This artist statement and poetic response to Ed Mabrey's poem map my ongoing journey to understanding my role in the cultural pursuit of racial justice. I begin with my initial reactions to the request to respond to Mabrey's poem as part of the Opening Session of the 2017 National Communication Association annual convention and explain my reasons for choosing to respond with an autoethnographic poem. I then trace my understandings of racism as 1) a working-class white child in a northern factory town, 2) a first-generation college student and academic, and 3) a parent of sons growing up in a racially divided southern US city. Location, relationships, power, and privilege emerge intertwined in my ongoing lived experience, art, and advocacy.

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