“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ~ Maya Angelou
We’ve known better, yet we haven’t done better. Myself included.
It has been a tough week to say the least – yet ‘tough’ for me pales in comparison to what it means to any Black person. I have a LOT to learn. And I feel embarrassed, guilty, ashamed I’m only now waking up to just how privileged white privilege is, and just how privileged I am.
And, those emotions only perpetuate the problem.
I can’t change what I did or didn’t do five, ten years ago – let alone five minutes ago. I can change how I choose to show up today and moving forward.
Because this conversation cannot become this week’s trend.
I’ve been spending way too much time and energy deliberating whether to post or not to post. Black square, no black square. Say something, or amplify others’ voices who need to heard. I’ve edited posts, deleted posts all together, shot videos, deleted videos, read others’ posts and felt the need to go back and change or add or whatever…
While I don’t want to offend anyone, the truth, I still will.
Because when it’s an important conversation, when so much is at stake, and when emotions are running high, someone WILL be offended.
Here’s the thing. There is no right or wrong way to navigate through this time. There is only YOUR way.
As long as your intentions are true, you do you.
So post, don’t post. Speak up, sit down, or get up to give your seat to someone else who needs it more than you right now (an amazing idea that came from Skye Bohen this past Monday.)
I’m finally realizing that energy could be far better spent elsewhere.
Asking questions. Listening. Learning. Making Mistakes. But doing something.
“It’s not about apology, it’s about accountability.” ~ Orlando Bohen.
YES. And action. And what that looks like for you and for me.
I’ve spent this week in hard, deep, meaningful conversations. But on Wednesday, when I fumbled my way through our weekly brave community call trying to create a ‘brave space’ to actually open up the dialogue, well – it was one of the toughest, and most important – conversations I’ve ever had.
Yes, there were tears from the white, Black, and other WOC present. It was messy, uncomfortable, and important. And it was needed.
So much so that the amazing human Chantal Carter (not to mention the incredible founder of Love & Nudes… check it out!), who’s been so patient with me recently and teaching me so much, called me ‘perfectly imperfect‘ in a text after the call, and encouraged me to keep it going.
So, The BRĀV Institute launched a ‘Brave Conversations’ series, and we interviewed Chantal last week.
Our next call is with Lily Cooper, on Friday, June 8 at 1pm EST. Register HERE. (White ally, advocate, architect, writer, creator of Anti-Racism and Allyship Series, and all-around amazing human and friend – we’re going to speak on white privilege, and what actions white people who want to contribute to making real and lasting change can take.)
You’re invited to join.
Hope to ‘SEE’ you there.
P.S. This will be a weekly interview series of sorts… not sure what it will become quite yet, but I gotta start somewhere… we ALL do.
P.P.S. You can register HERE. And invite your friends and neighbours and colleagues, too!