This world is changing and as we’re collectively and individually exploring uncharted territories in our own ways, I am personally revisiting my going-forward business plan. As someone who is a mother, wife, business owner, leader and teacher, I have had to take a step back from some of those roles to just be a human being as we navigate through this season.
This has been a time filled with learning, unlearning, introspection, soul searching, and unpacking, each of those items uncomfortable but necessary in their own right.
I have always believed that the slower the growth, the deeper the roots and while many of us want to quickly spring to action, I’ve been intentionally slowing down and honoring the growing pains that accompany actual change.
Here at my company, we are not going back to “business as usual”. That is a conscious choice that I have made. We recognize that what was once usual is no longer enough. That while our efforts toward what we considered anti-racism and amplifying Black voices were in motion, they should be expanded upon with clear intent. And that there are other ways that we can allow the way that we do business to be an opportunity to help tip the scale and close the gap.
Here is what you can expect from me as a leader as we move forward:
1.) Listen. Read. Educate ourselves so that others don’t have to do it for us. As a team, we will be doing monthly training with an expert and I will personally continue the deeper work offline.
2.) Make donations to charities furthering the agendas of BIPOC. In transparency (and not for praise but to express my financial commitment), I have donated tens of thousands of dollars to support causes leading the movement and we will integrate ways of giving back regularly into the brand and business model. This article has 115 suggestions on where you can donate to financially support Black lives and other people of color.
3.) We have hired a Corporate Trainer + Emotional Intelligence Practitioner to challenge us and hold us accountable to move forward and create with a focus on empathy, inclusive engagement, and mindful communication. You can listen to her past interview on the Goal Digger Podcast if you’d like to get to know her!
4.) Continue to highlight and amplify Black women on my podcast and make a donation on their behalf to a cause or organization that they will select. We will focus on using our platforms to share their words, work, and stories.
I am not an expert in this arena but I do have the ability and platform to amplify those who are. I ask that you not look to me for your education on this subject because, in this regard, I am a student. I do, however, invite you to join me in learning. Going forward, I will tune my ears to listen to and amplify the voices of those marginalized in our communities.
Words are one thing, but actions are truly what speaks louder. I sincerely hope that our actions will speak to our commitment as we move forward with our new normal and that the work will show itself in the way that I show up as a leader, educator, brand, and a human being.
I have listened intently, thought deeply, and reflected about these choices because this is a complex and systemic issue that together we CAN change. I pray that we can pool our collective empathy and power to make that change.