Cross-Racial Partnering: Let’s Grow Our Togetherness
A note from Rev. Dr. Aliah MaJon, Chief Inclusion Officer for The Shift Network
This is an exciting moment! Perhaps for the first time in history people are genuinely coming together across race, nationality, culture, background, and various schools of thought to work together on dismantling racism. There is a tremendous amount of goodwill in our collective lives as people think about and act upon what they can personally do to heal the harmful divisions that have far too often kept us apart — and experiencing different realities.
I am truly grateful for this climate, even though it is still unfortunately unfolding in the midst of some people going in the opposite direction. I am a realist, so I am very much aware of the fact that the news reports have not stopped reporting acts of hate, inequalities, and the threat of irreconcilable differences politically. Yet, such stories only make me more motivated to do everything that I can to bring about healing and to help facilitate positive change. I am not alone in this.
By virtue of reading this, it’s likely that you are either already a partner or you are wondering if you can become a part of this very important movement. What is being called for is “Cross-Racial Partnering,” and it behooves all of us to pay careful attention to how we will grow our togetherness so that we are the most effective. Depending on who we are we will have a certain kind of work to do.
To share more about what I mean, I personally have to learn about as many tools as I can that are designed to build bridges and support genuine human interaction. To use a simple description to get my point across, I have become a connoisseur of anything “restorative” and of the body of knowledge called “Truth & Reconciliation.” Then there is my personal work, which requires that I actively work on releasing the trauma that I have experienced, overcoming any anger that I have, and constantly making an effort to reverse the messages I have received about my inadequacies as a Black woman. There is more that I could say, but what really excites me are the “tools” that I wish to share!
Many of the materials that people and/or organizations have created to provide us with the “equipment” we will need to bring about Racial Healing are some of the most circulated and re-posted things in our lives right now. As I shared in the previous issue, my intention from this point forward is to provide you with “how-to” and action-oriented materials and offerings in this section.
The first two items below align with my intention to provide you with helpful takeaways. Each one of these highlighted tools are accompanied by a brief explanation as to why I chose them. I am also including three other key resources that contain more tools or valuable information to help us all to strengthen our preparedness for the arduous journey we're on to heal the racial divide. It behooves us to identify every tool at our disposal to learn to be together well.
Highlighted Tool #1:
The first tool I’m highlighting is from a surgeon, Andrew M. Ibrahim, MD, MSc, who has produced one of the best images I have seen recently about what people can become aware of at this time. He wrote the following words on Twitter when he released it last June: "Learning a lot and striving to be better. Created this visual mental model as a way to help keep myself accountable (Adapted from one I had seen for #COVID a couple months ago.)" This is a useful tool to share with others to engage in meaningful discussions. And, let me mention here that I love that this graph came from a doctor who modeled it after information about COVID-19 since, in my opinion, racial divides that plague us are also a pandemic.
Highlighted Tool #2:
The second resource I’m offering is a powerful catalyst for healing from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot, the film production company behind Star Trek, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Alias, Lost, and a number of the Mission Impossible films. They created and released a 20-page employee guide titled “Bad Robot’s Guide to Dismantling White Supremacy at Work” — an exemplary piece of changemaking, action-inspiring wisdom. With this guide, Bad Robot said, they’re “committed to dismantling white supremacy at work and at large. We are following leading academics, activists, and artists and have compiled an evolving set of resources that we are sharing with friends and colleagues. Onward!”
WKKF CLN: Racial Healing and Solidarity
2-minute video from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
For Teens: Darius Simpson & Scout Bostley: Lost Voices
This is an example of “partners” learning to speak on behalf of each other via poetry and the spoken word. Each knows the other’s needs and how to support them.