of African American Studies/Creative Writing. “Within these pages, I hear the scholarship and wisdom of bell hooks, Linda Tuhiwai Smith, and others, but written with the clarity of Pérez’s voice and in a language that will speak to younger generations.”
On Nov. 30, at 6 pm, Blue Cactus Press and Pérez hosted a free, virtual workshop utilizing guided journal prompts from Unearthing Our Roots. Pérez facilitated the workshop, guiding participants through exercises in which they examined their intentions, brainstormed strategies for unraveling harmful biases and behaviors, and imagined transformative and restorative practices for communities of historically marginalized groups.
This event and the publication of Unearthing Our Roots were partially funded by the Tacoma Arts Commission. A series of workshops for Unearthing Our Roots is planned for next year.
Krista R. Pérez aims to share her story, all parts of her story, including her softest and strongest parts, her sacred nature, the joy of motherhood, and her deeply rooted cultural values, to create spaces for Women of Color to show up in all capacities. Krista is also a proponent of integrated leadership, in which we bring all parts of ourselves to our professional workspaces. By making our whole selves visible, we learn to value our whole selves, and others, as others and community members.