Years ago, Marshall Rosenberg said, “Anger can be a wonderful wake up call to help you understand what you need and what you value.”
I have been sitting with this phrase during these devastating months of 2020, pondering what it is that each of us needs and values, and revisiting what exactly it is that I need and value. What comes up for me is connection. Compassion. Empathy. Clarity. To be seen and heard for our outrage. And for life to be equitable for us all.
But it isn’t.
Incidents of racism and discrimination – from tiny, easy-to-miss interactions that can traumatize in their repeated nature, to sudden and horrible killings – occur daily in our streets, our homes, where we work, in our places of worship, and our schools…
We have an undeniable problem, and we have work to do. We all have work to do.
Black lives matter.
We at the NVC Academy stand in solidarity with those who are protesting nonviolently across the world. We yearn to see an end to the violence and systemic racism that has had a chokehold on our country. The NVC Academy team chooses to educate ourselves on issues of racism and privilege and to offer educational opportunities to others.
As an individual, here are three things that I am doing to take action TODAY, and I hope you will join me:
- Donate to your local Black Lives Matter organization, the global Black Lives Matter Foundation, or any other organization that is taking action in alignment with your values
- Donate to local non-profit organizations that are run by or support people of color
- Make a point to seek out and do business with companies, corporations, banks, or shops that are run by people of color
Here are a number of resources that you may find helpful in expanding your own understanding of the issues related to systemic racism and privilege:
- How to Be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi
- White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
- The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
- So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
BOOKS FOR PARENTS WITH KIDS
- These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids
- 15 Books About Race and Racism for Kids to Start the Dialogue at Home
PODCASTS / VIDEOS
- Scene on Radio does a lot related to race and racism. Check out their series, Seeing White.
- Ten Percent Happier is now doing interviews related to race and racism, such as You Can’t Meditate This Away (Race, Rage, and the Responsibilities of Meditators)
- Jane Elliott on Her “Blue Eyes / Brown Eyes Exercise,” and Fighting Racism
- Nonviolent Communication: Confronting Racism with Compassion
- Connecting Across Differences: Finding Common Ground with Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime by Jane Marantz Connor, PhD, and Dian Killian, PhD
NVC MULTIMEDIA LIBRARY
- Awareness of Marginalization Can Support Connection, with Bob Wentworth
- Moving from Fault to Cause: Looking for Systemic Solutions to White Supremacy, with Miki Kashtan
- NVC Conversations about Privilege and Power-Over, with Dian Killian, PhD
- How Can Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Be Helpful in These Transformative Times?, with Roxy Manning, PhD
- Empathic, Powerful Responses to COVID-19 Inequities, with Roxy Manning, PhD
- Power Relations and Connection Across Differences in US Society: An NVC Perspective, with Roxy Manning, PhD and Inbal Kashtan
- Neither Rioting Nor Colluding: Powerful Speaking to Create Social Change, with Roxy Manning, PhD
I hope this list is supportive to you, and that you will join me in taking some kind of action today.
We have hundreds of years of history to rethink, and creating systems that truly value everyone is beyond most of our imaginations. Quick solutions seem impossible and naïve to dream of. And yet, I know individual action makes a difference – and doing nothing leaves me feeling even less hopeful that things will shift. I acknowledge that the actions I take today may not be seen or felt in my lifetime, yet they do have an impact and will be felt in the future.