According to Us, enough information and resources exist in this digital and tangible world to understand equity. The time for explanation of what should be happening and why has passed and now we raise the bar. RIP, DEI. We walk into any room and expect equity as a default in all practices. Knowing what we know, we go further and explore the dance of personal learning of equitable practice and organizing: What needs to already be known, and what can we learn together? What must be counted to hold accountable? If you don't know, now you know: We raising the bar(n). Join us, tools provided.
June 9, 2022 Learning by Julia
We begin with our land acknowledgment - how the natural world anticipates and adapts, and human beings are highly capable of planning our own spiritual evolution. We dedicate our collective learning to "That Person", the one who challenges your love of self, and tests patience like no other. If not for you, we would not be here! What happens to That Person when we tell the truth, use emotions to convey importance? Too often we face fallout: From full blown tantrums and quitting, to conflict avoidance or expectation of comfort. Equity work requires two lanes: The professional and the personal. At work we raise the bar - focusing on the institutionalization of equity. Thus, we begin our circle with the question, "How do you prepare, or want to be told how to prepare, for when That Person openly refuses to acknowledge 'The Bar'?"
First, we recognize the pace. When challenged, we intentionally manage to not talk fast and demand freely, "I need a moment to process what you're saying." We also come almost over-prepared expecting a presumed incompetence so we first gather all knowledge and facts. Their tired playbook forces us to lose our temper with the bullshit so our words (and knowledge) get lost in the sauce. Part of that knowledge, how we prepare, is to know that we shall make enemies in a righteous way.
For some, the thought of needing to prepare for identity-based conflict is novel and for others the state of preparation is default. Those with lived experience of race/gender-based privileges, first acknowledge oneself as the one who "makes it up" and "get in [our] own way". Focus on raising one's own bar, and know love looks like accountability.
For others without those privileges, we pick our friends (or choose solitude) with care because we never signed up to be a part of That Person's learning. It's possible to surround ourselves with 'Not That Person' but to be prepared for the unexpected. A casual chat about the lovely trees can turn into a debate around police homicides in a snap of the fingers. Always be prepared. But how? We must know at that moment, "I'm doing me better than you are doing you." We have end goals with our work and advocacy, and we look out for each other in the process. We love our differences and together chant, "Go through it to get to it." And, sometimes we choose not to, simply for our own sanity (aka self love).
We end with affirmation. The weight of enslavement, history of Jim Crow does not stop us from getting up every day; our ancestors need us free. We live unapologetically, lead full lives outside of our advocacy roles, and we no longer smile out of a reflex to comfort but only with sincerity because we know its value. We smile because we can, and because we were born free. It's time to raise the bar so others understand the value of our smile of satisfaction, or stand to the side.
What comes next? We took the month of May off and return June 28th with a start-at-the-beginning circle, "At Another Crossroad". Stay in tune.
On blue background are tropical pink flowers with "Take no Shit" written in white curly letters. Below is reads "We each are worthy of care and respect. Just as we are." Buy print: https://www.radicalheartsprintlab.com/products/take-no-shit
Carrie Mae Weems, "Untitled (Woman Standing Alone)" 1990. Black woman standing at kitchen table with her hands squarely on the table. She gazes at the camera with a look of both intent and satisfaction. A single lamp hangs from the ceiling right above her head. https://carriemaeweems.net/galleries/kitchen-table.html
Julia Ismael hosts monthly Listening Circles for the masses as a way to stay informed and to find new and meaningful ways to create connection. Julia is the founder and Head Architect of Aspirations of The Equity Consortium. Monthly Listening Circles are held on the 4th Tuesday of the month, and what is learned from these circles is shared here. Please enjoy our stories.