CSW Hosts Author/Educator Julie Lythcott-Haims

CSW was pleased to virtually welcome author and educator Julie Lyttcott-Haims in November for a series of conversations titled “Real American: Being Black in White Spaces.” One presentation was geared towards students, and the other was directed to parents and open to the public. 

CSW was pleased to virtually welcome author and educator Julie Lyttcott-Haims in November for a series of conversations titled “Real American: Being Black in White Spaces.” One presentation was geared towards students, and the other was directed to parents and open to the public. 
Julie Lythcott-Haims is the New York Times bestselling author of the anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult. Her TED Talk on the subject has more than 5 million views, and in 2020 she became a regular contributor with CBS This Morning on parenting. Her second book is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experience as a Black and biracial person in white spaces, and served as CSW’s 2020-21 community read. A third book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, will be out in April 2021.
Julie is a former corporate lawyer and Stanford dean, and she holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. She serves on the board of Common Sense Media, and on the advisory board of LeanIn.Org, and she is a former board member at Foundation for a College Education, Global Citizen Year, The Writers Grotto, and Challenge Success. She volunteers with the hospital program No One Dies Alone.
Before launching into her remarks, a series of personal anecdotes from her youth growing up as a biracial person, Julie encouraged audience members to be mindful, to pay attention to how they felt while listening to her stories, both in terms of their emotions and their physical reactions. 
“Many of you will be able to relate to what I say today. Some of you won’t feel personally seen,” Julie said. “Some of you are new on this journey trying to understand what life is like for those of us marginalized by skin color. But I’m here for everyone. I want everyone to take something from this.”
She went on to share moments from her life that have shaped her and her ever-evolving identity as a biracial women, like the time someone wrote the N-word on her locker in high school, or the parent of a classmate publicly insinuated that she had been unjustly accepted to Stanford over his son, simply because of the color of her skin. She explained how these moments inspired a deep self-hatred of herself, and her blackness, that took years for her to move past. 
Julie ended her remarks with an expression of hope in, and advice for, the next generation.
“More than any generation prior to you, you know in your bones that yes, all lives do matter (should matter), and we need to make it clear that because all lives don’t matter the same in this country, we need to do something about it.”
“Don’t distort your sense of self because of someone else’s version of you,” she said. “Speak up. Speak out. Listen. Listen to others without taking the mic and making it about you.”
After each session, audience members were able to ask questions and share their own thoughts on this important topic. The event was one we won’t soon forget, we we thank Julie for being with us and sharing her story.
CSW also sends a special thank you to Arthur Berndt' 68 and the Maverick Lloyd Foundation for their support. Their generosity enables us to bring great authors and speakers like Julie to the CSW community. 
CSW community members interested in viewing a recording of Julie’s remarks should reach out to Diane Stansbury at dstansbury@csw.org.

The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.