Doing the Impossible Everyday
Freedom Project sits on three foundational legs. And each plays an important part in giving us balance on our mission to build restorative communities and healing connection. Those three pillars or legs are Nonviolent Communication, Mindfulness and Racial Equity. Many have seen the benefits of Nonviolent Communication and mindfulness work in the lives of those we have been serving for 18 years, but we continue to beat the drum of the importance of racial equity as we do this very important work. It is so important because the racism in this country is systemic. It’s been so many years ago that Africans were stolen, brought over on slave ships and enslaved, and had to deal with the atrocities that followed. The process and systems that were developed to break a slave and keep him in line have evolved into the systems that disproportionately affect people of color to this day.
If you are someone who “doesn’t see color” or who doesn’t see that the racism in this country is systemic, then it is going to be difficult for you to understand why the “compliment” you gave that person of color went so wrong…I mean all you said was “You are soooo articulate!”, right? Or you say “Your hair is beautiful!” to a black woman when she comes to work with her hair straightened, not realizing your indifference when her hair is natural. These subtleties seem small to someone who’s privilege prevents them from seeing the stress and pain that comes from being black in this country. It prevents them from seeing that something so small to one person can be a microaggression that forces someone else to relive the oppression that has caused so much pain in the past.
In the next posts, I want to share with you a few videos on the subject of microaggression and implicit bias because understanding these subjects is so important for us to show up in the way that allows for healing and growth to occur. Some would say that some things are impossible to change. The history of patriarchy and the culture of white supremacy are too ingrained in the fabric of this country to unravel. But I believe if people continue to do the internal work necessary to grow…necessary to change…that is the change we are looking for — because the systems are made of people, and if the people change, the system will too. Here’s to those who are doing the impossible everyday. Keep fighting the good fight. Keep showing up. Keep doing the hard but necessary internal work.