Black Lives Matter: How will we be a part of change?
Lead Star, June 8, 2020
In our unique role as advisors to leaders around our nation, Angie and I serve and support professionals on many matters. We’ve felt honored and privileged to engage in many conversations about the value of black lives throughout our careers, particularly, though, this past week.
The presence of racism in our society, and the need for justice to be blind and truly for all in our nation, is more at the forefront than ever before. Every leader I connected with wanted to process, share, and understand what they can do to support this movement. The fact that they saw racism not as a black problem, but as an American problem, provides hope that significant change is happening.
A sad fact of our society, though, is that there’s often distrust of those who’ve been victimized. It’s as if we have to experience firsthand the injustice in order to believe its very existence. For many of us who were born white, we have limited to no awareness of our privilege, and limited to no understanding of the black experience. The riots, demonstrations, anger, and pleading we have witnessed since the tragic death of George Floyd cannot be ignored. We must pay attention. We must learn. We must listen and we must lead. You don’t have to be black to defeat racism. And it’s clear racism must be defeated.
The impact of the pandemic further exposed so many raw inequalities in our society. Only the blind would want to return to normal after the turmoil of the past months. Our pre-virus existence normalized ills of society like racism, hate, a fraying of community and disconnection between so many who, when given the time to better understand, realize we have so much more in common than we have differences. For some, life before the pandemic struck was a haze of busyness, moving from one “to-do” to the next, rarely pausing to reflect on the value of our common humanity and what our hearts desire. My hope is we all realize we’re being given the opportunity to author a new, better future. Out of great destruction comes the opportunity for greater reformation.
Being the Change
What can we do?
- Learn. Here’s a detailed list of anti-racism resources. Pick one or two and dig in, seeking to better understand.
- Listen. Take time to build relationships with people who have different views and backgrounds than yours. Once you have built connection, ask the uncomfortable questions, make stumbles and rebound – open minds and solid relationships can handle the search for truth.
- Lead. Leadership requires action. Perhaps you’ll donate to the Black Lives Matter movement, maybe you’ll chose to engage your kids on the topic of race relations in America, you might reach out to a black colleague to offer support.
At Lead Star, we stand in support of the black community. Racism is a reality we don’t have to just deal with. When all people engage in the uncomfortable work ahead, lasting change will be possible.
We’re with you,
Angie and Courtney