Last week I came to you from my heart which was/is full of hurt and anger. This week I come to you with how we can all step up as humans and make a difference in changing this systemic and cultural racism.
Thank you for all the love and support from my post last week. When I first saw the video of George Floyd’s murder, it ripped my heart out. Then, when my friend shared Danielle Cadet’s piece on Your Black Colleagues Aren’t Okay, it was like her holding up a mirror so that I could see that I’m complicit in my silence. I always assumed that, well we donate to causes, we attend marches, I don’t know what else to do. Isn’t that enough? It is not. This is not a white versus black issue, it’s not Republican versus Democrat, or US versus the world, racism is in every part of the globe. We have to do better. I don’t have the answer. We will all have to figure out how we can make a difference.
I will do my part to make this change for the better. I will speak up, speak out, and keep this issue alive so that it won’t fade into the background until the next brutal killing of a black person. We have been down this road too many times and not moved forward. We have to change the narrative from celebrating Black History Month in February and then forgetting about it for the remaining 11 months. We have to keep this at the forefront of our everyday lives to make sustainable change.
Make no mistake, this isn’t going to be easy. Change for the better requires us to be uncomfortable. It will require all of us to look deep inside at our own bias and make changes, as well as having uncomfortable conversations with others. Find what works for you. Speak up, so that no parent has to tell their child not to run in their own neighborhood because of the color of their skin, or have people cross the street as they are walking towards them because of the color of their skin.
Please join me in making sure we don’t stay stuck and actually create meaningful reform. For my part, I am reaching out to my local, state, and federal officials to see what they are planning to do and how can I help. I, we can’t stand by in silence anymore. Demand change. Have those difficult conversations. Speak up. Speak out.
Donating is a great place to start. It’s a first step. Donating alone will not fix this issue. We have to lean in and do more. Use the resource links I found of different ways to engage on racism. I ask that we all quiet the voices in our heads of the old excuses of why we can’t do more and start thinking about what you can do to bring lasting change.
People are putting their lives at risk during this pandemic to protest because that is how important this moment is. What are you willing to do to move this country, this world forward?
Please share this with your network, ask your network to share it with theirs and so on. Let’s change this for good.
This is far from a comprehensive list. It is meant to give you a place to start.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/my-open-letter-white-corporate-america-omar-johnson/?trackingId=gsIUQKnMRuyU4m%2FCdQWGBw%3D%3D (Great opinion piece on what corporate America can do)
http://bit.ly/ANTIRACISMRESOURCES (This link was sent to me and I pass it along. It is comprehensive.)
https://eji.org/ (Equal Justice Initiative founder and I have heard Bryan Stevenson speak and very powerful. The movie, Just Mercy, was based on his incredible work.)