This has been a week of listening, learning, and unlearning.
This has been a week of heartbreak, anger, and also refreshed hope.
We are grieving the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others before them.
To the Black brothers and sisters in this community, I’ve been praying that you have safe spaces to process and rest. I pledge to be an ally, walking with you in this.
To the rest of us: I know there is a lot to learn and it can be overwhelming.
Allyship isn’t easy. Change isn’t easy. Progress isn’t easy. But it is all worth it.
Let us lead with listening.
Our listening will grow into empathy.
And may our empathy then swell into action.
Systemic racism will not be overturned with silence.
ComePlum is a photo studio for go-getter women who are impacting the world. I believe that when women are empowered and confident they cause communities to flourish. I want to share with you some of my own personal learnings from these last few weeks to resource and empower you so that our communities can flourish together.
Even though I am not of the dominant race in the United States, I still have racism in me. Being a Filipino-American, a minority, a daughter of immigrants, and a POC doesn’t exclude me. I have much to unlearn from what society has ingrained in me and have become aware of the false narratives that I have accepted as normal. These are the internal questions I’m processing:
How much racism is in me?
How can I be antiracist in my
thoughts, words, and actions?
What antiracism work have I done today?
Additionally, we need more healthy conversations.
Here are communication principles I have found helpful:
actively listen: put away distractions, seek to understand before responding
reflectively listen: “I hear you’re saying that…”
be grounded in love knowing that all people are interconnected
prioritize vulnerability and compassion
suspend first judgment
be honest about your experiences: use “I” statements
be unconditionally accepting
be aware of the privilege you are holding in a conversation
But words are just part of the process.
May our actions match:
partner with experts leading racial justice initiatives in a sustainable way through on-going donations of our money, platforms, skillsets, and time (I go more into this in the “Giving Back With Your Creativity” chapter in my e-book which you can access for free here)
be an educated and active voter both on a local level and national level
speak up when a racist statement or policy is in place and don’t wait for someone in that people group to speak up for it
ingrain in our businesses the values of diversity, equality, inclusion, humility, and collaboration
This is a lot.
But in two weeks, I’ve seen momentum gain traction, causing change and reenergizing my hope.
I am proud to be a resident of San Francisco where the largest protests have been youth-led (#blessthenextgeneration), where people hand out to protestors masks, hand sanitizer, snacks, and water (“hydration for the revolution!”), where Mayor London Breed has publicly shared her commitment to reform, and where police officers have knelt with protestors.
no one person can do everything
but everyone can do something
This is hard work. And we will mess-up.
But let us not let our fear of not doing it a hundo lead us to silence.
We don’t need one person doing antiracism work perfectly, but billions of us doing antiracism work imperfectly. We must try.
May our “I’m sorry”s be many and may our actions push us forward.
What learnings have you gained this week? What can I do better?