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This week I got called out by someone in our black community to speak up as a leader on #blacklivesmatter. I was a little taken back because I wanted to remain in a posture of listening and learning. I am bravely stepping out to do what I can to lean into hard conversations presently.

Speaking Up

In a previous post I wrote, “Silence is compliance.”  Connie Jakab  is a champion of vulnerability in relationships. She posted this response to her Facebook page when she was called out to speak up and allowed me to share her words here as a guest post.  There is good wisdom here in how to respond to issues publicly.

A couple of years ago I produced a theatre show called Rewritten that did a deep dive into racism with a cast of many cultures. I wanted to lead my team to the solution of peace but got schooled.

People’s number one desire is to be heard. Belonging has to be felt. Trauma isn’t healed overnight. I was called out to speak up.

Here’s what I’m doing right now:

– I am becoming more aware of how quickly I turn to control, punishment, power, and fear in my closest relationships starting with my family. If I turn to those things naturally, so easily in my closest relationships, it will spill outwards soon enough. Change starts with me getting brave to look inside to change.

– Listening to my black friends and continuing to extend my hand of friendship. “People are hard to hate close up” is one of my fav Brene Brown quotes. Friendship is powerful.

– Standing up for others when I see or hear racist comments.

My concerns:

– We are liking our echo chambers and putting out dividing lines. We are unfriending those who don’t think like us instead of leaning in to learn. Online is NOT a great place to make decisions about people.

– White people are shaming white people speaking up and boldly braving vulnerable conversations (and sometimes failing). Come ONNN friends – we can do better.

– We have to have braver conversations for the sake of the little ones listening to us. We are shaping the next generation. Let’s give them something better.

This is my stance:

I follow the one who said, “This is my body broken for you.”

So I do this.

I lay myself down for you and break my need to be right for you.

I break my pride for you and fight for you.

My arms of belonging are open for you to be a safe place.

Purchase Connie’s latest book, Bring Them Closer here.

More posts about Connie

“I Believe In Hope”

“Rewriting the Stories of the Broken”

APPLICATION: How have you responded to racial injustice? Join the conversation below.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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