I had something completely different scheduled for this week but 2020 has clearly shown us that we need to change how we interact with each other. This week (and well beyond), I’m choosing to silence the regularly scheduled broadcast to embrace a more colorful world.
For businesses, we have a prime opportunity to amplify the talents, words and works of all races — especially the black community, which has had a harder time getting their amazing talents shared.
Our platforms are our chance to highlight the hard work people are doing by sharing THEIR raw voice around THEIR experiences (not what we perceive them to be), so we can learn and grow. Change starts with us. Here are a few examples of converstaions, videos, or podcasts I’ve listened to this week that have helped me expand my view beyond my immediate realm.
- This podcast by Shunta Grant on What you can do about racism
- This public video by Rachel Rodgers calling out how white liberals are getting it wrong with an example from a prominent online business owner
- And lessons from countless others in the BIPOC community about the importance of not DMing or tagging them for a response and unintentionally place them in the middle of a thread that could cause harm.
Our platforms give us a chance to do what I’ve recently learned algorithms struggle to do — recommend, share, and suggest following people who aren’t lookalikes. Want to see what I mean? Try giving any of these amazing black women a follow on Instagram and see what pops up as recommended accounts — it’s a treasure trove of great ideas, minds, and people you might’ve missed out on because the algorithms are skewed.
- Tasha Booth, CEO of The Launch Guild who will teach you about launch strategies, especially if you’re a VA.
- Trudi Lebron, a business coach and equity + inclusion strategist who will teach you about remixing business.
- Rachel Cargle, founder of several organizations including The Great Unlearn which helps further the conversation about how we can do better when it comes to race relations.
It’s a chance to become actively antiracist by doing more than simply changing our profile pictures to black for a day. It’s a chance to intentionally create diversity within our business by opening our eyes to the realities out there beyond our immediate scope and continuously striving to do better. If you want to keep learning, here are a few books to add to your reading list. They’re on mine too.
- The Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Sway: The Irresistable Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman
- Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- Stepping Forward by Richard C. Harwood
Here’s to you this week as you navigate through a tumultuous time. We’re going to emerge better than before because of the great conversations taking place, but it’s going to take ongoing work. That work? Starts within ourselves by giving the microphone to someone else for a change and truly listening to what they have to say.
Stay strong. Stay unified.