It has taken me a while to write on the subject of #blacklivesmatter and the tragic death of George Floyd. I am not going to lie – I went through a rollercoaster of emotions and anxiety about what was the ‘right’ thing to say and do. I was appalled for sure- after all, I am a white person who could not relate to what or why that happened- but I absolutely felt pain. I wanted to do ‘something’ but I did not have any lived experience to speak of and whilst I’d been on a journey for some time to try and ‘discover’ what I needed to know – that was a very different world from talking publicly about it.
Why that incident – more than any other – affected me to take action I will never know. I am 43, I have known racism has existed for as long as I can remember.
It did however seem to bring about a marked shift at the same time to a lot of people in my position. I can only say the world had simply had enough – and for being so late to the table – I can only apologise profoundly but I have a duty now to keep up the momentum.
I moved however quickly from what can I ‘say’ to what I can do. I called out people who I had regarded as ‘friends’ because their views I found out were different from mine; I became much more vocal about things at work (even for me!) and the more I did this – the braver I became. I am lucky I have some amazing work colleagues who are happy to support and tolerate me learning. One of them said ‘ be brave, not perfect’ and that has stuck with me.
Then I was reminded by one of my favourite songs by U2 ‘One’ (well I prefer the Mary J Blige version) and these words:
You got to do what you should
~ ‘One’ U2/Mary J Blige
So, I have a question – if you have children, nieces, nephews, friends with children etc…what world do you want them to grow up in?
I now have an ask – if you want the world to look different – what role will you play?
Vivian Acquah has put together Amplify DEI, an amazing summit and I am joining her with over 60 speakers to help change the world one voice at a time – I want to be able to say to my son that I did this for his generation and she has the same message. Please show your support by sharing #amplifyDEI; either liking, retweeting, or sharing this article on your social networks and do think about hearing from some amazing international speakers about equality, diversity, and inclusion and what role you can play to bring about one love.