Updated: Aug 23, 2020
America is in the midst of two very tragic crises. The first crisis is COVID 19, the pandemic that has brought America to its knees, and the second crisis is recent, raw, exposure of systemic racism. America is a wonderful and resilient nation, and Americans find ways to bring triumph out of tragedy. These tragedies have begun to serve as bridges to promoting “visible equity” for Black and brown communities. I have listened to politicians, executive officers, and school leaders on various media outlets who understand and express the urgency of acting “NOW” for the Black and brown communities.
In order for something or someone to be visible, it must be able to be seen, perceptible to the eye, constantly and frequently in view. In this context, visible equity involves consistently putting systems and resources in place to ensure that members of Black and brown communities have access to opportunities and resources to be successful.
It is no doubt that we are in crisis mode, and according to the Crisis Emergency Research Center, crises do not only create negative emotions and behaviors, they result in changes in the way people view the future. This includes a new understanding of risks and new ways to manage them.
A new understanding of risks and news ways to manage systemic racism means that we all have re-evaluate what is means to promote visible equity. It means that we need to become more aware of how our personal values and beliefs influence the decisions that we make that will contribute to ending systematic racism. It means that need to become more socially aware of the differences that exist in Black and brown communities, that will help dispel negative stereotypes, personal biases, and myths. Finally, it means that we must determine how to work as allies and advocates to get into what John Lewis called, “good trouble.” We must commit to “challenging the process” as defined by Kouzes and Posner (2017) and changing policies and practices that made decision-making regarding Black and brown communities seem like only a check in the box.
How will you seek to be more self-aware and socially aware? How will you work with others to be an ally or an advocate to promote visible equity?
In the coming weeks, Learning to Lead will feature answers to these questions from people of various cultural backgrounds and professions. If you would like to contribute, please contact us at email@example.com.