These past few weeks have been tumultuous. They have been riddled with anxiety, heartbreak, sadness, anger, confusion, disgust, and so much more.
Life itself matters. And black lives absolutely matter. We as a people need to step up and do a better job of protecting human life. We cannot allow this blatant disregard for human life and human rights to continue to be denied.
I recently started listening to White Fragility in an effort to learn more about that which I realized my privileged white woman self is incredibly uneducated. One concept I think is worth mentioning is the concept of human rights.
If we take a look back in history, white men have always held, and still hold, power. However, who granted women the right to vote with the 19th Amendment? White men. Who passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964? White men. In almost every instance of change and liberation in this country, a right was granted to another party by a party that already had that freedom and liberty. So this is on us. It's our responsibility to stand up and speak out to support our black community. They should not be fighting this fight alone. It's our responsibility as a nation to support the people of this country - all of the people of this country. And right now our black friends, neighbors, colleagues, and families need that support more than ever.
The injustices being committed against the black community have continued for centuries. It's only courtesy of our smartphones that they are now being more loudly brought to our attention. While these injustices are not new, our response must be. As individuals, businesses, and a nation, we need to do a better job of listening, amplifying, and protecting the voices, rights, and lives of our fellow humans. We cannot continue to sit back and do nothing. We must use our voices, especially those of us with privileges we may or may not realize, to be advocates for change.
After speaking with a number of my white friends, family, and colleagues, I know we share a common fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. So many of us stay silent to protect ourselves and keep our fear at bay. While I absolutely do not have the answers, I can share this: your silence is your worst enemy right now. It's ok if you don't know what to do or say. Just start somewhere. Be humbled. Be scared. Be vulnerable. But be heard. Because while the fear we feel is real and valid, it is nothing compared to the fear that our black community harbors every single day. We need to be stronger as individuals and put our comfort aside so we can be stronger as a nation and truly stand hand in hand as equals.
If you’re unsure how you can contribute in a positive way, start by educating yourself, listening with open ears and open hearts to those impacted, reaching out to your black colleagues and friends, starting conversations about racism, donating locally or nationally, and using your voice to share your disapproval of this behavior. Don’t stay silent.
Change is not comfortable.
This is not comfortable.
We need to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
It’s time to embrace change and become better humans.
Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter.more posts by Kiley →