At HARRIET SPEAKS we believe that all of us have a role to play to create the kind of society our nation has stated it strives to be. We can all be an agent of change. Here are a few of our thoughts regarding what is not required and what is required to be an agent of change for racial justice.
WHAT IS NOT REQUIRED TO BE AN AGENT OF CHANGE
When we ask, “What can I do?” we fail to realize that we are who we have been waiting for. Being an agent of change does NOT require any of the following:
1. Having a large platform or audience.
2. Being a member of the affected population.
3. Being politically inclined or motivated.
4. Being an articulate or a “good” speaker.
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO BE AN AGENT OF CHANGE
The desire to create a better world is the most important ingredient you need to be an agent of change. Other things are important as well:
1. Being willing to make mistakes. No one can talk about race or racism and get it right all the time. Embrace the possibility that you may say something wrong, but then commit to getting it right in the future.
2. Having a close friend who will support you if and when you are attacked for speaking up. This is difficult work, but a support system will make it easier.
3. A spirit of love. We can love people, yet hate the actions that people engage in.
4. Understanding and acknowledging whatever forms of privilege you bring to the conversation. You may have privilege (socially bestowed advantage) of race, economics, education, gender, sexual orientation and/or identity, to name a few. However, using your privilege to support others is what counts.
Have this conversation with your friends, family, or colleagues. What would you add to either list?