Bonsu,

I have an answer. I may well have a different background than most so my interest in and motivation concerning this issue is likely also a little more embedded in my DNA.

This for me has been a lifelong marriage, not a summer fling. While I don't march, I don't need to. Because the kind of work I've done and continue to, which can always and forever be improved upon, is more behind the lines. Promoting minority companies to major corporations, for example, through supplier diversity.Training those companies how to pitch themselves to Fortune 100-500 firms to get into the supply chain. Because economic power means growth means jobs means influence means change means opportunity. Takes time, but it happens.

I have left that field and am now focusing on the outdoor space. To that I've aligned with companies whose D&I commitment is backed by real metrics, real dollars, real strategic plans, real actions. This year, within the last few months, I've introduced a superb Black talent to my client in one of those companies. She has much more to offer than I do, and she is the one who should be doing the contracts. We are going in arm in arm but she will do the lion's share of the work. Because she's got skills I don't. But I have the contacts and skills she doesn't. Bottom line is that allyship in practice means, in part, pushing Black Excellence and talent where it can do good, get visibility, and change lives. And that means in front of us, over ourselves, when that excellence is clearly deserving. It's hard enough to get White managers to do this with deserving White folks, much less POC.

I am just an aging White chick. But I have a voice, skills and influence. Where I can open doors can change thousands of lives. However, Bonsu, I cannot hijack the spotlight or the movement for my own gains. That perpetuates the problem.

I was born into diversity, and it has informed my entire life, my career. I would be dishonest to claim that I have nothing more to learn. Hardly. But the effort to remain porous, to constantly ask and challenge what more can I do is part of evolving. Not just on BLM issues, but in life, of which race is an essential piece of the question.

Thanks for your piece.

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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