Thank you to Penn State’s head football Coach James Franklin for writing a powerful piece about the death of George Floyd. While I cannot claim to ever fully understand what it must have taken to write that statement I deeply appreciate that Coach Franklin found and shared these words. So too I appreciated the clear and direct stand taken by Penn State’s President Eric Barron.
As a white woman who watched a woman from my own sex and race target an African American man in a park, as I watched a police officer kneeling on a man’s neck, as I watched two men hunt down a black man while another filmed the event, as I read about the disproportionate number of people of color dying from COVID-18 I felt horror, grief, anger, despair, and emotions which I cannot even name. And these are just the events that have transpired within a few months, there are thousands more not mentioned here. Sensing what it must feel like to live each day with the crushing weight of hundreds of years of oppression, discrimination, and fear-mongering made the title of Robert M. Sellers piece “I am so tired” far more understandable.
While I recently served on a diversity, equity, and inclusion task group today I have a greater understanding of the magnitude and depth of the challenges faced by not only by people of color but for anyone who can be thought of or who identifies as different from the supposed norm. I realize that the hurdles are higher, the impediments more numerous, and the challenges of having a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization and world are bigger than I imagined.
While I do not know the right path forward I say this to my LinkedIn friends and colleagues — please know that I am committed to educate myself further, to be an advocate, and as Seth Godin says in his recent post Applying effort, to choose each day to help change happen.
“Every day, we use our resources to make change happen. Which means that every day we get to choose.”