November 12, 2016 (Shelter Valley) -- I come from a fairly conservative family with midwestern roots. My parents were college and nursing school graduates in the 1960s, the first in their families with degrees. They felt stifled by lack of opportunity in their home state, and enjoyed adventure. So they packed up and came to California, carrying me and my diapers. As a northern California kid, I grew up with a love of the redwoods, normally inclement beaches, the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades, and the basins and ranges of Nevada. By 1989, I was a student at San Francisco State University, and was already considerably more liberal than my Catholic - and wonderful - mother and father. The community I grew up in was fairly described as an openly white supremacist one, with a particularly vicious and paranoid attitude toward black Americans. But my tolerant family, as well as our church, also introduced me to multiracial, multicultural, and yes, even multisexual California. I did not and do not know how to be the best ally all of the time, but certainly I have countered the hatred that some whites maintain toward people of color; indeed I have shamed and lost many friends. My concerns then and now are social justice, economic justice, and protecting the planet; although lately an emergent concern for the physical well being of friends, colleagues, and students of color has come ever more to the foreground.