Many of us are struggling to make sense of the unnecessary and devastating hurt and damage caused by racism in our communities. As a Latina who was born and raised in NYC’s South Bronx, I have witnessed the pain and long-term damage caused by deep-rooted racism.
By virtue of my faith and profession, I interact with individuals from all different walks of life. What I’ve learned as I engage with my network is that some will internalize the issues of the day and proactively take steps to effectuate change. On the other hand, others will hear the news, see the images on TV and disassociate from what is happening.
The reality is that regardless of whether the events of the day impact us personally or not, we ALL have a role to play in ending the cycle that perpetuates bigotry, hatred, and violence.
As women leaders at work, at home and in our communities we play many roles. We are daughters, wives, mothers, sisters, friends, managers and employees. We are uniquely positioned to influence others and help to shape the narrative. We can each take small steps that will lead to impactful long-term change. We can start by standing up and speaking out in love. Here is how . . .
Let’s pray for peace, understanding and love.
Let’s not pretend that “everything is ok.” We have friends, neighbors, and colleagues who are stressed, anxious and afraid. Ask how they are doing and let’s show them we care.
Let’s not judge another’s pain if we haven’t walked in their shoes.
Let’s educate ourselves and others about racism and its effects on communities.
Let’s speak up against hate and not tolerate racist jokes, comments or behavior.
Let’s create a future where tolerance and understanding is reflected in how we speak, how we interact and how we embrace those who are different than we are.
Let’s do the deeply personal work to grow in our compassion and empathy for others and use better judgment in how we engage with people of diverse backgrounds.
Today we have an opportunity to better educate ourselves and engage in courageous conversations that can lead to healing and transformative change. How will we respond to the call?
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