I was forwarded an article from the local PBS station a few weeks ago that referenced a major city's history of lynchings and hangings. The gruesome descriptions were not lost on me. As we continue to wrestle with our past, in hopes of not repeating our actions, it becomes more evident that we know it and learn from it.
"We can not relationship build or have equitable policy changes about racism until we talk about the truth,” said Jerry Hawkins, a nonprofit executive director and local activist.
This article brought to mind a few things from my work:
We should take stock of and look closer at our local history to understand the problems we face today.
There is always more to learn. This is a process not a check list.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by what you learn, well, take it as a sign of growth.
Furthermore, this history lesson led me to reflect on my truth. It is easy for me to track a direct line from our current societal and systemic equalities to the ugly truth of our past. I wonder:
Am I doing enough to connect the dots for my clients?
How can I help my clients recognize and reconcile inequities that may exist within their organization?
How can organizations begin discussions about past history while still embarking on their equity journey?
I feel honored and blessed that I can continue my equity journey through my work. I look forward to working through these questions with my clients.
Do you want to continue your learning:
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi and Dr. Keisha Blain
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Code Switch (Podcast)