Personal reflection from today's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training with VISIONS, Inc:
Slow down. Even if I am not able to "do" all the work I had scheduled, slowing down will have the greatest impact in the long run. Within VISIONS we have Guidelines for Commincating Across Difference, one of them being: notice process and content. Content being the "what" and process being the "how."
As a consultant, my time with clients is limited. During our time together, I want to share as much content with the groups as possible. I have internalized a way of facilitating that prioritizes information over process.
These are tense times. We are all dealing with so many external stressors that are out of our control. Employment related stress, anxiety over the health of our loved ones, and mourning the death of those lost. I can understand that going to a zoom session about DEI training can find itself low on the hierarchy of needs. I acknowledge that this does depend on one's own personal level intersections of privilege and oppression.
Compounding this all is the fact that race-related tension are at all time high, resulting in increased hate crimes against Asians and Asian Americans, the continued ransacking of BIPOC and poor communities by COVID-19, the history and present of police brutality and advances in technology like phone cameras, and globalized instant access to information. And I, a stranger, am suppose to open up that can of worms with the individuals and organizations that I work with - whew.
I can understand the impulse to move to action - however, it is not always the most equitable process.
In the fight for racial justice I commit to slowing things down, taking a deep breath, and making room to listen and learn.
In the fight for racial justice I commit to valuing human connection alongside of information and action, rather than beneath it.
No matter where we are in the process of creating change in the spaces that we inhabit: slow down.