Thank you and goodbye from Carmen Van Kerckhove

by Carmen Van Kerckhove
Cross-posted on Racialicious, Love Isn’t Enough, Addicted to Race, and

This post probably won’t come as a huge surprise — I know many people have noticed how quiet I’ve been over the last few months.

I want to let you know that I’ve decided to “retire” from work on race and diversity. Instead, I’m going to focus full-time on working with my husband Serge on Urban Martial Arts, our karate school in Brooklyn.

Why have I decided to change course? Well, it took me a long time to admit this to myself, but the truth is that I’m just not as passionate and driven about race work as I used to be.

Before, when I heard about something race-related, I’d get fired up and couldn’t wait to blog/speak/evangelize about it. But over the last year, blogging has felt like more of an obligation than a passion. And it’s just not fair to you if I keep phoning it in.

Besides, I’ve always been a big believer that you need to know when to move on and make room for the next generation. There’s nothing I would hate more than to become that cranky older activist telling the young’uns to shut up and show some goddamn respect. :D

People who are close to me know that I’ve always been just as interested in marketing and entrepreneurship, as I have been in race. And lately, my interest in business has been peaking as my interest in race work has been dying down.

Serge and I started Urban Martial Arts, our Brooklyn karate school, two years ago, and it’s been such a great journey. We work together shockingly well (hey, we were nervous about how it would be to work AND live together!), and running a local small business poses a never-ending series of enjoyable intellectual challenges for us.

Plus, I can’t even begin to tell you how rewarding it is to run a business that brings such positive change to our community: not only changes in our students’ physical well-being, but also seeing how martial arts is helping to strengthen them mentally and emotionally. Continue reading