In 2020, Be the Bridge released a long-awaited new resource specifically for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC). This guide, We Need to Talk: A BIPOC Guide to Healing Ourselves, was created exclusively for BIPOC to center BIPOC voices in the conversation around dismantling white supremacy and the work of collective healing. The guide offers BIPOC the chance to have essential conversations around issues of race and the impact it has on ourselves, our communities and our faith.

This is the second blog post in our series highlighting the guide and BTB’s online space to process the information contained in it. Meet Sunil Mohinani, a bridge-builder who participated in the six-week discussion group led by Patricia Taylor, our BIPOC Educator.

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Sunil Mohinani and I live in Kansas City, Kansas. My wife, Amanda, and I have been married for almost nine years and we’ve got two kids – Mary and Sajan – and a beagle named Pixel. I grew up in a heavily conservative church environment (Independent Fundamental Baptist, for those that are familiar) and recently have had to take some steps back from my involvement due to how damaging it was for my mental health and my faith. My career has always followed technology and I’m currently working at a local tech firm in KC helping oversee operations.

What led you to buy the guide and join the discussion group?
This year specifically has brought a number of poignant and painful decision points to the surface, which left me struggling to know where to turn or even how to start unpacking a lot of the baggage I was carrying, the weight of which was suddenly far more noticeable. I joined the BTB BIPOC Care Group on Facebook as a suggestion from my wife and then jumped at the chance to both read a resource that might help AND be able to walk through it with other people who might be experiencing some of the same things I was.

What did you find the most helpful?
Being in a group designed for BIPOC to feel safe enough to share what they were feeling was an incredible breath of fresh air. Not only were there so many “me too” moments while people spoke of their journey, but the lack of need to have to preface and explain, adjust terms and avoid white fragility triggers was such a massive burden taken off that it was startling to me how heavy it was to carry that.

What was most challenging?
I think not being able to actually meet in person was tough. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that your team was able to create something like this in the first place and then doubly so during a global pandemic was an amazing feat in and of itself, but I often found myself wanting that in-person, live reaction proximity to be able to be with someone as they shared. Past that, the only other challenging part was having to sign off at the end of the group. It was hard to leave such a safe place, especially as we got to know each other more each call!

Anything else you’d like to add?
I’m incredibly grateful for the work your team put into creating this guide and the space to talk through it together with others. It’s truly been both a breath of fresh air and an actual lifeline that I have been able to hold on to as I’ve started working through the events of this year and how they impact me personally. I cannot recommend this enough! For any BIPOC looking for a space to start that healing journey, or even just to have a reminder along the way that you’re not alone, this is a group and resource that should NOT be missed!

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