I feel like I’m a bit late in sharing this message. I’m always one to respond rather than react. And I mean what I say.
As I’ve mentioned in previous messages, I’ve been on a bit of a journey of expanding my self-awareness and really understanding the issues when it comes to this inflection point of awareness about racial injustice we find ourselves in right now.
And even as I became clearer on my own views, I was actually resisting coming out with a public message, because I didn’t want to do it just to save face or make myself look good. And, sure, there was a bit of fear. Not everyone supports Black Lives Matter.
But I do. (I also realize that some of you may have different opinions, and that’s fine.)
The tipping point for me in terms of deciding to send this message was when one of my black course participants shared how important it was to see companies supporting her. Otherwise it was unclear who was really on her side.
That statement helped me realize that some of you may need to hear this message from me, even though you’ve already heard it from others. And you deserve to be supported.
Why do I support Black Lives Matter?
I support Black Lives Matter because I’m tired of seeing the pain in our black community. I support Black Lives Matter because I believe in a world in which all voices are heard and celebrated. I support Black Lives Matter because I believe in true equal opportunity for all.
I support Black Lives Matter because it’s clear to me that there are systemic issues negatively impacting members of the black community.
I support Black Lives Matter because I believe we live in a society where many of us are unconsciously conditioned with racial prejudices. Prejudices we’ve learned to bury – and often been shamed into burying – but are still unconsciously part of our actions and decisions.
I know many want to respond to “Black Lives Matter” with “all lives matter.” And you really can’t disagree with that statement.
But what that statement does is deny the legitimacy of the issues we are facing as a culture, as a country, as a human race.
So, yes I support Black Lives Matter.
But what does that really mean in terms of what I do today and tomorrow? What does positive action look like?
I’m not going to pretend that I have it all figured out. I don’t. And I do also believe in staying in your own lane – doing the work that’s most tightly aligned with your purpose, as that’s where you will do the most good.
For me, and for Bridging the Gap, that’s looked like:
- Continuing to ensure we have a racially diverse team, so that I am actively engaged with professionals who have a different life experience than I do.
- Continuing to represent a diverse set of backgrounds in our case studies, including race, so that more people in our community can be inspired by finding someone who has done what they are trying to do.
- Having conversations and reading books that help me confront my own unconscious biases, so I can be a better coach, mentor, friend, colleague, manager, leader, and most importantly, a
- Starting to leverage my platform to share the work of people of color more frequently and amplifying the reach of their voices.
- Collaborating with Paula Bell, our Bridging the Gap Program Manager, to host open discussion about racial issues in our Circle of Success community. We have a second one on the agenda for July.
And right now, asking you – do you have any constructive suggestions for improvement as to how Bridging the Gap can be better allies to supporting people of all colors in their career success? I’m not going to engage in a debate about whether or not these issues exist, but I am open to hearing your constructive ideas.
As always, I wish you the absolute best success as a business analyst, and I’m here to help in any way I can.