Chippewa Valley Equality Initiative
Black Lives Matter - The continual fight for equity
May 25 of this year will mark a total of 2 years since the murder of George Floyd. For a lot of America, this was a wake up call. An undeniable look at the injustices that Black and Brown folx face every day in our country. There was a call to action. Protests, petitions signed, an influx of support for BIPOC businesses, and research into awareness.
People started to look into EDI work (equity, diversity and inclusion). Children were educated, and books like "How To Be An Antiracist - Dr. Ibram X. Kendi" skyrocketed in sales.
While this was an incredible movement, I'll have to admit, that many of my Black friends were skeptical. After all, when we look back at history, we see things like the end to slavery, the civil rights movement, and many other "successes" occur, but there is still a huge disparity between races when it comes to Black people. Specifically related to White Privilege, but also in many other areas of existence.
They have seen the little jumps in movement here and there. The moments of caring. The occasional times when they are seen. Often times because of tokenization, but nonetheless, seen. But as many predicted, the momentum is slowing down. And with that, comes a lot of complacency again. It's easy for those of us who don't experience discrimination on a daily basis. If it's not our lives or our children's, friends, family members, etc. that are regularly on the line, it's an 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality. But the stark reality is that this battle is far from over.
February is Black History Month. It's a great time to reflect on all of the battles won, but also be aware that we are creating history now. That what we do today, will be written in the minds of the youth, articles and books of tomorrow. We must take action and not become complacent with what has already been done. We can celebrate the successes of the past, while still fighting for a better future.
#blacklivesmatter. What does that mean to you? What can you do to make that statement true? Not just with words, but with actions. There are so many ways that we can make this a part of our daily lives. Because whether we see it or not, it is part of the daily lives of Black people everywhere. Racism lives and breathes daily.
I challenge you this month, to continue researching, donating, educating, volunteering, advocating, signing petitions, shopping local BIPOC businesses, and continuing to do this over and over again until it becomes habit.
Keep your eyes peeled. Stand up for those who don't have a seat at the table. Implement equity, diversity and inclusion in your home, your workplace, your hobbies, your encounters with others. We shouted Black Lives Matter from the rooftops in 2020. Let's continue to reverberate the echoes of those chants with daily actions so they were not said in vain.
Make a pledge to do better this year, the next, and the year after. The fight is ongoing. Put on your battle gear and show up.