Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. – Martin Luther King Jr.
Tomayia’s 90 Second Nuggets:
Don’t be like Roseanne..
The news of ABC firing comedian Roseanne for her racist tweets was just announced on the same day, coincidentally as the Starbucks implicit bias training this afternoon.
I sat for a moment and had a bit of reflection on how our industry would benefit from the same training.
Rather, we all like it or not, we all have implicit biases.
It’s something we don’t really talk about, but it’s there.
My grandmother is from Jasper, Texas where James Byrd, Jr. was drug to his death for three miles in 1998. According to Grandma, that wasn’t the very first time that a black man had been drug – this was just the first time we heard about it on TV.
My grandparents had a strong distrust for white people due to the lynchings, the KKK, and racism they’ve experienced in their lifetime.
I was raised by my grandparents.
What did I hear growing up in our home?
I heard about their distrust and to be cautious when dealing with white people.
Did it impact me?
The difference that I’ve made in my life and the lives of my children is to not judge a book by it’s cover and to take actions to make sure we’re loving everyone regardless of the color of their skin.
You may have heard similar stories growing up and have implicit biases as well.
Have you ever assumed someone Hispanic was undocumented? A black man wearing baggy pants was a thief as you grabbed your purse a little tighter? All Asians work in a nail salon, own Chinese restaurants, or are good at math? Black people are good at basketball? Italians are great cooks or belong in the mafia? Or that black women are loud, ghetto, and threatening?
We’ve all heard the stereotypes and biases.
The question is, “What are we going to do make sure our children and their children make this earth a better place?”
Surely, we’re not going to go to Twitter and make racist tweets.
But that also means we can’t let our friends say and do racists things while we’re around either.
That could be in person, in Facebook groups, or a workshop, etc.
You may have to have a difficult conversation and call someone out on their shit.
Will it be pretty?
But it will be worth it.
We all have a social responsibility to make sure that we’re doing our part.
If you have a conference, make sure the lineup is diverse and that there is equal representation of your speaker line up, planning committee, and executive team.
If you have a Facebook group, create implicit guidelines to make it safe space for everyone, have a diverse moderation team, and be proactive when hot topics come up. Don’t just delete the post and turn off comments to appease the masses, take the time to educate or pay someone to help you. Don’t ask marginalized groups to do the “emotional labor” or educating for free. That’s rude as f.
Is your portfolio inclusive? If not, work to change it. Join community groups, pay models, or reach out and ask friends to help you. The best way to have an inclusive portfolio is to have an inclusive life. Not just for the benefit of your online portfolio, but to truly understand what’s happening in the world around us.
And last but not least, support efforts to bring inclusivity to the industry.
Here are some recommended readings, articles, and Podcasts:
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (Brene is bae btw)
We have some work to do. Let’s get to it.
Tonight, Tuesday, May 29 at 7:00pm CST – We’re going to have a community discussion tonight in the group about our biases and how we can we work together to brainstorm ways to make the industry and our personal lives better. I’ll post in the group at 6:00pm and get the chat going.
Tuesday, June 5 at 7:00pm CST: Planting seeds of opportunity, reaping the harvest of good relationships with Omari Souza!
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Wow! Way to go, brother!
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Katie Dunn Blakeley launched a creative and branding business just for photographers!
Linsey Weatherspoon’s YouTube channel is growing! Check out this video on women in photography.
Ever wish you had an amazing + supportive community to ask for help and get honest feedback? Our facebook community will give you insight on important industry issues, quick + easy techniques, and constructive critiques.