The Tipping Point
Together with 250 others, I participated in a most exciting discussion about #racism and the actions needed for real change. I like #action. Talking about things can influence a lot; however, it has it's limitations if an actual response doesn't follow.
Gillian Benneh UK- Specialising in project management for clients such as Nestle, BBC, Audi.
Pride Maunatlala South Africa- Marketing Executive at TFG (The Foschini Group) and founder of TheSoundingBoard
Tasha Lufti USA Principal Design Director at Microsoft and co-founder at Womxn in Design.
The moderator was the one and only Adah Parris, Futurist, Keynote Speaker, Performance Artist, Cultural Strategist, TED2019 Emerging Innovators.
I don't know how to help in the current situation. I feel shame, uncomfortable, and unsure if what I say or do will offend someone. So I have kept quiet the past two weeks. Well, that is not action, is it?!
In one hour, I learnt practical things that I can do, rather than simply posting Instagram photos, because I have more power than I think.
"True action is needed it." Pride Maunatlala.
So here are the few ideas that these brave souls shared with us.
We can #empathise, acknowledge the pain, see it, but also demand #policy #changes on every level of the society: work, government, local organisations. If you don't know how you can help, you can actively engage in #conversations to understand how racism and discrimination are experienced. These might be uncomfortable conversations, but we need to get used to having those conversations until there is no need for them anymore.
#Standup for black people. Create space. At your work: look around see if the workplace is diverse and reflects the audience that you are creating products and services. If not, challenge it.
We need to admit that we have all been socialised to be racist. We all inherit the shaping power of culture, experience, and systemic arrangements. This is a hard one. The ego hurts, especially for those of us who wish to actively fight this grave and immoral injustice. But it is true.
We, white women, have more #power and #influence, and we can use it now. That is why I felt uncomfortable these few weeks because I empathise with black people. As a woman, I know we are not equally valued as men, so I know how it feels to be less. However, we are not powerless.
I felt #inspired and #empowered by these courageous women. There are plenty of things we can change if we all act in some way. Marching and then going back to "normal" is not enough. It has never been enough.