It’s not easy to focus on change, with so much work going on – so many problems to solve just to keep the day-to-day going. So much office politics, noise, emails, Zoom calls…
You don’t know where to start – or what the priorities may be.
You may not have the right language or know who to speak to first.
You may not understand the topic – you may not know what forms of racism exist in your work.
Perhaps you also feel afraid your job may be jeopardised if you take action or initiate conversations.
Perhaps you are apprehensive of what colleagues may say if you bring up the topic of racism.
You find yourself without the time and space – to think.
However – the hard things in life – those things that make you uncomfortable – are the most worthwhile. It’s ok to be afraid of change, but, it’s not ok to ignore the current status of the aid sector.
If our mindset opens up to the universe of possibilities of social change, then we can accept that plenty of work must be done to achieve that change.
Courageous leaders – that’s you – can bring up topics that are uncomfortable. You can do this slowly – Rome wasn’t built in a day (and I’m sure had its’ issues during construction).
Here’s five tips to get started:
Stop and think, even just for 20 minutes. Read about racism. Listen to colleagues.
Be prepared to make mistakes. There is no way of talking about racism without making mistakes. Mistakes are part of the journey.
Acknowledge that silence or ignoring racism is not the answer. Neither are characteristics of brave leadership.
Be prepared that racism can be uncomfortable to talk about. To opt out from talking about your own privilege and others’ oppression because it makes you uncomfortable – is showing your own privilege.
Acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers. Courageous leaders and brave organisational cultures know that the answers are found collaboratively – and require diverse and independent thoughts.
Let’s talk. Everyone has their own constraints and can forge their own path.
One step is better than none.
Five steps creates momentum.