Usually in this space, I talk about running your business like a pro, building a kick-butt team, and leading your team to amazing results.
I almost never talk about politics or religion or other hot-button topics, choosing to process and live that side of my life in my private space.
But what is happening and has been happening in our country right now crosses those business boundaries for me.
Because it isn’t a question of how does this get folded into business.
It’s an issue of humanity and finally seeing one another as equal.
I want to be very clear here and say unequivocally where I stand.
Black Lives Matter.
Most will agree.
At the same time, I know that me saying this will make some people uncomfortable. And that’s exactly why I’m saying it here. Because it’s time to have those uncomfortable feelings and conversations.
The very act of being able to choose when to be comfortable or not around the conversation of race and racism is precisely the definition of privilege.
And if you still don’t understand sure why Black Lives Matter is different and vitally important, please read this quote from Brené Brown. To go deeper on the topic, read her book, Braving the Wilderness, and specifically Chapter 4 – “People are hard to hate close up. Move In.”
So why am I changing the focus to racism here?
Beyond the obvious, I had always planned to take this summer off from my business. For the first time in 5 years, I’m not running multiple businesses at the same time.
This summer was to be when I took a beat to figure out my next steps. I just thought it would be in my business.
But the universe works in profound ways. Sometimes beyond what we can comprehend.
Maybe the pandemic has us collectively at a stand-still so that we’re able to collectively not check-out and numb ourselves and truly, finally focus the much-needed attention on racism.
I am choosing to pause almost everything and unpack what it means for me to be a white woman. I want to begin to understand what the benefits of white privilege have had on my life, understand how I can change my behavior, how to look at situations differently, and how to choose to do things differently.
Let me be really clear that I know this alone will not solve the larger problem of systemic racism or convert the entire nation to be antiracist.
I’m sharing resources I’m finding helpful, in case that will help you to do something differently for yourself.
Books to read: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo; How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi; White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise
Attend local marches, protests and rallies against racism
This is an invitation to explore and reflect.
I am choosing to have this dialogue here.
I am choosing to read these books.
I am listening to these specific voices.
I know I am going to fumble my way through. I am committed to understand what I can do differently.
And I’m sure I’ve done things that weren’t right in the past. And I know I’ll mess up in the future.
For that, I am sorry.
That isn’t a blanket apology.
It’s to say, I’m struggling with what to say because this is so big. And I know I’m going to make mistakes because of my background.
This is an invitation to call me out when I do something wrong.
I also want to say thank you for sharing your experience if you choose to.
I promise to keep on unlearning and relearning and doing better.
So with that, you may find that my voice ebbs and flows over the next few months, with periods of quiet and periods of more activity. You may see me in your inbox or social media feed at different times than what you’re used to.
This is my way of processing.
Many people are trying to figure out how they can better affect the greater world.
It’s one step after another after another after another.
Seek to understand.
I’m here with you.
Photo by Mike Gomez