For the past few weeks, I have been sad, and a bit paralyzed — wanting to speak up, but asking myself, “who am I?”
Then I got this email from an amazing speaker at our Art of 90 Days event that aired in May, Jackie Kotei. I figure that it is much better that you hear from her than me.
This is what Jackie wrote:
“The death of George Floyd and the blatant disregard for black lives has to stop.
I’ve spent these past few days filled with grief, sadness, anger, outrage, frustration.
I hang out in many masterminds and communities where I am one of just a handful of black women.
And I’ve been speaking out, demanding that my mentors and colleagues join me in the fight.
Black lives matter!
And I invite you more than anything to take action.
Today, I’ll be attending a peaceful protest to make sure people know it’s not okay to kill people because of the color of their skin.
Now is the time to act.
Now is the time to not stay silent.
Whether you donate, protest, write letters, read books…please act!
It’s not enough anymore to say you stand for love and peace if you’re not willing to use your voice now, when it matters most.
If you don’t know what to say, that’s ok. Just be real and be ok with it being messy. Also be ok with feedback and people helping you gain greater awareness around what you’re saying and how you’re coming across.”
So with imperfect action and I am sure some “wrong” words, I’ve invited back my friend Shalena Broaster on this episode of the Plan Simple Meals Podcast — an amazing coach to entrepreneurs, a mom, and a Black woman. All three of these parts of her identity come up in our discussion today.
The conversation we have is uncomfortable for me, but necessary. I am finding I need to own my discomfort. Discomfort is needed, and it has been my own white privilege that has let me escape what I am feeling right now in the past. My black friends have wanted me here for a long time. For my white friends, it is OK to feel horrible. I believe it is part of the path to the solution. I’m learning, stepping into hard conversations, and taking action. I may not get it right—in fact, I know I’ll get it wrong sometimes, but it’s critical for me to show up and do this work.
If you’ve spent any time here, you know that I focus on 90 days at a time. My goal for the 90-day season that I just kicked off is to give racism the time it really needs so that I can educate and un-educate myself, feel all the feelings, and move into massive action.
This conversation is one small piece of that.
Shalena and I talk about:
- Bias and discrimination in education, both Shalena’s personal experience with her son and broad systemic issues
- Cutting down on the media we consume and how that is a necessary strategy to get work done, how it is also a privilege, and how we need to not check out sometimes to be part of the conversation
- Her response to watching George Floyd murdered, how her son by age 6 is seen as a threat because he is black, how she came back to the image of her own son watching George Floyd call out for his mama, that this was a modern-day lynching, the difference in police response to known White men who killed people and to a Black man who hadn’t
- How words and names matter, how we all need to do work on this issue—Shalena talks about why she is a Black woman and not a woman of color and how she took an LGBTQ plus workshop and put what she learned into practice—how we need to act on what we learn
- Marie Forleo shutting down conversation about George Floyd, but not about COVID-19
- How responses to issues, like drug use, change when it becomes a White issue
- Different ways to take action, and how our businesses can put us in the position to be “the money”
Shalena D.I.V.A. is a certified start-up coach for consultants, experts, and coaches who want to start an online coaching business.
She is a political science graduate of Duke University and spent 10 years working as a financial institution underwriter for a Fortune 500 insurance company. Drawing upon these experiences, she uses her analytical, consulting, marketing, program building, and risk assessment skills to help her clients build an online coaching business.
Her step by step, no-nonsense instruction helps her clients to create strong personal brands, content marketing and digital products such as webinars, ebooks, online courses, and membership sites.
Do you want more accountability and faster results? She’s the queen of fast results because she helps her clients create and sell their products in a streamlined way.
Her coaching is NOT for the faint of heart. It’s for those who truly want to stop playing small, make an impact and get paid!!!
Are you her next client? Check out her packages and her amazing testimonials. Find out more at https://www.shalenadiva.com/.
Shalena says, Just listen and observe and do research … Hear your own biases come up. Right here are some starting Doable Changes.
For my white audience ready to do the work, here are some places to start:
- READ / WATCH. There are lots of books you can read to start to understand systemic racism and white supremacy, how White people benefit from it, perpetuate it, and what we can do about it. Here are some places I’m starting:
- LISTEN / LEARN. Here are some podcasts and workshops I’m listening to or attending:
- READ WITH AND TALK TO YOUR KIDS. Kids are never too little to talk about race, diversity, and privilege. I’m a big proponent of talking aloud about what we are doing, so if you are taking action whether it is speaking out about a racist comment, going to a demonstration, donating money, supporting a Black-owned business … or anything else, talk aloud about what you are doing so your kids know. Open discussions about race, equality, justice, and privilege with your kids. If they seeing or hearing the news, that is one entry point to the discussion. Books offer another great way to open discussion. This post gives suggestions for having conversations and books for different age groups.
For my black audience. If Shalena has a nurturing morning routine, maybe you can too. I see how hard you have been fighting. I wonder if just 10 minutes in the morning to deeply nurture your day would help you as your next doable change. Shalena shares going for a walk, reading a meaningful book, staying off media. What do you need to do that would help you get set up for your day?
Doable changes are a way to take action when things feel too big to get started. The magic is in continuing to take action consistently. I’m committed to doing this work, not just now, but ongoing. What step will you take?