May 25, 2020.
This day marks the tragic day when George Floyd died. He and so many others — Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor — are among those who suffered and died within a racist system.
Black Lives Matter.
This movement has become necessary to secure equality for all races, especially our black communities. Only a few weeks have elapsed since George Floyd’s passing; yet, Black Lives Matter has initiated many positive changes. Changes that may be small but also inspire my hope for a country that is more loving and more compassionate.
In this article, I share some of the victories Black Lives Matter has achieved, along with three critical life lessons I’ve learned from this remarkable movement.
The Amazing Progress We’ve Made After Only a Few Weeks
Black Lives Matter is raising awareness of the racism and discrimination targeted toward our black communities. Racism and inequality isn’t something we can turn away from. It’s an injustice we must face head-on and take action to rectify.
And it’s working.
We’re seeing positive change in people’s hearts and policy:
- More people — especially white people — acknowledge that racism and white privilege indeed exist.
- Black Lives Matter has gained global traction with supporters in Amsterdam, Germany, Canada, and more.
- The Minneapolis police department banned chokeholds.
- A “Duty to Intervene” policy was created in Texas to empower police officers to step in if a fellow officer uses excessive force — had the other three Minneapolis officers intervened, George Floyd might be alive today.
- New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is updating their use of force policy guidelines for the first time in two decades.
I’m inspired by the outstanding strides the Black Lives Matter movement has made in such a short time. And within these incredible victories, I learned three valuable life lessons.
3 Valuable Life Lessons the Black Lives Matter Movement Taught Me
#1 The Power of Hope
I truly believe that hope for a better future is at the soul of every movement.
- To end slavery
- For the right for people of color to vote
- For women’s suffrage
- For interracial marriage
Within each of these movements and countless others is the hope that what you’re doing matters. That what you’re doing will create the change you want to see — positive change that you, your children, and your children’s children will witness and experience.
Because anything worth doing is worth taking a stand for — worth taking action towards.
In my own life, I realize now that many of the things I worked for were achieved because I held onto hope.
You might recognize that it’s the same with you. Many of the accomplishments you’ve achieved are because you kept going. You held onto hope even when times got hard and when you felt like giving up.
And if you’re enduring hardship at this moment, remember the light at the end of the tunnel. That light is hope. And hope is a reminder that everything you’re working for has meaning. All you need to do is continue to trust and put one foot in front of the other.
#2 You Need Not Do It Alone
Racism and our country’s history are interwoven. And moving our society towards a future free from racism is not merely a mission of the black community.
Ending racism is everybody’s responsibility.
Because alone, we only have so much power. But in solidarity, we can move mountains. We can create positive change. We can build a future where people, as Martin Luther King Jr. says, “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
The solidarity of the Black Lives Matter movement reminds me of the importance of strong relationships. Because close-knit, quality support systems will fortify you in adversity.
When you’re feeling helpless or powerless, your support systems remind you that:
- You are not alone.
- You are one woman and you need not carry the world on your shoulders.
- You are worthy of aid and compassion and you can ask for help if you need it.
As women, we are empowered when we support and lift each other. If you have a mission in your life, cultivate relationships with women who share your values and goals — women who will help you achieve your goals and reach your fullest potential.
#3 Insight Must Be Paired With Action
The third lesson I learned from the Black Lives Matter movement is the value of taking action.
Since George Floyd’s passing, Black Lives Matter gathered support quickly. Americans swiftly took to the streets to protest racism and to demand equal treatment for black people. Black Lives Matter spread its message of equality in the news and our social media feeds.
Yet the Black Lives Matter movement did more than raise awareness. It encouraged action. And I learned of ways I could lend my support:
- Letters I could sign
- Causes I could donate to
- Anti-racism resources to expand my education and awareness
Because insight and wisdom aren’t enough. These do little until you act on them.
So I hope this movement empowers you to take action in your own life. Sign up for my email list, read my articles, and apply what you learn. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed with life, practice self-care.
Knowledge isn’t the destination. It’s a means to achieve your goals, whether that’s more work/life balance, being more conscious, or shaping a country that is more accepting and compassionate to all its citizens.
Acknowledge Your Progress
I understand that the fight for equality is far from over.
Racism still exists and there is so much work left to do.
Yet, I still believe in celebrating our victories.
We’re seeing real change. Updates to police procedures and bringing racism into the public discourse are worth celebrating.
It’s only the beginning, but I believe it’s an amazing start.
And so, I encourage you to stay hopeful, build strong relationships, and continue taking action within your circle of influence.
You have an essential role to play in the positive change you want to manifest within your own life and for your country.
What action step will YOU take to create positive change in your life and in the world? Let me know in the comments below.