• Jennifer Harvey is a yoga-obsessed writer, educator and parent interested in how social structures shape us and how we can transform ourselves into people who create more just, compassionate social structures. She is passionate about racial justice, the problem of whiteness, queer life, community and spirituality.

Dear Police Chief 2

I didn’t have to wait long to hear back from the West Des Moines police chief. To his credit, he picked up the phone and called me. So, a few days after I sent my letter last week, Chief LaDue and I spoke on the phone for about a half hour. Chief LaDue explained the following to … Continue reading


Dear Police Chief . . .

I sent this email to the police chief in my city two days ago. I urge you to send something similar to yours and to ask folks who live around you to do the same. I intend to follow up over the coming days by sending him examples (which have trickled in) of police officers … Continue reading


If You’re a Cop . . . (or have cops in your life).

Dear Police Officers, Let me share a story that illustrates something like how this should go. A few months ago, my nephew T. was at school. A fellow student was relishing in a bag of Doritos he’d brought for lunch. The student was quickly deluged with other children clamoring for a chance to smell this … Continue reading


When “All” Means None

Dear Fellow White Folk—especially (but not only) White Christians: As a Midwestern Lutheran, I have been to many potlucks. Casseroles and Jell-O salads abound. At their best, potlucks embody a community meal in which everyone contributes, feels at home, has fun, and has their fill. But sometimes people at the front of the line overestimate … Continue reading


Life in a Swing State….

Life in a swing state….   ….with people I otherwise deeply respect vowing to sit out this election (whether because they supported Bernie or because the whole two party thing is corrupt and should be conscientiously objected by NOT VOTING) in my FB feed. Finally wrote this today [yesterday] after various posts (from people I … Continue reading

What I Didn’t Say . . . But, Was Glad She Did

Soccer’s been in my blood since I was little. Watching my kids learn to love it has been awesome. For the first time last fall, my 7-year-old played with girls instead of playing co-ed. I wasn’t sure what I thought about that switch. I’d noticed that already a couple of the boys dominated the field in … Continue reading

Disarming the Lethal Knot of White Fear

Dear White People: Earlier this week, in another outrageous, egregious miscarriage of justice, the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury failed to indict the white police officer who killed a 12-year-old black child, Tamir Rice. And once again the justification for letting a uniformed murderer go free is that the officer believed he was in mortal danger. … Continue reading

Union MLP

Circling Up

“Malcolm X was a freedom fighter, and he taught us how to fight!” “Sandra Bland. Say her name!” “Black. Lives. Matter!” The New York City subway rang with chants and songs echoing off the tiled walls. Our coalition, gathered in the city for Union Theological Seminary’s Millennial Leaders Project, had just returned from Union Square … Continue reading

bird child hand copy

A Letter to My (White) Son

Dear Beloved Son, Remember a year ago when I told you the tragic story of a teenager named Michael Brown shot to death by a police officer? Remember how we gathered flowers from our yard—billowing white hydrangeas and pink Echinacea cones, arranged them in a vase, then cut through the neighbor’s yard to place them … Continue reading

blonde-hair-color-chart-redken copy

The Hair: Reflections by a White Parent

In infancy, it was the eyes. But ever since toddler-hood, it has been the hair. My son is eight years old. He was born with deep blue eyes and fairly bald—just a smattering of sand-colored hair. As he learned to walk, his hair began morphing into its current “tow-head” state. (That term comes from old … Continue reading

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