Like for many of you, and especially our African-American friends, it’s been extremely devastating and disturbing to witness the recent acts of violence and racism here in the United States, including:
- George Floyd, the peaceful, unarmed, African-American man in Minneapolis who died last week at 46 years old after a white police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds as he gasped, “I can’t breathe.” Floyd was arrested after he allegedly attempted to use a $20 bill in a deli, which an employee identified as counterfeit. (May 25, 2020)
- Christian Cooper, the 57-year-old, Ivy League-educated black man who was bird-watching in New York’s Central Park. After asking a white woman to leash her dog, she became verbally aggressive and for protection he started recording her on his phone. She told him to stop, saying “I’m going to tell [the police] there’s an African-American man threatening my life.” She proceeded to call and said: “There’s a man, African-American… he is recording me and threatening me and my dog… Please send the cops immediately!” (May 25, 2020)
- Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot more than eight times and ultimately killed when police officers entered her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, while she was sleeping. Police were there to serve a search warrant for drugs — none of which were found in her home. (March 13, 2020)
- Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old unarmed black man who was jogging in rural Georgia when he was fatally shot. He was followed by two armed white men, father and son, who claimed he looked like a suspect in a string of local burglaries. (February 23, 2020)
It’s easy to be shocked and outraged, maybe even shed some tears, but then move on.
But that is not enough. If we want to be a part of the solution, we need to take action.
Here are three things I’m doing — and I hope you’ll join me:
- Educating myself
I’m relatively new to the deep work of anti-racism and I’m committed to learning. I’m in conversation with racial justice educators about personal mentorship and training. Thanks to many of my colleagues, I’m also learning about books, documentaries, and other educational resources to guide my learning.
- Showing up for my team
I’m blessed to have four brilliant, African-American women on my small, core team (our Senior Media Coach, Copywriter, Community Manager, and Customer Service Professional). We’re in conversation with them, and others at my company, about what’s happening in the world — and more importantly what we can do as a company to be the change.
When we strengthen our company from the inside out, we can show up as better leaders in the world and advocates for our community.
- Donating dollars to stand against racism
I’ve set up a recurring monthly donation to Black Lives Matter. I’m also inviting my friends, family, colleagues, and community to step up, make a donation, and be a part of the change.
I’ll be matching up to $5,000 in donations this week to Black Lives Matter (click here to donate) when you share a screenshot of your donation receipt right here. Any amount, big or small, is greatly appreciated.
As I process these horrific acts of racism and reflect on the role I can play, I want to share three powerful quotes that have given me perspective:
- “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.” – Angela Davis
- “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.” – Martin Luther King
- “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu
Each of us has an opportunity to make a difference by: educating our minds, opening up our hearts, donating our dollars, and using our voice and influence to be an ally to our black friends and ultimately create a better, much kinder world for us all.
Now I would really love to hear from you…
Go to my Facebook post and let me know any of the following:
- How have these acts of racism affected you? How are you doing and feeling?
- What do you plan to do (or are already doing) to be the change you wish to see?
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and hopefully joining me to be a part of the solution today.