I hope you are here for it.
“You talk a lot about race. Why don’t you talk more about regular conflicts?”
“You need to give this a rest.”
These are comments I’ve gotten recently in response to my blog articles on the topic of racism and conflict.
Well folks, this is who I am. Some of you are new to me and others have been on this ride for a while now and I just thought I would take the time to revisit and recommit to who I am and say I hope you’re here for it. Meaning, I hope you’re down with this, I hope you are up for this, I hope you stay on the journey.
I have always believed and professed that one of the most difficult conflicts that we have to deal with is racism and the teaching and the discussion of it. It requires a skill set that most of us don’t have, and yet we keep having diversity trainings without giving people basic conflict engaging and resolution skills. Sigh… The ability to engage productively in those hard conversations folks comes from developing a foundation in these basic skills.
I teach that here, in my workshops, keynotes, interactions, parenting, relationships, postings and articles. I live it and I don’t always get it right, so I know you are making mistakes too. That is why I share the tools and techniques that are valuable for everyday conflicts.
If we can interact confidently and productively with our colleagues, team, children, parents, other family members, bosses, significant others, friends and the haters in our day-to-day situations, then we are preparing ourselves to engage in the larger more challenging, potentially heated conversations. So yes, I speak to conflict on that level regularly.
But there is an obligation that I have to speak and teach about racism in all its ugliness and truth that I will never back down from. I owe it to too many people to share what I know and the best ways I know to hold this country accountable for it and to equip all of us for the necessary conversations regarding it that I believe we must have.
There will never be significant progress on this issue unless we all are having regular, ongoing conversations with the goals of understanding, acknowledging, reconciling, dismantling and building something new that works for all of us. That’s huge folks, so I am using my voice to lay that foundation skill by skill, brick by brick.
And as I told the White male (yes, that detail is important) on LinkedIn who told me, “You need to give it a rest”, THERE WILL BE NO REST! The ancestors are not resting, therefore, neither will I be.
You up for it? If so, Let’s Keep Moving Forward Together!