Updated: Sep 10, 2020
It's no denying that America is looking itself in the mirror, and not happy with the reflection it sees. Injustice, lack of accessibility, police brutality, lending discrimination are just facets of the systemic racism that Black America faces. The cries for equality have deafened communities for People of Color (POC), while the same cries and concerns have been muffled in most communities for over 400 years...
For many Americans, they just can't relate to the Black experience; but for others the experience is REAL and the ONLY experience they know. With the rate of unarmed Black Americans killed by civil servants (Police, Sheriff, Border Control, etc.) - America is in an uproar. This is the first time in history that all Americans (and the world) are in complete protest for the violation of human rights for Americans. Protests have been erupting all over the world to show support and solidarity to the African Americans, countries are opening their borders to Black Americans granting asylum for guaranteed safety, a handful of countries have even issued travel warnings for the global Black community when entering the United States... the transparency of America's ugly past and present race relations are now in the forefront. It's obvious that race relation discussions just can't be swept under the rug anymore - even with an active pandemic like COVID-19, millions are rallying worldwide as allies to standup for equality for all Americans.
So, where do YOU stand? Do you feel impacted OR do you feel uninterrupted? Do you perceive this as a Black vs. White issue or Wrong vs. Right issue?
Are you on the cusp of curiosity, trying to understand why these discussions are important?
Irum Rashid-Jones; Global Program Director of the Professional Women Network (#HPW and #DPW) caught up with Shampaigne Graves, Founder of Bold Boss Babes on her upcoming roundtable "Hearing Her Story" that spotlights experiences for women of color that explains why every women should be participate in this roundtable.
Irum: Why should all professional women stop, prioritize and understand the impact of systemic racism?
Shampaigne: These discussions are vital. They are so important because as women in business we must always take a holistic approach to serving our clients and customers. This means that we understand their race, physical abilities, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation affect their daily lives.
Irum: What are 5 things you want women that can't identify with the Black Community or People of Color (POC) experience to know about systemic racism?
1. Racism is systemic, which means that there are powerful entities and bodies of power in place that actively affect the quality of life of Black/POC.
2. Visibility Matters, When WOC/Black Women see content being produced by influential white women in their industries that never reflect themselves it makes us feel isolated and unwelcomed on your platforms.
3. We never have had the privilege of being judged by the content of our character. Being anything other than white means that anyone you meet already has preconceived notions about you.
4. We don't feel safe. Our skin color is weaponized which means that ordinary places can become hostile quickly depending on who we interact with.
5. We're just like you. Reach out with an open heart to a Black/WOC and you will soon find a new friend.
Irum: What are some ways we can help build bridges into communities?
Shampaigne: - Communicate with your circles
- Educate yourself
- Listen first, Respond Carefully
Irum: What are some ways we (other people of color or White Americans) can show support to Black America(ns)?
- Donate to organizations supporting the #BlackLivesMatterMovement
- Participate in panel discussions on race and inclusion
- Lovingly confront prejudice from friends, family, and acquaintances
Irum: What does it mean to be an ally?
Leveraging your privilege to improve the quality of life of someone else.
To join the upcoming roundtable scheduled for June 7th 2PM CST, visit Bold Babes Co online.
DPW and other local chapters will be in full attendance at this round table and we highly recommend our members, sponsors, supporters and vendors attend as well to be part of a meaningful discussion that will bring change and raise awareness.