4 Things To Think About In the Aftermath of Charlottesville

by Betsy cardenas


 
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I've been processing the events of the last few days and the responses to the events from our leaders, and people I know. Mostly I took Cleo Wade's advice and dug into my work ferociously recorded. I recorded 3 new episodes of The Currently Podcast.  I continued to work hard to deliver for our clients despite the emotional hangover of the images we saw. After a few days of anger, fear and frustration I came to a few conclusions: 

  1. Now is the time to find our purpose. This is the time that compels us to pick a side. I can't tell you the satisfaction I have that this is all happening the same year that I am closer to where I wanted to be professionally. That through @borninjunecreative we get to work and collaborate with people who are all agents of change and ambassadors of the beauty of the diversity of our country. I also get to create my own content and I don't take that privilege lightly. I never shared this but another reason I was ready for a career change is that I was constantly frustrated by people within progressive organizations who want diversity but not inclusivity, who want POC to carry out their agendas because they know we are better messengers to the communities they serve but won't actually honor our expertise. That is another manifestation of the issues our country still has to grapple with. I know it's why a lot of POC end up starting their own businesses or organizations we simply don't fit the mold and the pressures of working in these environments can be emotionally damaging. If you are in this scenario, I won't tell you to leave but can you start speaking out more? What power do you have as a manager to advocate for others? Can you mentor interns or others to teach them to stick up for themselves from day one? I waited too long to start standing my ground.  Once I did it was liberating! 
  2. On a similar note we must push ourselves to be better. This language, the return of these symbols are an effort to makes us cower and retreat. Challenge yourself to be bold. I've been practicing this week by being more vulnerable and by not avoiding conversations that could be potentially uncomfortable. If we are going to change our country, we need to get comfortable with uncomfortable conversations. I'm owning up to my own deficits in that area. I've long avoided confrontation in my personal life to my own detriment. I've never had a problem advocating for others but for myself damn that's been harder to learn. Now is the time to challenge ourselves to be better so we can challenge institutions, and ideas. How can you contribute to that? 
  3. Finally let's think about gratitude. I know sh*t can look bleak and this sounds naive but we still have today. I am grateful for my son's warm, cozy bed and that in less than 3 months Joshua and I are going to have a kick-ass celebration of the life we have built. We chose that time of year for our wedding because it's the time of year to give thanks. What are the blessings you can count on? 
  4. Self-care but like the real kind. How are you nurturing your spirit? This thing isn't going to be fixed in one swoop and maybe our sense of normal will be altered for a while so we need to figure out how to keep going. See above for a way to start. 
  5. Listen the latest episode of The Currently which centers on this incident, the lessons we can take from history and how we can channel our anger and grief.

Thank you for reading! Xoxo