By MJ Ryan
There is nothing in my mind these days except the pain of the racial violence that the U.S. in particular is experiencing or more accurately put, exposing right now. For, as actor Will Smith has recently said, “racism isn’t getting worse, it’s getting filmed.” That exposure means white people of conscience can no longer stand by, feeling sorrow and shame. We’ve got to get into action, do our part to end this nightmare, starting right now.
I don’t profess to have any correct answers or even the right questions. I do know that the answers are to be found in community with one another. For me and you, as members of the SheEO community, that means within SheEO. As a minimum starting point, I wanted to share SheEO’s founder Vicki Saunders’ recent reflection on Facebook:
“Every week I have a dreaming call that people pop in and out of and the question is: What kind of future do we want to create?
“This morning I got an email from a Venture in our community asking what SheEO’s response was to the racial violence in the US.
“She joined our call and a small group of us shared how we are feeling.
“We are in mourning in our community with our black relatives and family.
“There is a sickness in our culture that we all must address.
“We are capable of loving one another, of creating space for one another, of sharing and uplifting and listening to one another, of speaking our truths and healing our traumas. We have all we need to do this. Please take time to share how you are feeling with your community. Create the space for uncomfortable conversations.”
On the call, Wakumi Douglas, co-founder of SheEO Venture S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective, shared the following graphic of the 7 archetypes of Whiteness Under Stress. If you are a white person reading this, I invite you to find yourself (I am #5, formerly #3), then go out and take more positive action:
Educate yourself—there are a lot of great books and articles. Listen to and amplify the voices of POC. Confront racial injustices even when it’s uncomfortable. Donate to organizations like @MNFreedomFund that are seeking to end discriminatory and oppressive jailing. Call and email government officials. Support BIPOC organizers. #Blacklivesmatter #Antiracist #Antiracism #Whiteprivilege.
And please join us this week on Venture and/or Activator calls where we will continue this crucial uncomfortable conversation.