Overwhelmed by #BlackLivesMatter? This is for you.

Jun 08, 2020

Overwhelmed by #BlackLivesMatter? This is for you.

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Photo by: Londre Swimwear

To my Raw Beauty community, 

I understand that many feel afraid to speak up right now out of fear of taking the wrong step or inflicting further pain. 

I know you are feeling overwhelmed about where to start in supporting our black brothers and sisters. 

I know you truly feel pained seeing the injustice, murder and racism black people are faced with every day. 

I know you are uncertain about whether everything that is happening will create the deep, lasting changes that is required to bring equity amongst all of us.

I know this because I have felt it all too.

This letter is not about my pain or your pain though. It is about the pain of black people.

The only reason I mention your emotional reaction in this moment is because I know it can be the charge that propels long-lasting change.

Emotion = E-Motion = Energy in motion = YOU in MOTION.

I want to remind you that you are strong. You CAN carry the pain and discomfort that the black community have carried for centuries. Do not avoid it. Let it erode the comfortable seat you’ve been sitting in until you are forced to stand as an anti-racist.

You are powerful. Your privilege gives you a strong foundation upon which you can create change. It gives you a voice and a presence and a platform. Use it.

You are impactful. Start the work within and recognize that in doing so you will undoubtedly create change around you. Listening & learning are the first step in creating the right impact.

I encourage you today to take your privilege and the pain and overwhelm that you are feeling in this moment and instead of letting it freeze you, I ask you to let it propel you forward in support of our black sisters and brothers. 

While energy is high and pain and passion are strong, the systems, structures and beliefs planted deep within us must be uprooted and replaced. It is in this exact moment that we MUST create new ways of living, speaking and being so that long after the social media buzz fades, we are left with a better world.

Stating that you are not racist and posting a black square is simply not enough. It is a statement of your intention and must be followed by action. Suggesting that you don’t see colour and that you believe in equality is a scapegoat allowing you to rest in inaction. I simply say this because I know you have more in you than that.

Anti-racist is not a noun.  It is not something you are. It is a verb. A label that must be earned through action.

This work has no final destination. Unfortunately you will not receive an ‘A’ on your report card by completing a task or a checkmark on your ‘to do’ list.

This work is about being a good human. It’s about using our time on this earth to make it better for our collective children.

We must look at anti-racism as a constant conversation, actions to be taken over a lifetime, and words that must be spoken over and over again.

The great news is, I know my Raw Beauty community is full of women whose hearts bleed red and who desperately want to help.

I believe in your capacity to listen, learn, and to be the change the world so desperately needs.

READY TO TAKE ACTION? Let’s get started…

1. Listen & Learn (from members of the black community)

Not understanding is not good enough and we can’t expect our black friends, co-workers and family to spend all their time and emotional bandwidth educating us. We created the systemic racism that exists today and we must dismantle it. There is so much information out there right now to support you on this journey so jump on Google or visit the links below.

Workshops
The Great Unlearn by Rachel Cargle. Here.
Spiritual Activism 101 by Rachel Ricketts. Here.

Podcasts
How White Parents Can Talk to Their Kids About Race with Jennifer Harvey.
Article and podcast. Here.
#TellBlackStories. Here.
Code Switch by NPR. Here.

Books
*If the hard copy is sold out there are options for audiobooks & e-readers

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.
How to Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi.
This Book is Anti-Racist by Tiffany Jewell.
I Am Enough by Grace Byers (for kids).

Shows
13th by Ava Duverney (Netflix)
When They See Us by Ava Duvernay (Netflix)

2. Support black-owned businesses & black individuals in your community by buying their products and services.

Vibe Well Co. “I AM” Affirmation cards by Ashley Sharie. Here.
Arielle Estoria prints & poetry. Here.

3. Diversify your feed.  Follow and support the black community so that you hear directly from them.  Below is a list of women who inspire, empower and uplift.  I know the conversation is charged right now.  Instead of shutting it out can you let that charge ignite your action. 

@RachelCargle 
@ArielleEstoria 
@VibeWellCo

@pegcitylovely
@tamikadmallory
@mspackyetti
@stephanieyeboah
@blairimani
@moemotivate
@coach.carey
@sashaexeter
@averyfrancis
@filipajackson
@lilyyange
@taymocha
@truthalexis

4. Sign petitions that are working to create new systems to protect black lives and dismantle white supremacy.

Black Lives Matter

5. Stand-up against racism when you notice it within yourself, your family, workplace or amongst friends.  This can be difficult if you are not educated in white supremacy, racism, anti-racism and solutions which is why the first action item listed is so important.

6. Vote. This is one of the most powerful ways to support POC as it creates possibility for addressing systems and structures (i.e. mass incarceration) that threaten black lives and progress.

7. Advocate for updated workplace policies around diversity & inclusion.  Not sure where to start?  This resource provided by Rachel Cargle can help you start the conversation. Here. 

Together let’s ensure that this monumental movement lasts more than a moment. 

Please comment below with one ACTION that you will take this week to turn your discomfort into empowerment? 

Xo
Erin

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