After taking time over this past week to begin the process of educating myself on how to be a better ally to the Black Lives Matter Movement I wanted to share how I see my personal and business life shifting to support this. My hope with sharing this is that one, I am being held accountable by sharing this plan with you and two, this could serve as a road map for what you plan to do in your own lives.
If you are a person of color in this community, know that I stand with you and for you and am committing to continue the anti-racism work I know I need to do.
I know a lot of people feel that they “can’t say the right thing” or they are “uncomfortable” and I just want to acknowledge that you should feel like that. There is no right thing to say and you should feel uncomfortable having lived in a society for so long that supports systemic racism and are just now realizing or just now speaking out. I know that is how I have been feeling and will continue to. Being comfortable should not be your life goal, so if you are uncomfortable with this change … good. It means you are on the path to educating yourself and being part of the solution.
There has also been a lot of talk and reminders on social media that this is not just a week-long journey. This is a movement that we must be committed to and we must not forget. So how do we do that? The reality is everyone’s life is going to need something a little different but here is what I am doing.
In my personal life:
Having really uncomfortable conversations: I was on the phone regularly this week talking about the Black Lives Matter Movement, talking about George Floyd, questioning my own and other people’s biases. I will continue to do this.
Reading: By now you know that reading is one of my favorite past times. I am committed to reading books about anti-racism, at least one a month for the foreseeable future. AND I am going to read more fiction by Black authors. I am going to be sharing a round-up of the books I have already read and loved later this week.
Watching: If I have the time to sit back and watch Gilmore Girls then that means I have the time to consume media that is educating me on the system that I am living in. This past week I rewatched The 13th and cannot recommend it enough. I have a list of shows to watch and I will share them as I make my way through the list.
Listening: This is perhaps the most important thing I will be doing. It is important to fully listen and not listen defensively, coming up with a rebuttal in the process. I am going to be listening to my friends, my family, and my community. Some places I have been listening include the NYTimes The Daily Podcast, Venita Aspen on Instagram, Laylafsaad on Instagram, Pivotoprog on Instagram, and I want to continue to grow this list.
Donating: I know donating is a very personal preference for everyone and I am still deciding exactly where I will be donating to ongoing. I have donated to The Bail Project and would love to hear places you have donated too.
In my business life:
Including black voices on my blog: this will come in many different forms, here are a few concrete examples. Including at least two books from Black authors in my monthly roundup of books, sharing brands that are founded by Black people, and sharing resources and articles from Black voices for you to learn from and educate yourself with.
Continuing to share on social media: it will never be “back to normal” on my social media profiles. I plan to take a stance to continue to amplify Black voices on my platform. I will be doing this on a weekly basis. Sharing IG Lives that you should tune into, sharing educational posts, and sharing where and how to donate.
I will not work with clients who support systemic racism: this is probably my top priority for my business. As someone whose goal is to help other people’s voices and businesses be heard and seen on social media I want to know that those voices are going to be doing good.
I am never going to be perfect at this process or an expert and I don’t expect that from anyone else. Still, I am committed to continuing to work to be better and I hope the same from the people in my life. Perhaps we disagree on the methods or take different paths getting there, but there is no disputing the importance of dismantling systemic racism.