I grew up with the same group of friends since we were 14 years old.
We were a mix of Latino, Asian, Black, White, and a splash of other things, but we realized some of us were treated differently.
In stores, restaurants, or when we were pulled over.
>>My friends taught me to create safe spaces, to go out of my way to include, and to listen carefully to people of color.<<
My friends taught me what it meant to be marginalized and champion against it.
I don't know what I'm doing (and I'm sure some will say I'm doing it wrong), but I'm going to share the beautiful lessons my black friends have taught me when it comes it comes to deal with grief, pain, and uncertainty.
1. Call/text to check in and see how they're doing.
2. You don't need to give advice, just listen.
3. Ask how to help.
4. Speak up (Desmond Tutu said if you stay neutral in times of injustice, you side with the Oppressor).
5. Support causes they find important and ask for ways to be informed and educated (giving them time to respond when they are ready…and do a Google search in the time being).
I text/call/Zoom with my friends every day. They remain the truest part of my soul.
>>My friends tell me to try harder, to provide more opportunities, and to continue speaking up. I tell my friends, I haven't done enough, but I'm hellbent on doing more.<<
Let me repeat it once more: I haven't done enough.
But I'm promising to listen more than I speak, to share my platform for inclusion and opportunities, and ensure my business represents diversity on all fronts.
This country is in so much pain…sometimes I can't even bear opening social media because my heart breaks. *I cry. I curse. I feel helpless.*
But yet I find myself turning to the same women I have for decades so we can break, cry, and curse…together.
It's together we vow to write history in a way that makes us proud to be the catalyst for change our children deserve.