Saturday, September 30, 2023

Q&A with Sarah Peyton




Sarah Peyton is the author, with Roxy Manning, of the new book The Antiracist Heart: A Self-Compassion and Activism Handbook. Peyton's other books include the Your Resonant Self series. She is a certified trainer of nonviolent communication and a neuroscience educator.


Q: What inspired you and Roxanne Manning to write The Antiracist Heart, and what do you see as the relationship between that book and Manning’s book How to Have Antiracist Conversations?


A: The inspiration for How to Have Antiracist Conversations was the body of Roxanne Manning’s work, the convergence of Roxy’s decades of study of Nonviolent Communication with her work with systems and antiracism.


Using the book How to Have Antiracist Conversations as a jumping-off point, The Antiracist Heart was inspired by the need to support and renew the energy of the community and the world for the work of antiracism through a deep practice of self-compassion. 


Q: How would you define Beloved Community, and what do you see as the keys to trying to achieve it?


A: We define Beloved Community in accordance with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision, in which all people belong, and the Community unites against the systems of oppression that produce ills such as poverty, hunger, racism, and houselessness.


Racism is identified and action is taken to remedy it where it exists, and as we become aware of these problems, we work together to rectify them.


The work is both internal and external. We address racism, indifference, burnout, and apathy within us, and we take action together on a systemic level to change the system.  

Q: How did the two of you work together on The Antiracist Heart? What was your writing process like?


A: We worked together over the course of a year, each writing our own parts, and each reading each other’s parts, and making suggestions to improve them.


When serious illness developed in Sarah’s family, Roxy found ways to get outside support for both of us in the editing and proofreading process. It was a lived experience of care, shared effort and Beloved Community throughout the creation of the book. 


Q: What do you see looking ahead when it comes to the possibilities for antiracism in the United States?


A: As we look ahead, we see an important period of work and commitment, and we see the importance of inspiring self-compassion to support the work of antiracism in the long term. 


Q: What are you working on now?


A: At the present time, we are working on getting the word out about these books!


And we have a creative antiracism podcast series with artists, composers, filmmakers, actors and political figures, all doing antiracism work in their own way. You can find it on our website at


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: We want to acknowledge the commitment to and care for this issue in the larger community, and to catch anyone who is exhausted, burned out or overwhelmed, and to invite compassion for one another and self-compassion for ourselves.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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