For the better part of my adult life, I’ve asserted to everyone I encounter that there’s always a gray area. What I am referring to is a belief that there are always multiple “right” answers in nearly every situation. I’ve written about it, I’ve led with it and I’ve tried to live it. However, as I reflect on recent events and the current dialog regarding race, equity and bias, I am no longer certain about that.
Every one of us has a voice. We influence friends and family, co-workers and neighbors. We influence people online and on social media by our posts, comments, likes, who we follow and reposts. So regardless of your age, where you live, what you do or any of a host of things that make you unique, we all have a huge opportunity to promote behaviors and mindsets that support equity. I wonder now, if this is an area where there actually IS only one right answer.
We are either FOR equity or not. Believing that we are FOR equity but not standing up when someone says something that disparages another person or culture is not being FOR equity.
Believing that we are FOR equity but utilizing curriculum that is written by and aimed at white, middle class students is not being FOR equity.
Saying that we are NOT racist but leaning away from actions that demonstrate we ARE anti-racist is not being FOR equity.
Of course, the part of this that IS gray is that we are human. And until we reach perfection, every one of us is someplace on a continuum.
Over the past few weeks, a number of us have participated in courageous conversations on these issues. I understand that this IS an uncomfortable thing to talk about. However, wherever you are…or want to be….on the continuum I mentioned above, let’s not let the opportunity to clarify what equity means pass us by.