*Three Minute Read (Para leer en español, haga clic aquí)
I’ve felt consumed with all the images, articles, videos, podcasts, and any other thing you can imagine regarding the racial injustices happening in our country the last few weeks. I simultaneously can’t turn away and am devastated and filled with emotion each time. Just like driving by an awful car accident on the side of the road.
As a white woman, I’m trying to better understand and balance when it is ok to speak up and when it is not my turn to talk because amplifying black voices must take precedence.
When it is ok to ask my black friends questions and have conversations versus when it is more important to affirm they are loved and valued. And balancing the need to shut my brain off for a bit with the understanding my white privilege is the only thing allowing that luxury.
I’ve felt exhausted trying to navigate the past few weeks. (I realize not nearly as exhausted as a person of color who has been fighting this battle literally their entire life.) I’ve been trying to understand what to do, how to help, and wonder how I can positively contribute to the black community and create enough endurance to not let up until real change occurs.
And through it all, I’ve tried to remember the air mask analogy on an airplane.
The flight attendant always instructs you to put your mask on first before assisting others simply because if you are unable to breathe, you’re unable to also help anyone else.
If I’m exhausted because I’m not sleeping well after watching that evening’s live stream of protests, my focus and energy levels the next day are minimized making me less effective as an anti-racist.
If I’m so emotionally drained from hearing about police brutality and systemic racism that I’m unable to connect with my family, I risk hurting those relationships and potentially making our discussions about racism less impactful.
If I don’t take time and moments to smile, laugh, and feel peaceful, I won’t be capable of empathizing with the black community and offering love and support to my friends.
If I can find the purpose in taking energy away from the racial injustices, it ultimately leads me back to my end goal of becoming an effective anti-racist.
If I can be more intentional with my time and do more than consume information as quickly as I can find it, I can stay better balanced to focus on all the various aspects of life. This is part of the reason I’m exploring and committing to a 21-day habit building challenge on racial equity. For examples of the challenge, click here and here. Or email me at stevie@LUNA360.com if you want to take the challenge with me in the coming weeks!
Intentionally devoting time each day to becoming an anti-racist and an effective ally will help me integrate this work into my life on a long-term basis and ultimately become the person I long to be.
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Stevie Cromer is the Cultural and Enrichment Manager for LUNA Language Services. Stevie regularly provides engaging content to LUNA’s team to encourage a culture of care within our own LUNA family. For more suggestions and resources about how you might build a culture of care throughout your organization, please reach out to Stevie at stevie@LUNA360.com.