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Black Lives Matter: Don’t Let Overwhelm Stop You From Taking Action

Black Lives Matter

What I know for sure – Black Lives Matter. 

What I don’t know for sure – how best to write about it, how best to be an ally, how best to show up, speak up, act in accordance with this belief that I hold to be true, how to be a part of the solution, not of the problem, how to fix systemic racism. When I think about all of these things about which I am uncertain, I know I could let them stop me from doing anything, and stay quiet so that I don’t do the “wrong” thing, or I can find a way to overcome the overwhelm and fear and take imperfect action. That is what I choose.

This is too important not to speak about, write about, act on. While I want to hold space to amplify experts in this area, and amplify black voices, being silent is being complicit. I know I personally can do better. I commit to taking action that is not just in the moment, but what I hope will be part of a Black Lives Matter movement, and that means it needs to become a part of my life, not just something I say, post or do for today, this week or this month. 

As a company, Simply Placed helps our clients break away overwhelm and break goals and projects down so that they can move forward on what is important to them and achieve results. We help people get and stay organized so that they have more time for what matters most. We are about creating systems and habits for long lasting change. I believe all of that is important now. Black Lives Matter. To fight racial injustice that has existed for centuries, we need to create systems, habits and make/take more time to bring about change that will sustain. We need to make and take time for this issue. That is in our wheelhouse.

As a privileged white woman who recognizes she has a lot of work to do in this area herself (and is committed to doing that work), there are far better people than me to speak on these issues, to advise those who want to make change on how to do so, but I wanted to share a few of the things I am doing,  and that we have discussed as a Simply Placed team. As such, we are highlighting a few resources that we’ve either personally engaged with, or that come highly recommended. 

There are so many resources out there, this is just a sampling. In sum, the actions we are taking are listening, learning, inviting and engaging in uncomfortable conversations (in our company, with our families, friends and community), attending (virtual) town halls (I participated in one led by young people and one geared towards small business owners – both were particularly inspiring), peacefully protesting, petitioning and marching, standing with and finding ways to support our black friends, neighbors, clients, community and business members, donating, voting and speaking up when we see injustice, bullying or racism. 

Want to take some action but not sure where to begin? Black Lives Matter – Don’t let overwhelm keep you from acting.

Here are some links to lists compiled by a few others that you can draw from. You do not have to do it all, and certainly not all at once. Pick something that feels meaningful and impactful to you. Start there. Start somewhere. 

And a sampling of resources the Simply Placed team has engaged in or found to come as highly recommended: 

Learn

Read

  • The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (Robin DiAngelo)
  • Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (Reni Eddo-Lodge)
  • Are Prisons Obsolete? (Angela Davis)
  • Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority (Tim Wise)
  • How to Be an Anti-Racist (Ibram X. Kendi)
  • Just Mercy (Bryan Stevenson)
  • So You Want to Talk About Race (Ijeoma Oluo)
  • The Bluest Eye (Tomi Morrison)
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Michelle Alexander)

Watch

  • Just Mercy 
  • The Hate U Give
  • 13th
  • LA 92
  • Against All Odds: The Fight for a Black Middle Class 
  • Blue Eyed 
  • Hidden Colors 
  • I Am Not Your Negro 
  • Nine from Little Rock 
  • Selma 
  • The Kalief Browder Story 
  • When They See Us 
  • Becoming

Listen

  • 1619 (Podcast)
  • Are Prisons Obsolete? (Ebook – Angela Davis)
  • Black Feminist Thought (Ebook – Patricia Hill Collins)
  • The Danger of a Single Story (TED Talk – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
  • Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man (his first, check out the others on his channel too)

Sign Petitions – Black Lives Matter – call for justice for (again, just a sampling):

Donate – Fight for Justice, Anti-Racism, and Ending Police Brutality

Vote

Get educated about the when, who, and what is involved in your local elections and participate in voting at all levels of government. Get involved with the political campaigns that you support to spread awareness to others who may not know as much about politics. Register to vote if you haven’t already and encourage others to do the same. 

Commit to Anti-Racism

  • Actively be anti-racist in your own daily life – be conscious of the words you use, how you address other people, and whether your remarks may be construed as racist even if not intended to be. 
  • Intent vs. impact – just because you may not intend to be racist doesn’t mean your remarks won’t have a racial impact on others. Racism is defined by the impact on POC and not the intent of the speaker. Most of us don’t ever intend to be racist but growing up in a society with systemic racism means there is a lot of unintended racism engrained in all of us. Be conscious of how you describe people and if someone tells you something you said made them uncomfortable, make note to not use that term or phrase again—even if you don’t necessarily see a problem with it. 
  • Have conversations with friends and family about racism and how to be anti-racist. Try to avoid arguments and have calm discussions instead. Learn about the main “racism rebuttals” people often argue and how to properly respond in order to deepen their understanding of systemic racism and get them involved with anti-racism, rather than criticizing them and making them frustrated or closed off. 
  • Call out people when you witness racism and stand up for POC. Make sure your friends know racist remarks are not ok, even in a joking manner. Show support (verbal, physical, staying near them until they are safe) for POC in public when a stranger is being openly racist and/or violent towards them. 

Spend Your Money Thoughtfully

  • Support black owned businesses in your community and nationwide. Support companies that embrace diversity and treat their employees (especially POC) with the utmost respect.
  • Look for corporations that stand with the movement and actively make donations to some of the organizations listed above.
  • Pledge to make donations periodically or regularly if you are able. This is not just a trend of the month. Ending systemic racism and bringing justice to POC will be a lifetime journey for all of us. Don’t just forget about these ideas and movements a month from now as you continue about your daily lives unaffected. Continually use your privilege and personal platform to shed light on the situation and do what you can to support the cause. 

It’s About Time – Black Lives Matter

It’s About Time – that’s the name of our virtual productivity program and a double entendre. It is about time and how we use our time, but also, it’s about time we pay attention to and focus on our organization and productivity so that we get better results and have more time for what matter most. In this case, It’s About Time we did something to end systemic racism. To create true social justice. To do better. Because Black Lives Matter .

We invite conversation. What ideas do you have for lasting change, or what other resources have you found to be helpful? Which actions are you taking to help end racial injustice? How can we help you have more time to engage in this effort or to spend on what matters most to you? How can we help?

We look forward to hearing from you. We are listening, we are learning, we are acting, we care. 

Warmly,

Debbie Rosemont and the Simply Placed Team

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