Meet Anti-Racism Activist Future Cain
And learn about the tipping point that got her started on her public anti-racism journey
Early on in my own journey as an antiracism writer and activist, I had the pleasure of meeting Future Cain. Despite the heavy topics we discussed (I’m sure you can imagine), it was a delightful hour. Future’s self-care centered approach to anti-racism activism is a breath of fresh air, and I was delighted that she agreed to be interviewed for this series. She had so much to say that I’ve divided the interview into two parts, because I wanted you to read as many of her words as possible. Please meet Future.
Future, where did your anti-racism journey start?
My mom was what I call an equity warrior. She lost a lot because she chose to marry somebody Black and her family didn't like it. And there was a big price to pay for that. So fighting and living through racism with my own family and seeing my mom and the path that she took to be an anti-racist as a white woman and fight for it began 44 years ago.
Though you’re clear about your activism, that’s not the title you usually use. What do you call yourself?
I would call myself an ambassador for humanity. That began when I was a child. I didn't stick to groups and I stuck up for everybody.
What made you become an anti-racism activist?
Things started picking up in the United States. There's always been murders of our people, but Ahmaud Arbery was the person that sent me over the edge. George Floyd just added on top of the pile. And when George Floyd happened, I was doing stuff behind the scenes already, but I couldn’t not then come out and say something publicly. So that was my tipping point.
There was no epiphany. It was just a compounding of numerous events since birth that made me say: I can't sit here quietly on social media when I know that this is impacting so many people. I cared about people's mental wellness and the impact that I know it had had on me for decades and the impact that I had seen it having on my children, and the fear that was in my daughter's eyes.
What form does your activism take?
My activism isn’t just in one form. I’m on social media. I have done webinars. I write articles. I help to educate people through conversations.
My activism is constant education of family, it's education of friends, it's education of colleagues. And it's building relationships. It's asking reflective questions, it's being patient and coming with curiosity, empathy, and love. So I've spoken at the state, national and international level.
I think what is necessary and needed is dialogue and discussion in order for people to apply and take action. So my activism takes many different forms, but I think it starts with sitting with oneself, then education and just helping people on their journey.
What response have you had?
I've had many different responses. To be honest, I am no longer speaking to or friends with my maid of honor who I was friends with for 25 years. I am no longer friends with another friend who was in my wedding. I keep telling people that you're going to have to trade or lose something.
I have lost some people who weren’t happy about me speaking up and educating people and asking questions and holding people accountable. That's one side of the response.
The other side is I bask in gratefulness and appreciation. I do know that I've lost in one aspect, but I've also gained a lot. And the response has been very positive.
I took the time to build relationships and get to know people. And they took the time to open their heart and open their mind and do the same with me. And because of that, I'm here with you. I would have never met you if we didn't say, hey, let's just keep exchanging and getting to know each other and then supporting each other.
I've had many people have that same response. And those links and those comments, and those likes have turned into connections and relationships and beautiful friendships and family. So that's an aspect of the response and there've been many positive things. I've grown so much. My life has grown in a path that I didn't even anticipate.
In part two, Future talks about her vision in terms of anti-racism, and much more. Look out for that on Wednesday.
Read more anti-racism writer interviews.
© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2021. All Rights Reserved.