Photo: Yeathus Johnson, Founder & President of CP3
The following article is reprinted with permission from the blog of 3rd Culture People (3CP).
By Yeathus Johnson
If you have asked what more you can do to get better at living out the Great Commandment horizontally or the Golden Rule in light of the racial tensions, this article is for you.
Before you attempt to do something, begin with being something. “Be a humble child of God.” (Ephesians 4:2; James 4:6) Children are like sponges, eager, and ready to learn. The pathway to diversity awareness, inclusion, and equity, is a long road not intended for one to travel alone but in community. That is a diverse, multiethnic, and multicultural community.
Here are seven steps that can help you be a humble child, eager and ready to learn.
1. Read Black history books, listen to podcasts, and watch movies that educate you on America’s history and its African citizens, along with the inequalities and injustices stemmed from systemic racism.
2. Watch foreign movies and listen to podcasts about other cultures and learn about the ongoing issues with racism, sexism, classism, and injustices in the world.
3. Take the Giving Grace to Race Course or any of the workshops facilitated by 3CP that addresses Cultural Intelligence, Diversity Awareness, Unconscious Bias, Inclusion, and Equity.
We also want to share a few recommendations excerpted from a FaceBook post by Rev. Kelvin Walker, Metropolitan District of the C&MA (permission granted).
4. Sit in the lament with those that are lamenting – without offering suggestions on “Another way to see this…”
Lament is not a time to soothe or escape the discomfort of the pain. Neither is it a time to invalidate the realities that Black and Brown people face every day. Lament is designed to openly and honestly express the pain of the situation. You bring hope when you sit in pain with me without trying to discredit, ease, or escape my pain.
5. Listen to learn, not to refute.
They say that experience is the best teacher. While it may not be your experience, listening to the experiences of Black and Brown people in TODAY’S America. Knowing what we have been forced to learn and endure to survive will teach you more than a course on racism and injustice detached from story and experience will ever teach you. Story and experience are POWERFUL.
6. Break the habit of vilifying the victim and putting his/her past on display when acts of racism and injustice happen.
…And don’t allow others to do it. There is no justification for any act of racism or injustice. Whether it is caught on camera, or (as in most cases) is hidden from the camera, it is wrong. It is sinful. It is dehumanizing and strips people of their dignity – PERIOD.
7. Use your voice to speak out against it.
Do not give in to the fear of the backlash you might receive from your friends, community, and/or colleagues. When we sit silent, we sit complicit. This perpetuates the injustice and allows racist acts/attitudes/patterns to go unchallenged.
Yeathus Johnson is the founder and president of 3rd Culture People. 3CP “exists to help organizations build diverse, equitable, and inclusive communities through Cultural Intelligence where every member experiences acceptance and belonging, and gains competence for greater innovation, productivity, and profitability.”