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#GathreGood with Fatima Dedrickson

 

We’ve known you for a long time, but could you tell us a little bit about yourself for others who may not know you. Like you in 60 seconds?

My name is Fatima, everyone calls me Fatty :). I was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden and came to America on a scholarship to run track and field at BYU. Met my husband here, got married in the Salt Lake temple and have 4 crazy little kids. 

As an African American woman, could you share firsthand even a little glimpse into what the events of the last few weeks have stirred in you?

Honestly, there’s been a lot of mixed emotions! First off, it has stirred up memories that I had buried. Unfortunately, racism still exist today and it has been very interesting seeing how many people had no idea or were oblivious to it.

 

You’re an author, an athlete, a mother, and a wife. What are some of your greatest passions or accomplishments? 

First thing that comes to mind is making it to the national championships and stepping on the podium with my 11 month old baby. After I had my first born, I knew I wasn’t done running yet and getting back into competing shape was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

Also writing a book in 3 months with 3 kids, 3 and under was CRAZY! But I look back at the two events and feel so proud of myself for doing them.

Your social audience has exploded recently and we’re elated your light is reaching more people. What do you hope your platform will be for others?

For people to feel safe, a sense of togetherness, and a place for people to feel inspired, hope and love.


Why do you think so many people are scared to say something wrong about racism? And how can we overcome that fear?

I think people tend to overthink things, and fear of offending someone. I’ve always said, it’s better to say something than to stay silent. Nobody is perfect, and we are all trying our best!


“Showing up imperfectly is better than not showing up at all”.


Do you mind sharing some heroic examples who taught you, or poignant moments where you knew your worth was not dependent upon the color of your skin? 

My mom and my sisters! Growing up, I witnessed multiple racist moments towards my family but one thing my parents always taught us, is you will never change anybody's thoughts with anger. Always serve people with kindness because that is what they’re going to remember and hopefully that will soften their hearts.


We are definitely doing our part to educate ourselves but we wanted to ask you—who are some of your favorite resources (thought leaders, books, podcasts) on the subject of anti-racism?

There are so many books out there for kids, but I also love @ohhappydani she shares a lot of awesome things and @theconsciouskid!


What actions have people given, words spoken, or kindnesses shown to you in the recent month that have meant the most to you? In other words, how can we show up in meaningful ways for our Black brothers and sisters?

Supporting, by sharing our stories and our platforms, but also privately by texting or calling to check-in on us. Also, diversify your business and feeds.


You’re an interracial family and it inspires us. How have you worked through the added pressure of being in an interracial marriage to become a stronger, more united couple?

You have to learn to tune out the noises from the world and do what is best for your own family. For us, we have learned that no matter what is going on we are each others first priority with everything.

 

 

One of our fave things about your marriage with Ben is your ability to laugh. What are your tips for keeping things light and fun in marriage? 

Oh man, Ben is just hilarious...I got lucky because he makes me laugh even when I don’t want to, ha! But one thing we do if someone is upset or whatever, the other person gets to call “3 things”. Which means, you have to say 3 things you love about the other person, then drop the attitude and 9/10 times it changes everything.


What advice would you have for someone who notices racism within their family, friends, workplace, church, or society and would like to stand up against it?

To address it right away. Say, "that’s actually not okay to say," or "you don’t call people xyz," or "Dad, just because he is Black doesn’t mean he is a criminal."


Everyone has gifts. You have a gift to Gathre______? (fill in the blank)

LOVE and make people feel seen

 

 

We admire your optimism, kindness, and courage. As two white women we are determined to do better, what are a few things you wish white people knew about being Black in America?

That it is hard. We are constantly being judged whether its intentional or not.


What are some lasting changes you are hoping to see in America for Black people?

Justice and that we can be seen as equals.

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