I believe kindness, happiness, and empathy can change the world.
For too long, white Americans have lived in a bubble of privilege. The privilege is always mitigated by other factors - gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, income, health, and more. Yet our race always gives us privileges.
It seems like we may be in a time where more white Americans are waking up to this privilege than ever before. This gives me hope for the future. No one is free and equal until all are free and empowered.
As a white person, I’ve long had a desire to not behave in racist ways, and it seems like every year of my life I learn a little bit more about what that means. I’ve made mistakes and been insensitive. And I learn, and try never to make the same mistake twice.
I do the work I do because I believe that what we experience at work has ripple effects throughout our lives; if work is stress, we are stressed. And stressed people make bad decisions - sometimes, hurtful decisions; often, selfish decisions.
Choosing to do this work is, in itself, a privilege - one far too few people have.
When I am overwhelmed with anger at injustice and racism, sadness at the completely unnecessary and gratuitous and real loss of life of Black people, and depressed at the way individual actions feel too small to make a difference - I take action.
If you’re looking for action, here are some ideas:
An interactive list of things you can do from Black Lives Matter.
Show up to a protest. Google “Black Lives Matter” near you. Wear a mask, and bring a sign. If you’re white, don’t make your sign about you. A simple “Black Lives Matter” scrawled on printer paper works.
Make a donation to a Black-led organization:
Higher Heights for America works to elect Black women to office across the U.S. (I happen to believe that no change will be permanent until we elect people who actually represent all Americans.)
Color of Change works across America, in all communities including corporate leaders and Hollywood, for racial justice.
Donate to your local bail fund - or find another local, small nonprofit in your city, county, or state that works for racial justice, led by Black people.
If you work at a corporation, look around and see what conversations you can start with leaders to move to a truly diverse and inclusive leadership group.
Pick one or five actions from this list of 47, written by Miyah Byrd.
Educate yourself - if you are white, please, read about white tears.
Check out the list of resources from Showing Up for Racial Justice, an organization for allies.
As for me, I’ve just realized that the picture on my homepage is appropriating the image of Black people for my own sales. So, I’m going to change it. Now.