This is not business as usual - my stance on anti-racism
Over the last week I’ve been watching world events unfold and sitting with my discomfort of not realising the extent that the black community have been suffering. And not realising how my own white privilege has blinded me to this reality.
I’ve wanted to reach out and connect with you – my community – but needed to pause, go-inwards and reflect. I’ve questioned my right to be speaking on the subject of racism but I know that not speaking out is the wrong thing to do. I also wanted to make sure that whatever I share is from a place of integrity – not just tokenism.
But as Layla Saad, Author of Me and White Supremacy says “ if you’re someone who believes in love, justice and integrity….this is non-negotiable.”
It was when I saw this image that the deepest, wisest part of me called out to push past my fear, discomfort and shame to discuss the issue of racism here within Wisdom For Working Mums:
The thought that, as mothers, every cell of our bodies wants to protect our children in this world. I’m now beginning to realise that black mothers live in a deeper, more toxic, fear of what the world might hold for their children which is almost unbearable to contemplate. But it’s not about me and my feelings. This is about standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the black community and fighting on their behalf, because quite frankly they’ve had to take on this fight on their own for far, far too long. For that I’m sorry and I’m ashamed.
As mothers we give so much to bring our children into this world (and for black women the risk to their lives in birth is five times higher) and raise them into adulthood. I’m now having my eyes opened to how black people’s lives are being taken from them just because of the colour of their skin. And that the colour of my skin protects me and my family from this injustice. This isn’t a world that I want my children to grow up in and it isn’t the world that I want any black child to have to live in. No more mothers should have to experience the unbearable pain of losing a child just because of the colour of their skin.
As mother’s we all hope to raise our children to know that they’re enough in this world. That they can walk in this world with a full heart and know their worth. But realising that black mothers have the unacceptable burden of working that much harder to support their children to know they’re enough just because of the colour of their skin.
If I’m here for all mothers – which I feel passionately about – I can’t just talk about gender I have to talk about all intersections.
And I am realising (with some shame) how white my business is and how much work I’ve got to do to truly be diverse.
So I commit to start with these two things:
- To start educating myself and start challenging my own unconscious bias. I commit to call out racism when I see it and I’m committed to do the work to start to unpick how racism unintentionally shows up in the systems I operate in, so I can see it more and therefore challenge it more.
- To be more inclusive in my business. This involves listening to, encouraging and supporting more diversity.
So my commitment is to continue doing this work, not just now, but when this isn’t front page on the news.
I invite you to reply to this with any comments, suggestions, feedback – I would love to hear from you.