We are living in a revolution. There come moments in life and in history where we are called forward to raise our voices, take action, and move the needle towards necessary and urgent progress. As the world witnessed the horrific deaths of Ahmaud Arberry, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, there was an awakening to the historic and institutional oppression that exists in this country that spans from the criminal justice system, to healthcare, to housing, and so much more. Black activists have been fighting injustice for centuries and as we witness history, it is more important now than ever to listen to their voices and join in this fight for humanity. Floodgates of empathy and mobilization have opened creating once in a century moment. It is up to each and every one of us to transform this MOMENT into a MOVEMENT. The unequivocal truth is BLACK LIVES MATTER, today, tomorrow, and always.
It has taken me a while to gather my thoughts on this because these past few weeks have been a time for deep introspection, dialogue, and reflection. Here are the three main ways we sustain our passion into an unmatched and unignorable movement.
We have to commit to always learning. As citizens of the world, we have a continuous responsibility to keep seeking to understand how the present and past are connected. Right now, our black brothers and sisters are fighting for their lives – it is not their responsibility to teach us but ours to actively seek resources and understanding. From looking at the history of institutional oppression and white supremacy in our own country to learning about how things like mass incarceration and gentrification seek to perpetuate cycles of systemic racism, educating ourselves is key to jumpstarting the activist mindset. (See resources below)
One thing I continuously remind myself of is “Lean into discomfort”. With every fiber of my being, I believe that dialogue leads to empathy and empathy leads to action. Sometimes having these dialogues where we all must address the anti-blackness and biases we hold within our own selves can be hard, uncomfortable, and scary. Still, these conversations are how we catalyze and build off the momentum we have made. We have to bring our families and communities into these discussions so together, we can begin to dismantle the biases we hold and pave the way to acceptance, understanding, and of course, empathy.
To make a change.. real, sustainable, systemic change, we all have to be part of the movement by taking action in any way we know how. Action looks different for everyone – for some, it is creating awareness, for others, it is signing petitions and sending emails, and for others, it is marching in the streets. Whatever you chose, make sure your activism is not temporary or part of a trend. Make sure you are not speaking FOR the black community, but instead, AMPLIFYING black voices. Changing systems means community investment,
a rethinking of public safety, urban planning, healthcare equity policies, and intersectional perspectives in the policymaking process. All of this will take work so make sure you take time to let yourself reboot and recharge and then come back with resolve and readiness. Show yourself compassion so we can continue fighting for compassion in our government and in our institutions. If you take one thing away from this blog, let it be this: Don’t let a fear of mistakes stop you from taking action. Silence is not an option, but growth is.
Let’s get moving so we can sustain this moment into a movement.
(Check out this document for all the resources you could imagine – petitions, fundraisers, educational materials, and SO MUCH MORE. Please take some time to ACTIVATE)