These are hard times. To say it’s been an emotionally hard few months is an understatement. I am not going to pretend that I magically have the answers or some sort of insight that you haven’t already heard before. But I think it’s important to acknowledge and name the emotions that we are feeling around our own racist behaviors and the deaths of black people in this country. When we name it, we normalize it. And what you are feeling right now is valid.
My emotions have been all over the place. I’ve gone from sadness to anger to fearful of the future. My wife and I are taking the time to listen and educate ourselves more on white privilege. We are reading books, watching movies, and most importantly we learning how to apply this knowledge more into our daily lives and into my business.
We decided to do a project with our teenagers, Listen Learn Act. Each week they LISTEN to black/POC voices. That can read an article, watch a video, or listen to a podcast. In their journal, they write what they LEARN by hearing this person’s point of view. The final step is how they will ACT going forward now that they know what they learned. We are teaching them how to see and take notice of their white privilege and how to educate themselves to be a better advocate for their friends and someday coworkers. To understand that their job is to speak up, as white men it is so important that they speak up when they see or hear someone saying or doing something inappropriate to another person.
It’s been interesting to hear the voices that they are choosing to listen to from fashion designers to you-tubers to singers. And then hearing how they are going to choose to act. I pray that we are sending white men out into the world who will make a difference in society. I hope that they will lead with kindness and compassion and be more confident allies to people of color.
I hope to have more conversations about racial inequality with our teenagers and with our family members. We are choosing to donate to various organizations that support the Black Lives Matter movement and I hope you will as well. Stay open and lead with kindness!