Coffee Lunch Coffee is all about relationships. It’s all about finding meaning in establishing and fostering connections with others. You are a diverse, beautiful, amazing, powerful community. You have certainly found common purpose and commitment forming and nurturing bonds with people of all backgrounds, experiences and points of view. With that in mind, dear CLC Community, we’re not plagued only with the global pandemic, COVID-19, we are also challenged by another rampant illness – one that has been with us for centuries and for which we have not taken enough action to eradicate: Systemic racism. And, it’s been made worse by persistent lack of action on the part of those with the power of privilege to prevent it.
It is clear to me that many of you experience racism every single day. You live with it, you manage it, you have come to expect it. For those of us who are not victims of racism, if we are not addressing it, we are part of the problem. We must all feel outraged. We must all speak out. It cannot be only black and brown faces seeking to eliminate this scourge. It must be every one of us saying, “Enough!”
These are tough topics. These are tough times. They have been exacerbated by the isolation we are all feeling as a result of social distancing due to COVID-19. However, George Floyd and Christian Cooper, and every other victim of racism are not victims of coronavirus – they are symptomatic of a long-time problem in our society.
Please – love each other, stand shoulder to shoulder, be there for one another, have the difficult conversations, listen a lot. These are not only cures for racism; rather, they are the important bases of relationship building. Let’s jointly work to channel our collective outrage into thoughtful, meaningful action. It is time.
Wondering what you can do? Consider these actions:
- Send a text to your teammates with a mental health check-in. Allow them to share how they are feeling. Just letting them know that you are there for them will go a long way to quell anxieties.
- Host a video discussion among a small group of colleagues. Encourage everyone to share one fear and one source of inspiration. Listen a lot.
- Contact store owners with whom you do business. Ask how they are being impacted by the unrest. Find out how you can help, especially if they have retail locations that have been damaged or suffered a loss.
- Commit to taking the outpouring of anger and turn it into a plan that delivers positive outcomes for your business, your team, your clients and your community by engaging key stakeholders in open, honest dialogue.
- Reach out to the people in your life who are and have been most impacted by racism and violence. Assure them, “I see you. I hear you. I stand with you.”
To the CLC community members of color:
I see you. I hear you. I stand with you.