Black Lives Matter to Me

I don’t know if I’ll say it the right way. I hope that it helps you to see me and what I stand for clearly.

How can I do better as a person and as a business?

What steps can I take to make a bigger difference, to make change happen?

It’s overwhelming. I’ve been angry, confused, sad, hopeful, and at times just simply out of thoughts.

If you don’t know me. Let me give you a little bitty back story. I’m married to a bi-racial black man. We have two bi-racial daughters, one in her teens and one just turned 20. I have felt my actions have until now been good enough and I’ve made a difference by an example of the way I live. I tend to believe most people are good regardless of race, religion, or background. Everyone deserves the same opportunities, respect, and love. I am an optimist first. I’ve stood my ground by these beliefs and have never waivered.

So where does that leave me today? What am I thinking? What can I do from here?

Let’s go back to COVID just to make a point

I think about how suddenly COVID put business owners, families, educators, and the world into an immediate sense of fear. In order to move forward and live with this new way of life, especially not knowing how long it would last, we had to instill change and adapt. I believe that is what created a lot of positive outcomes:

  • people communicated with online video chats
  • businesses became innovators and adapted (e-commerce, employes telecommunicated)
  • inventors created products and solutions
  • communities came together from the 8 pm holler, dropping food off for hospital workers, and more
  • people were learning new things both through online classes and offline
  • people were focusing on the things that really mattered, spending quality time with family, reaching out to friends and loved ones

I could go on, but you get the point.

I was able to help several of my clients quickly adapt their websites to serve their customers in new ways to keep their businesses afloat and profit. It made me feel good and excited. I did not profit from these moments. It made me think about how an uncomfortable and scary time can force us to be quick on our feet, to become an innovator, to think outside the box, to educate, and to do more for my clients. I took advantage of this moment to do good.

This Time It’s Different

So here we are, as a country and society in a place we’ve been before. But somehow this time it’s different.

For so many, they are and were already frustrated, scared, alone, and unsure of tomorrow. We are seeing the curtains pulled back even further because what else are we doing, we are online more, we are watching social media more, on the internet more, alone more, not distracted by travel or looking ahead to fun outings/social gatherings or vacations.

Like so many, I realize that I have the power to do more and I need to. I can no longer assume things will change and hope that maybe next year we’ll have new leaders to make a change, or the youth of today, who I see so much hope in, will do better. How can they with so much against them? As we have seen. There is so much standing in the way.

The time is now and as overwhelming as it can be I cannot get comfortable. I cannot go back to my routines in the coming weeks, months, and years. If I want to see real change now and for future generations (my own daughters and husband included!), I have to think outside the box. Think differently, be more creative, use my skills, use my voice, and be innovative.

I’m thankful for this moment in the way that it is forcing this movement, this moment of fear, being unsure, and time to force ourselves to change and adapt – to force us to finally say no more in order to create the world we want to live in, I want my children and family to live in, that I want for all Black lives.

I will:

  • learn more about how it feels to be a Black person in our country
  • be innovative with my business and find a way to support Black business owners
  • use my voice to help make change
  • use my design skills to make change
  • use my design skills to share the message of Black Lives Matter
  • read more, watch more, hear more

I know this list will grow as I take time to think more about how I can make a difference. No matter the size of your business we can all make a difference.

The bottom line is:

I will use this opportunity to become an innovator, to think outside the box, to educate, and to do more both personally and with Paprika Creative to support Black Lives Matter.