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ARE WE THERE YET?

Do you remember the movie, “Are We There Yet”? To be honest, I have never seen the film but the title popped into my head the other day.

Today marks a 100+ days since George Floyd’s murder, and colleges, universities, and so many other industries have launched anti-racist plans, taking swift action on calling out anti-racist actions, engaging in trainings, and creating/adding DIE positions. But after three months of these actions, are we there yet? Are we any closer?

I get it – we are all trying to figure out what to do. The truth is March 25, 2020, was not the beginning of a movement and massive protesting and riots. That day was a harsh and tragic reminder that we are certainly not there yet.

So despite all that you have done in these 100+ days, you have to keep working, keep learning, keep building your capacity and the capacity of your staff, keep this issue top of mind, keep this top of conversation, and your leadership priorities.

There is no end. This needs to be a demonstrated priority every single day and it’s our responsibility to keep it such.

Throughout my career as an educator, manager, supervisor, leader I have often felt that people start to turn off when I bring up the topic of racism or inwardly roll their eyes, or say under their breath, “Oh, here she goes again…” or acted in such a way that I get a message that they may be thinking, “Aren’t we there yet” or “Haven’t we covered this already

The answer is, “Yes, we have covered this already and no, we aren’t there yet.” We aren’t there when we don’t create pathways for colleagues when we blatantly ignore ideas of people of color or take credit for those ideas, programs, or work when we string people of color along when we didn’t really plan to elevate that person when we lowball people of color in salary negotiations when we advance the same race over and over, when we put a person of color in charge of all diversity issues, or when a person of color is a member of the leadership team but their voice at the table does not have the same weight as others based on race and gender.

This summer I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the evidence which has and continues to fuel the story I have written in my head and in my reflection, the evidence is based on personal experience, experiences of friends, colleagues, and mentors.

We are roughly 100 or so days from the end of the Fall semester – what will you do be and contribute to the change we need on and off-campus? How will you create change in meetings, in one on one interactions, in educating yourself and providing ongoing learning for your students, staff, and teams?

As we roll into this new semester, take this with you, we are not there yet, the racial unrest is screaming and cries for change.



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