There has been turmoil in 2020. With the fires, our community came together and highlighted the need for us to change our approach to environmental management. Then the pandemic showed us how quickly government and community could change to protect our selves. And now we have our community being fractured by protests around racial oppression.
In relation to the demands for structural change around racial oppression, I have not taken a stance on social media. I have not shared memes or weighed in. I have not issued a token statement, as so many business-owners and brands have.
Instead, I have wanted to understand. I have wanted to do so deeper work. I want to be meaningful.
I don’t appreciate all the messages of support from brands, that don’t seem to have depth. They are not taking a real stand, and are actually not doing anything real at all.
For true change, we can no longer pretend we understand or make token gesture.
I have taken some time to reflect, and to learn.
Brene Brown’s podcasts have really helped, and I have learnt that you can’t be a non-racist. You need to be an anti-racist. So I am starting that work, and starting to explore and challenge some of my own feelings and beliefs.
I admit that I am triggered when I hear that I have privilege because I am white. I feel some rage, because I know that I have faced bias and oppression due to my gender, and due to my class. Yet, I have come to realise that I still have more privilege and advantages than others. Instead of looking at those who have it better than me, I need to look at those who have it worse than me.
Then I have turned my thoughts to my new project – Legally Wise Women. This is about addressing the injustices that women face in the legal industry, and helping to curate a better experience for women engaging the legal industry.
Yet, I have mainly had white women in mind. I haven’t thought deeply about my sisters in cultural minorities.
This is not necessarily about colour or race, or culture or gender. My project must be about addressing oppression for ALL women.
And how do I make sure that I can also help those women, who I feel an affinity with due to gender, and yet who may not feel an affinity with me due to race?
I am open to learning and having these discussions as I develop this project. I know I don’t have all the answers. And I know that I cannot leave this not addressed.
Being anti-racist means actively working on it, and no longer brushing the issue aside. No longer thinking that the issue will solve itself in time.
I am opening up this for conversation, and would love to hear suggestions and have your feedback.