Picture this. The year is 2040 and your child or grandchild approaches you. They ask, “I’m learning about the Black Lives Matter Movement in school, the biggest civil rights movement in history, and since you lived through it, what was it like? What did you do to make an impact?”
Now thankfully you’re not receiving these questions from your young, impressionable loved ones just yet. Luckily for you, there’s still plenty to do to be a part of the solution and not the problem, even if you haven’t attended a protest, had an uncomfortable conversation with a family member or friend, donated to grassroots organizations, signed petitions, sent emails to government officials, or posted on social media to further spread the message of the movement (and no, I’m NOT talking about the black square of solidarity that just clogged up the timeline).
Maybe your recount of the civil unrest of 2020 won’t include a story of you being on the frontlines of the protests where you were tear gassed, hit with rubber bullets (and yes, there have been people who’ve lost an eye due to this), arrested because you were out past the curfew set in order to break up protestors, or sustained injuries from being shoved out of the way by police just for that same police department to release a statement saying you “tripped and fell.” And even after all of that, you still returned to fight another day.
You might be thinking, “Well not all of us can be on the frontlines…” and that’s okay. But when the time does come that your impressionable little one wants to know about the major historical events that you lived through, do you really want to look them in their little puppy dog eyes and say, “I was just a bystander” or even worse, “I was too overwhelmed with COVID back in 2020 to understand the repercussions of my lack of awareness about the injustices the black and brown community face even when they didn’t have that choice,” or do you want to be able to tell them you did play a part in standing up to racial injustice in order to eradicate its lethal affliction within our society?
The truth is, the difference we can make starts within the places we already occupy. The home, the workplace, and most importantly within ourselves. No one expects you to be the next face of a revolution, and just because that person may get the most recognition in the history books, doesn’t mean those at all levels didn’t play just as important of a role.
Because this is a movement, not a moment.
Despite what you might be telling yourself, it’s not too late to start. You didn’t miss the opportunity to partake if you didn’t get involved in the aforementioned activities. The issue of systemic racism has been around for 400 years, so it’s definitely not going to disappear after a few weeks of protesting.
You see for me; this hypothetical scenario hits home. I’m expecting my first grandchild, a grandson in fact. If his parents are any indication, he’s going to be asking me a lot of questions, constantly challenging me. His name will be Owen, a name that sounds like a lot of shenanigans already. I want to be able to look him in the eyes and tell him that his black and brown friends are now treated with equity and respect because of the well-meaning educational programs that were put in place in 2020 to combat social injustice. I want to be part of a team of passionate people who made a real and tangible difference, and I believe I am. My organization, APA Solutions, is dedicated to advancing people through a math and science approach in order to chisel away at the oppression that had taken 400 years to create. We don’t want it to be another 100 years. We don’t even want it to be another day.
Together, we need not imagine this, so come join a new community with like-minded individuals who are ready to look at this issue from a growth mindset.
To learn more about how you can help make a difference from the comfort of your own home, join us for a complimentary sneak preview of our 4-part Equity and Social Justice training series, or for more information visit our website here.