Usually on my birthday, I share a list of lessons I’ve learned from the past year. And though I’ll do that soon, today is different.
Today would have been Breonna Taylor’s birthday. She would have turned 27. Instead of celebrating with her family and planning her future as an EMT, she was senselessly killed 12 weeks ago. She’s just one name on a long list of names whose birthdays should be celebrated this year.
The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are the clear result of a racist and prejudiced system. Being Black in America has been synonymous with being the “enemy” or “unsafe.” It’s been that way since a boat filled with Black men and women landed on these shores centuries ago, not as explorers, but as slaves.
How does a society travel the sideways path of believing it’s ok to treat people so unequally? When does someone adopt the idea that an entire race should have to fight harder for their safety and security? And how am I part of the problem with my own biases and privileges?
If you’re struggling to understand the depth and breadth of racism, there are a slew of resources that are being shared by brilliant Black authors and leaders. If you need a starting point, watch this video by Trevor Noah, or this simple animation, and then sift through the resources in this doc.
As for me, I know I speak on behalf of the entire team at Experience Institute when I say that we believe Black Lives Matter. We stand with our Black students, leaders, and friends during this time and always, and are examining how we might redesign our current programs or build new ones that imbue equity and justice.
Today my heart is with Breonna’s family. And my mind is on these issues. There’s much work to do. Let’s get to it.