Written by: Tracey Robertson, the Executive Director of Fit Oshkosh, Inc. a nonprofit in Oshkosh, Wisconsin whose mission is to increase the Racial Literacy of residents of Winnebago, WI and beyond. Visit Fit’s website at www.fitoshkosh.org or on Facebook for more information.
We should all be outraged about the killing of Alton Sterling.
We should all be outraged about the killing of Philando Castile.
As citizens of this great Country, surely we are all saddened for the police officers whose lives were taken in retaliation.
I echo the popular sentiment that violence and revenge is not the answer.
There is a time and place for righteous indignation. For all of us, this is that time.
As a mother of two adult Black men, the news of yet another shooting is shattering.
As the mother of an adult daughter, I am reminded of Sandra Bland.
As the grandmother of a two-year-old grandson, the realization that I cannot protect him, hits me like a brick wall. The fact that in just a few short years, he may no longer be labeled “darling”, but possibly as “dangerous” crushes my spirit.
How do we create the beloved community? What is the answer?
For me, the answer is simple: I plan to turn my outrage into outcomes. In other words, use the power that my outrage fuels to create sustainable change in all the places where I work and play.
I invite all of you to join me.
While no single person has the power to change the national narrative or the of the systemic practices that plaque us, we do have the power to be an agent for an equitable humanity.
Following are some easy-to-implement ideas for everyone that can enable us to begin to break down barriers:
- Take the test. To understand the biases that we all operate in (race, gender, etc.), take the Project Implicit Test developed by Harvard University. The test can be found here: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html (Outcome)
- Have informed conversations about race and difference. Talk with others and be a champion for what’s right in those conversations (Outcome)
- Get more information. Read books that help unpack race from an historical perspective. A personal favorite is Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. (Outcome)
As our nation struggles to find its way, each of us can be the difference in our respective communities that we hope to see.