Reflecting on Today’s Global Conversation

Worthy by digital illustrator Danielle Coke

Black Lives Matter because black lives matter.

This past week has been unlike any other that I have ever experienced in my life. A global conversation, a unified call to action, a time to step back from our seemingly meaningless worries and better understand an issue that has been plaguing our nation for centuries. 

I know this has been a long time coming, but it feels like many of us – myself included – are just now barely awake.

As a first generation Asian American, I always thought of myself as an ally to fellow minorities. I thought it was a title that I could easily award myself for simply by being kind to others and being in support of diversity in life and at work. Like many, I’m not racist. That much I know. But last week’s dialogue helped me realize that I’m not anti-racist – in other words, I don’t proactively condemn racism, speak up for those who don’t have a voice or seek out ways to support the dismantling of systemic racism.

I have so much to learn about the injustices that Black people face. And I understand that what a privilege it is to “get to learn about it” versus having to experiencing it every day.

Since then, I’ve read personal essays, watched documentaries and donated to several different causes in support of the Black community. There are so many resources out there and I am far from an expert on any of this, but if you’re looking for a place to start, here are some of stories and perspectives that I found insightful:

  • Reflections from a Token Black Friend, a personal essay by Ramesh Nagarajah (Medium)
  • 13th, a documentary that explores the history of racial inequality (Netflix)
  • When They See Us, a limited series about the Exonerated Five (Netflix)
  • @ohappydani, artist who creates beautiful artists on allyship (Instagram)
  • @rachel.cargle, a public academic who teaches about the power of critical language (Instagram)

We have a long way to go, but this past week is one step in the right direction.

Ramesh Nagarajaj (third from the left) wrote a powerful essay called Reflections from a Token Black Friend

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