This is a topic that is very close to my heart - more so because I am a black woman, and... because so many of those that I love are black people, who when born into this world are considered less than because of their skin color -- something that they have no control over.
My hope is that, as we carry the mantle to fight for equity and social justice, we prepare for this as we would a marathon. This is not a sprint in any way. For many of us, this fight will last our entire lifetime and the most important thing to remember here is that every voice, every action to promote equity and social justice, however insignificant it may seem to you, counts. You do not have to have a grandiose stage to speak eloquently like Martin Luther King Jr. or march in the streets showing your support for BLM, but you have influence in your immediate community.
You have the power to:
- to read and... read and ... to read more about race issues.
- to learn, unlearn and decolonize your mind.
- bring progressive conversations to your dining tables. What biases are you passing down to your children? What biases are you promoting, consciously or subconsciously?
- challenge harmful rhetoric amongst your peers, workmates or family.
- be the voice for the voiceless in your community.
- influence funding of your affinity groups.
- vote with your dollar.
- ask who is on your executive leadership team and company board. How diverse does that team look?
- ask for the numbers of black people and people of color being hired and the retention results.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I hope you get the picture. If each and everyone of us chips away at this unfair system, it will crumble!
Say this proclamation out loud:
I am an aggressively genuine social justice warrior. Learning, unlearning and decolonizing. Until black lives matter no lives matter. I will not stay silent. I will not be complicit in the face of injustice. A black life is more than just a hashtag. My participation in this is more than just a hashtag.
Below is something I copied off the internet and I hope it drives the point home.
All they wanted to do was:
• go birding#ChristianCooper • go jogging #AmaudArbery • relax in the comfort of their home #BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson • ask for help after being in a car crash #JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride • have a cellphone #StephonClark • leave a party to get to safety #JordanEdwards • play loud music #JordanDavis • sell CDs #AltonSterling • sleep #AiyanaJones • walk from the corner store #MikeBrown • play cops and robbers #TamirRice • go to church #Charleston9 • walk home with Skittles #TrayvonMartin • hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party #SeanBell • party on New Years #OscarGrant • get a normal traffic ticket #SandraBland • lawfully carry a weapon #PhilandoCastile • break down on a public road with car problems #CoreyJones • shop at Walmart #JohnCrawford • have a disabled vehicle #TerrenceCrutcher • read a book in my own car #KeithScott • be a 10yr old walking with our grandfather #CliffordGlover • decorate for a party #ClaudeReese • ask a cop a question #RandyEvans • cash a check in peace #YvonneSmallwood • take out my wallet #AmadouDiallo • run #WalterScott • breathe #EricGarner • live #FreddieGray • be arrested without the fear of being murdered #GeorgeFloyd
This is more than just a hashtag! We are in it for the lang haul! Get equipped!
Click here to get your own social justice gear.