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Local Karen's for the Community group unites women named Karen

“Asking for a manager is not always negative!" says Grand Rapids resident and group creator Caren Robinson

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Whether it's spelled Caren, Karen, or Caryn, every woman with the name is encouraged to join Karen's for the Community. 

For anyone not familiar with the tone associated with the name Karen in recent month can see that Wikipedia defines “Karen” as the “term for women seeming to be entitled or demanding…” and..”white women who use their privilege.”

Last year, the term ‘Karen’ quickly became associated with the Amy Cooper story or also known as the “Central Park Karen.” Who, as ABC reported, "is the woman charged with calling 911 and falsely accusing a Black man of threatening her in New York's Central Park."

And British daily newspaper, ‘The Guardian’ dubbed 2020 "The year of Karen: how a meme changed the way Americans talked about racism."

"There’s not necessarily one single origin story for the 'Karen meme," explains Assistant Professor, Journalism and Communication at Calvin University, Jesse Holcomb. "But it is essentially a meme, and a short hand way of describing perhaps a certain type of perhaps white woman who perhaps uses her privilege to make life difficult for other people. There are other experts like Meredith D. Clark who would be the first to point out that this isn’t anything new, and if you go back to the 1990s to the 'baby got back' era, Becky would have been a term of art.”

Now, one local Caren Robinson of Grand Rapids, is working to shed positive light on the Karens for the Community through women empowerment. She says it’s important to unite and encourage a culture of compassion that supports all human beings regardless of what their name is.

“It’s a common ground to create that positive social change through actions words and outreach," says Caren. “Asking for a manager is not always negative! However, seeing that even my kids have taken that as a negative connotation was impactful to me. Everyone is so afraid of doing the right thing that doing the right thing has become closeted."

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