“While we are happy for the updated company missions that now include support and acknowledgement for “Black Lives Mattering”, we cannot overlook the fact that many of the people who are directly implicated in those statements are not actually receiving anything other than symbolic support.”
Greetings LREP Community,
As I think about the new possibilities that are popping up today, I’m reminded that old trends are likely to continue, and so our work for justice must go on. The ‘Karens’ of our country who continue to act like self-appointed policemen, the pandemic’s devastating toll on our people, and the economic hardships that are having a disproportionate impact on our communities, are all reminders that we have so much work to do. As we continue to lean in and embrace the moment, we must keep in mind that while it might appear to be socially acceptable to side with justice, in too many spaces, that is little more than an empty slogan and gesture.
Symbolic and performative ally-ship are on display all over, with companies scrambling to show their support for Black Lives on their webpage, or in some cases even in a Black clothing line (Target), which helps support young Black designers from Howard University to get recognition and some monetary compensation for their creative work. These are good signs, but we must recognize that more often than not they lack the depth to create lasting change. While we are happy for the updated company missions that now include support and acknowledgement for “Black Lives Mattering”, we cannot overlook the fact that many of the people who are directly implicated in those statements are not actually receiving anything other than symbolic support.
Let’s keep in mind that Target employees are under-paid “essential” workers, who risk their lives to make sure customers can buy what they want and need. I wonder: how much their lives matter when it comes to making a livable wage and supporting their families? How many other essential workers – farmworkers, domestic workers, healthcare and homecare workers, are risking their lives without adequate health care, during this pandemic? It’s not enough to support a young Black clothing designer while simultaneously paying employees (many of whom are Black and Latinx women) a barely livable wage.
So, we must lean in and reflect upon the challenges and opportunities present in this moment. Our goal should be to make #BlackLivesMatter every day and not just for Black history month. Let’s not celebrate too quickly when we know very well that so much work remains to be done. Like so many others, I wear my Blackness with pride. That shouldn’t be exploited.
Lead LREP facilitator for the Black Latinx work
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Training and Event Updates
We will be hosting a few Community building events in the Spring. Please stay tuned for more details to join in on the conversations.
Jan-March 2021 Trainings
We are choosing to slow down and pause during these uncertain times to review, reflect and build to ensure we continue to show up for our communities strong and grounded. We are more committed than ever during these times of intense racial divisions, to continue our goal to nurture a growing Latino community to counter and not replicate inequity, anti-blackness and native erasure in our communities and to honor our shared cultural strengths in leadership.
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