The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police are both tragic and also part of a long history of Black people being killed for no other reason than for being Black.
In 1955, a 14 year old Black boy, Emmett Till, was lynched for allegedly offending a white woman at her grocery store. And this year Ahmaud Arbery, a 25 year old Black man, was killed while jogging in the town he lived in.
Canada has many of our own examples. In April, D’Andre Campbell was shot by police in Brampton. And in May, Regis Korchinski-Paquet’s family called police to take her to an addiction centre. While she was alone in the apartment with police she fell from the 24th floor balcony to her death. Her family said she was calling for help right before she fell.
Black lives matter. This is a pattern. This is racism. It’s been happening for centuries and I want to examine why it’s happening and actively work to change it.
I want to work towards a society that is more juste, a society that is safe for everyone.
This week I started to work on an anti-racist strategy for this business. It’s something I’ve never done before and I’m basically starting from zero. I’m looking at my expenses and what percentage of them go to Black-owned businesses (the numbers are not good, this is definitely an area I need to work to change), I’m looking at my communication strategy and my professional development plan.
If you don’t yet have an anti-racist strategy for your business and are interested in learning about how to do this, I highly recommend this training organized by Rachel Rodgers that will help you take your first steps. The free replay of the training is available here.
And I’m also committing to anti-racism in my personal life. I grew up in a society wherein movies the good guys were almost always white and the bad guys were often Black. And where shows like COPS showed Black folks being arrested consistently. Growing up in this way I have internalized racism in me.
So I’m working to unlearn this and learning from Black activists and scholars who have personal experience, who have been studying this and have a lot to share.
I’ve made mistakes and I want to reduce the number of mistakes I make so I am committing to doing this work.
And even though the perfectionist in me wishes I could avoid it, I know I’ll make more mistakes in the future and have to make amends again.
I know many of you are already engaged in this work but here are a few recommended teachers and resources:
Austin Channing Brown – author and also has a great web series, The Next Question.
13th by Ava Duvernay (Netflix)
And whether you’re at the beginning of the journey of unlearning racism or if you have personal experience with it, anti-racist work is incredibly important.
It’s time for more change.
On another note, for those of you with anxiety, this week on the Burnout to Brilliance podcast I’m talking about Fight or Flight and how to calm your nervous system. If you struggle with stress or anxiety – this podcast episode is for you. You can listen here.
And I’m continuing to run Emotional Support Circles for free or pay-what-you-can every Monday 1:30 – 3:00 pm EST, so if you interested in some emotional support, make sure you register here.
Take good care of yourself.
Black lives matter.