How Can I Help?
This post is short and sweet but the answers to this question are far from that. The issues to be addressed are deep-rooted, systemic and multi-generational.
Within the past few weeks there has been a tremendous amount of pain experienced by people of color. As a white woman, I can never fully comprehend the events and experiences that happen daily in the lives of others who have been treated so unfairly because of the color of their skin. Yet I am being asked as a minister and as someone who stands for the beauty of diversity to answer this question. This is a partial list of what a person, organization or business leader can do.
Listen. Remember that this isn't about you. It's about the person(s) wronged. Listen. Validate their feelings and acknowledge their experience. Listen more.
Educate yourself. Take classes. Read. Learn how to identify discrimination and bias.
Do an ongoing, in-depth search within yourself and your organization to determine where there may be bias and discrimination, whether conscious or unconscious, and fix it when you find it.
Bear witness. When you see discrimination, bias and injustice, speak up. Stand side-by-side with the person experiencing it and do not let it go.
Take responsibility. If you say or do something insensitive or that causes someone else pain; discriminates; shows bias toward another: own your mistake. Take responsibility, ask for forgiveness and learn from your mistake. Then fix it if possible. Change policies and procedures if necessary.
Support minority businesses. Shop and buy products and services from minority-owned businesses. If you're a business owner, seek out minority-owned suppliers and collaborate with minorities whenever possible.
Donate. There are many organizations that are fighting for equality. Support them.
Teach your employees. Uplifting and supporting all the rainbows that exist in the workplace engages workers to bring their best. You can bring your best by doing your part to educate throughout all lines and departments of your organization to have mutual respect and seek the experiences diversity can bring to the table.
Teach your children. Teach them by your words, but more importantly by your actions, that equality for all is a human right.
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Rev. Ronnie Roll is an interfaith minister, strategic business consultant, conflict resolution specialist and mediator. Her mission and passion lies in helping people build bridges and celebrate life's milestones as a way to further humankind and celebrate our spiritual selves. Because in the end, it's all about Love.