This past week we shared our initial thoughts about examining our own biases inside the Smart Girl Community, but as the days have passed, we’ve watched and listened as many of you have shared your own thoughts, struggled to give voice to your confusion, and sought out resources to grow and learn. Finding the right words to say, figuring out how to express our personal and collective sadness, anger, and grief appropriately, and knowing where to turn and what to do has been confusing and hard.
The most recent events have shone a spotlight on the disparity and discrimination that exists in our country. The ugliness and injustice has been brought to light and now cannot be unseen. The wounds are deep and have caused a gaping hole in our nation that will take time, energy, and real work to repair.
2 Smart Girls was founded with the deeply held belief that all women have the ability to design a life and business they truly love. Our mission has always been, and will always be, to provide the support that a woman needs to find her voice. Women, no matter the color of her skin, her size, sexual orientation, education, or socioeconomic status, we want the real you.
We know we don’t have all of the answers, and to be honest we aren’t exactly sure what to do to make things better, but we are committed to trying. As avid learners when faced with something we know little about, we research. We read. We watch movies, webinars, and documentaries. We listen and ask questions. And now, more than any other time that we can recall, we want to take the time to educate ourselves on what it means to truly be anti-racist. We support and walk alongside the Black community and those who are a part of our own Smart Girl Community.
This process will look different for each of us, and we encourage you to figure out the path that’s right for you. We recommend starting with Harvard’s Implicit Race and Skin-Type Tests. They were eye-opening for both of us and gave us a place to begin. As we often say, you cannot change what you don’t acknowledge.
In the coming days and weeks, we’ll create a series of posts in our Smart Girl Community where you can share resources you find helpful, and we’ll do the same. If you have yet to join us, please do.
A few last thoughts that feel true to us:
- Listen to hear and understand. Black voices are telling us exactly what they need and how we can help. And they’re also very tired. Let’s make sure we do our part to learn what we need to learn.
- The news, no matter the source, more often than not focuses on the sensational, the damage, and the darkness. There is always light you just have to look for it.
- Think about the amount of pain, suffering, and grief it must have taken to inspire this great outcry of national-level protesting.
- Protesters protest as part of their Constitutional rights. Looters loot. They are two separate people with different behaviors and intentions. Be careful not to treat them as one.
- The biggest, most meaningful historical changes have come from our right to protest.
- Every one of us can make a powerful difference in the life of someone else, and when all those differences add up, we break down barriers and change the world.
- It’s okay not to have all the answers, not know what to say, and to ask for help.
Maya Angelou once said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” In order to create change we must reexamine our own views and actions and be willing to sit squarely in the discomfort. Sitting on the sidelines is no longer an option, and while we know it won’t be perfect or pretty, we’re here, we’re ready, and we’re committed. We’re grateful to be on this journey with you.
We see you. We value you. We respect you.
Until next time, be present, be strong, be you.
Jess and Christy