Minneapolis – A Spark For Change And Ways You Can Help
I did a previous post about my observations in Minneapolis last weekend. I was met with a few comments from people who were disappointed that I didn't address the deeper issues facing not only Minneapolis but the whole country.
The piece was meant to be an observation of how seeing the aftermath of the riots made me feel and not intended to have a deeper meaning. I was trying to share the positive I saw in Minneapolis. I think at that moment, I wasn't sure what to write or say because I didn't want to come off as ignorant or misinformed. I felt it was safer to only speak about what I actually saw at that moment. However, as a person in a position with a voice and platform, it was irresponsible of me not to mention the tragic loss of George Floyd and it was disrespectful to my friends of color. I sometimes forget my voice carries weight and I understand my privilege gives me benefits others may not have. I'm sorry, and I will do better.
I fully believe in the quote by Maya Angelou, " Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
This past week I have found myself doing a lot of listening and learning. Sometimes my beliefs are reaffirmed and other times I am reevaluating.
So in an effort to do better, I am filling this post with ways to help out Minneapolis as well as resources to register to vote and educate yourself about the issues this country is facing.
I was going to re-list a bunch of community programs, restaurants, and local businesses from this Thrillist article, but they did it so well that I figured I will just link to it.
If you are not registered to vote, you can find out more and do so here.
If you have kids and aren't sure how to educate them about race in this country, here is a great Buzzfeed article with book recommendations.
For adults, I had a friend recommend a few books to me including, "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism" by Robin DiAngelo, "Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People" by Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji, and "We Can’t Talk about That at Work! How to Talk about Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics" by Mary-Frances Winters. USA Today also had a great list here.
Also, have more difficult conversations with your friends and family. I know my friends and I are having more and more discussions about race and privilege. I'm learning that when someone that is different than you tells you their experience, respect their reality, and make space for their beliefs. It's the only way to truly learn and grow. Be courageous. Be curious.