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This Is Your Moment

Today I opened Facebook and saw a post I didn't want to see. While walking around the path of our local lake, someone noticed some stickers with QR codes posting on park signs. Upon looking more closely, she discovered these stickers contained hate speech.

Last week someone spray painted racial slurs on a local neighborhood mailbox. And then there are the swastikas regularly graffitied in downtown. There are the daily racial slurs and bigotry in our schools. There is the racism - sometimes subtle and sometimes fiercely blatant - hurled at our local BIPOC business owners.

This is not unique to my community. I mean, how many black and brown bodies have been killed in just the last month across this country? How many School Boards are tolerating hate speech in public comments and voting against any effort to develop interculturally competent and anti-racist staff in their schools? How many neighborhoods and business owners are scrubbing racist graffiti off their walls this morning? Now add a years-long pandemic, the fairly recent #MeToo movement, a rise in anti-LGBTQIA+ rhetoric, violence, and legislation. I could go on but - yikes.

As Dr. Tracey Shors says in her book, Everyday Trauma, this is the story of the everyday trauma of the "countless millions struggling to recover from events that occurred while they were going about the simple business of everyday life."

Which means everyone, everywhere is carrying this everyday into their workplaces. In fact, for some of you, your workplace IS the school district, government, or the storefront that is now decorated with this graffiti.

No matter where you work, these traumas don't stop when you clock in. For many of us, going to work is part of "everyday life." Which means the workplace can reinforce or add to these everyday traumas or it can become a place that offers recovery, respite, and renewal for people.

Leaders, this is your moment.

Building inclusive workplace cultures helps build inclusive community cultures.


Imagine with me, if you will, that latter experience. The one where the workplace offers recovery, respite, and renewal.

Imagine a place where people show up and never have to think about covering who they are ("Do I sound Black?" "Do I look gay?")

Imagine a workplace where people's strengths are used as opposed to their weakness

es weaponized (e.g., neurodiversity hiring programs.)

Imagine a place where people don't fear speaking up and speaking out - where this is seen as an opportunity for growth and accountability.

Now imagine all of these people going home every day. Yet, instead of more everyday trauma they come home full of energy and healing. They are able to pour that back in to their communities.

Now, stop imagining. Start doing. Leaders, what will you do today to create an inclusive workplace culture that honors the worth and value of every person?


-M

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