Statements, Instagram stories, and Facebook posts of solidarity are important.
I’d argue this is true now more than ever. Because of the pandemic and social distancing, social media has become our communal gathering place to unite, grieve, and strategize. But here’s the real question: In a week, in a month, in a year – where will your current energy for equity and change stand?
One of my favorite writers, James Baldwin, once said, “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” This isn’t the first time we, as Black people, have seen this. Racism and police brutality haven’t just come out of the blue. It’s past time for a seismic shift in our “normal”. This country has seen 400+ years of Black bodies being brutalized, and Black people have had enough of racism.
Black people have had enough of housing discrimination.
Black people have had enough of police brutality.
Black people have had enough of voter suppression.
We’ve had enough of not having a seat at the table.
And right now, at this moment, Black people are attempting to survive in the middle of a pandemic within a pandemic, and it’s my duty to speak to the world about how resilient and beautiful Black people are.
No longer can we be talked out of healing, so please don’t let this energy go away with a social media post, a black tile or an organizational statement. Do what is necessary to make room at the table, learn, listen, understand more of our hurt and our pain. Anti-racism rhetoric must be put into practice by the way you treat your colleagues, the way you hire, the way the boardroom works, and when you’re headed to the ballot box to vote. Remember this moment and advocate always for your Black and Brown brothers and sisters everywhere. But especially right here in our home city. It’s our court and it’s time to change the game.
To the young Black doers and changemakers reading this: you matter. I love you. My team loves you, and together we have the power to change our city.
Now more than ever, our organization and our work, what the four of us devote our lives to, is vital. I get asked this question a lot, “What does IndyHub do?” And before I was even on staff my answer came quickly. We believe in humans, and we are committed to advancing support for positive and progressive change in Indianapolis. We are in the business of elevating all young people to further design our city’s future. So right now as my team stands beside me, we implore you to join us as we overturn racist and unjust systems. We will continue to bring together creatives, organizers, law and policymakers, philanthropists, community builders, and entrepreneurs, all to further progress our city as one of the most welcoming cities in America. Indy, we need to do this work.
It’s up to our generation to sustain this movement, so do your part. This work is not done, and it won’t be done this week, next month or a year from now. At IndyHub, we know this and we are committed to continuing this work for 20- and 30-somethings long into the future.
We won’t push pause. So remember the question and hold on to it, ask yourself every single day:
In a week, in a month, in a year from now, where am I placing my energy for equity and change?
Hannah is the voice behind IndyHub, managing our communications to a network of more than 50,000 Indy 20- and 30-somethings. Indy native Hannah has her finger on the pulse of what’s happening across the city from politics to culture. The quote “Your dreams have meaning when tied to the betterment of your community,” is a driving force for Hannah’s service in Indy. You can follow her on Twitter at @HannahInIndy.