What can we do to support racial equality for Black people?
Being the daughter of Salvadoran, political peaceful activists, I was raised that our actions always play a part of a larger purpose. Yes, Livie & Luca is a shoe company AND the actions that are integrated into our work boil down to one mission- to AWAKEN JOY to be a FORCE for change. One way to activate this purpose is through our Community Huddles - an inclusive and soulful experience intended for ALL members of our community to support their best self. In this week’s Community Huddle, changemaker Sharissa Sosa, led us in a beautiful meditation and then we asked ourselves the question: “What is your highest aspiration for equality and justice for Black people, for humanity?”
We shared our visions, and then made a commitment to making our aspirations for equality and justice actionable. Here are a few of the commitments that came out of that share:
“Find a Black-owned business and buy from them - it might not be convenient, but it will be meaningful. We need to be willing to be inconvenienced. We can support Black people economically - we can canvas, we can vote, we can protest. We need to be uncomfortable.”
“I’m going to use my power as a teacher. I’m going to learn so that I can teach the truth to my students to empower them and give them the tools to make the important decisions.”
“I’m thinking about the bigger picture of equality specifically to me and my Etsy shop. I will use representation as a way to support Black shop owners and make this a big part of my shop’s identity.”
“I come from a law enforcement background, and I pledge to be more involved in city council and demand quarterly diversity training for these police agencies and these supervisors who are not held accountable. If they don’t have the funding we bring more funding into these organizations or redirect the funds.”
“Get involved in a movement for systemic change and get involved in difficult conversations and create opportunities for healing through hearing stories.”
“Speak with my council members about changing how police training is, and how police unions support immunity for unjust police officers.”
“My brother is a police officer but also a professor and has dedicated his career to policy reform. I’m so excited to see what he can do once he retires from the force and is more free to work on think tanks and with policymakers.”
“We need to increase the percentage of black students that are enrolled at Language Academy of Sacramento.”
“Call your city council members and ask them to repair the funding for social justice.”
“Shop from local black-owned business in my community.”
“Listen actively, get out and talk to people, understand their perspective and their culture.”
“Deliver water and snacks to the local protesters.”
”I have been talking to my white privileged children about their thoughts and what they can do. Start at home. I’ve found this website helpful too: https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234.”
“What I can do is listen more, bare witness to the stories.”
“Read How to Be an AntiRacist Ibram X. Kendi and follow him and other Black writers and thinkers on Instagram.”
“To listen, learn, and empathize with the black community and to people who are not supported in the world. My immediate action will be to support my local community by volunteering at the underserved school in my neighborhood.”
What will you do, Solemates? If you need support in processing and finding your way to break the silence, join us next Thursday at 9:15am PST / 12:15 EST. Register here.
With systems that are deeply rooted in our country, it takes COURAGE to IMAGINE new possibilities and then take action on the vision you hold. I’m grateful and honored for this community to hold space for one another to do this process and to have such authentic actions arise because of it.
Here are some resources we’ve gathered for parents talking to their children about racism and what we can do to fight it.
https://www.instagram.com/hereweeread/ Diversity and inclusion expert who recommends diverse books for children
https://www.instagram.com/theconsciouskid/ Resources for Parenting and Education through a Critical Race Lens
It’s a good start to talk about these ideas with our kids but as parents, and especially if we are White parents, we have to live it too. Dr. Margaret A. Hagerman, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University in both the African American Studies and Gender Studies programs says this: “White kids learn about race as a result of their own independent experiences — not just conversations. Their lived experience and their interactions with peers, teachers, neighbors, coaches, siblings and strangers matter greatly. The choices parents make about how to set up children’s lives influence their kids’ ideas about race and racism. The neighborhood they live in, the school they attend, and the activities they participate in set the parameters for how kids understand race. And this is true whether parents are consciously aware that these choices matter or not, & regardless of what parents explicitly say about race.”