The Elephant In The Pandemic
Updated: Jul 28
How are you doing? No, really. How are you? We’re entering a new month of life in the midst of a health pandemic, a financial pandemic, and now...a racial pandemic.
Pandemic is defined as:
(of a disease) prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.
It’s origin is from the Greek word, pándēmos: common, public. Common and public is absolutely true about racism (and all the -isms). The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have unleashed the pain and rage of Black people in this country and of people who believe in humanity...here and around the world. Yes, we have work to do at work and we have work to do with each other. The best places to work understand that this is a Must Do, not nice to do.
“This is not the time for guilt. This is not the time for hand wringing… This is the time for courage...for really digging deep within ourselves and challenging ourselves to act and be in ways we have not before and in ways that make us uncomfortable. ~ Kerra Bolton
Acknowledge the issue and the Black employees/co-workers who are dealing with it. Do NOT expect validation for doing this.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable and educate yourself on what racial ally-ship is and how you can become one. (see resources below) Have tough conversations within your families, churches, and communities.
Recognize that Black people are not victims or a monolith. There’s not one response. Listen and take cues on the level of desired engagement and communication.
Here’s a What I Can Do list
These horrific racial incidents (and the daily possibility of them) are an assault to the psyche and soul. Engage in self-care actions for yourself and with your family and friends. Take time off. Cancel the meeting. Disengage from the news media. Connect to books, movies, and art that fuel self-love.
Take positive action. Contribute to change in ways that work for you.
It’s not our responsibility to educate white people on racism and if you choose to have these conversations, know that they can be awkward and missteps will be made. Pain buttons will be pushed. Know your bandwidth and boundaries for these interactions.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” ~ audre lorde
Know yourself. Assess Yourself. Brand yourself.
The Master Coaches of Career Triage HQ
René Washington, Gwen Hall and Tonya Allen
P.S. We are skilled in facilitating difficult conversations. If you want assistance with this, please respond to this email with your full name and contact information and we’ll schedule a call.
P.O. Box 95, Birmingham, AL 35201