I started today with two messages in my inbox. One was a text from a dear friend who, at 5:30 this morning, was texting the black men in her life to tell us she’s thinking of us and she loves us. The other was a note from one of our participants, sharing how despite having a great day at work yesterday, as a mother and a woman, she’s exhausted, angry, and saddened by the news of the day.
On the day when the 100,000th American has lost their life to COVID, and a day after yet another man dies after telling police officers he cannot breathe, and a week after The Boston Globe reports that even our Asian doctors and nurses are confronted with Corona-related racism, the sense of loss, anger, and pain isn’t getting easier to take. And as professionals of color, it is particularly unsettling to be reminded, time and time again, that being the target of hate – and being denied basic dignity – can happen anywhere, but they rarely happen to just anyone.
It is okay to be exhausted, angry, and saddened by it all. To suppress these feelings isn’t a show of strength, it is to deny ourselves of our own humanity. What so many of us are feeling is grief.
And when one’s grieving, community is needed more than ever. Community can see you when you feel invisible, and can hear you when you feel silenced. Through simple gestures, we can say “We see you, we see your pain, and the fact you’re in pain matters to me.”
I’m sending this email because you matter to me, to the Partnership team, and to the entire Partnership Community. And you matter to companies like Franklin Templeton, whom we commend for terminating an employee who threatened to weaponize the police this weekend. It is an example of an organization acting in accordance with its values and taking deliberate action to creating a corporate environment where everyone can thrive.
During these moments, we can never underestimate the impact of a simple gesture of community. These gestures can lift us up and keep us moving forward. So reach out to a friend or colleague. If you’re a Partnership Alum, reach out to a member of your cohort and check-in on them. If you need to reconnect, let us know, and we’ll help you.
And if you know someone who is having a great day at work but is exhausted, angry, and saddened by the news of the day, extend a simple gesture of community by inviting that person to Join Us.
All the best,
Pratt N. Wiley
President & CEO