2: an instance of injustice or unfairness
Racial equity results when you cannot predict an outcome by race. It is quantifiable and measurable.
It has happened yet again…turn on the news or scan Facebook or the internet and another “incident” of call-the-police-on-an-innocent- black-person has occurred. There have been too many incidents to recall over the past several months. The 911 call on the two black males that were at Starbucks , the black family that was grilling out at the lake, oh yeah it was the young black girl selling water and a white woman called the police about her not having a permit .
And another incident happened in my home town of Winston Salem, North Carolina and made national news; a black mother and her son were in a neighborhood pool on the 4th of July and a white male asked for her address and questioned whether she had the right to be at the pool. In just scrolling the internet today, I see an article titled “Racist Club that called cops on black female golfers urged to by state to change.”
There is no shortage and unfortunately not enough shock at the re-occurrence of what appears to be racial IN-equity. I have many questions that I can’t currently get answers to, for example; “Why have so many of these same occurrences happening and not IF but WHEN will we see another?” or “Why did the police have to be called for all these incidents, in all cases there was no apparent crime taking place?” or “Who gave THEM the superiority complex to take matters into their own hands? Or the most important question of them all “Is this really home of free and the land of the brave?”
How do we create racial equity for everyone, not just some? Efforts must be made to have sincere and honest dialogue first with ourselves and then with our family, friends, co-workers, community members and beyond. These efforts must be deliberate, continuous and measurable. These conversations must force us to look in the mirror and ask ourselves questions like: Do I fear people of another race or ethnicity? If so, why? What bias’ or stereotypes have I personally witnessed or seen portrayed on TV that makes me fearful? Study the answers to those questions; if you didn’t get an answer, then perhaps you can go on an answer-seeking mission.
I have the opportunity in my current job to attend several racial diversity workshops and talks. One in particular had a profound effect on me. I attended a community luncheon that a local foundation sponsored. There were over 500 attendees from all walks of the community. The keynote speaker was Dr. Gregory Ellison from Atlanta. He founded Fearless Dialogues, an organization whose mission is to foster strong communities for the common good by creating spaces for unlikely relationships to change the way people see themselves and the world around them. His presentation was powerful, riveting and thought provoking. He left the group with several tools for change, including ways to start fear+less dialogues within our community, how to honor the expertise of non-experts and why it’s important to invite the insights that emerge from the unfamiliar and previously muted voices that resident among us.
I left the space with Dr. Ellison feeling empowered with those tools that could start to chip away at the blocks that create barriers to racial equity. I also noted that we have so many things in common that can unite us vs. divide us if we talk about them and I believe that what we don’t understand we fear and perhaps there may be a need to face that fear; head on, direct and with purpose. WE MUST create opportunities to bridge the gaps that are ever-widening and stop those calls referenced in the beginning of this article.
If Facebook and other social media can bring people together for the likes of crazy challenges or to how many ‘likes’ someone can get, then we should be able to use these same outlets to create equitable change for ourselves, our families our communities and the world.