We acknowledge, the past few weeks have been devastating as we’ve endured the impact of COVID-19 on our Nation, while most recently, mourning the deaths Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the protests against the racial injustices and inequalities in America.
There is a bright side, the visibility and exposure of these recent tragedies have provided an undeniable platform to invoke change. For decade these issues have not directly been addressed as a Nation, however they are now being acknowledged and supported across multiple platforms. We no longer can ignore the issues of injustice and systemic racism.
The steps towards progress include asking the right questions and acknowledging some hard truths. We must be willing to engage in uncomfortable conversations, validate lived hardships, and take action towards education and accountability.
The hard truth is that the Black community does not have enough equity to effect change alone. We must embrace and encourage allies to take action towards progress and right systemic wrongs.
So what can you do?
Recommend this approach:
- Acknowledge the emotional pain the Black community has endured recently and systemically.
- Speak up, speak out and offer support, use your voice as a platform to fight racism.
- Educate yourself, research and ask questions about the historical context of racism. Let your Black friends and colleagues know that you care and want to learn.
- Empathy is important for understanding, not judgment. Receive hard feedback with an objective ear.
- Explore individual Mindsets. Think about how our Black members and former teammates may be feeling and ask probing questions to gain insight into the experiences they are having.
- Be genuinely interested in building racial connections personally and professionally. None of this works without trust and teamwork on both sides.
- Create an authentic and inclusive environment that welcomes diverse experiences and personal cohesion.
The time is now, for the Syracuse Football Club family to take a stand in living our nation’s pledge of “One Nation under God” and our Constitutional promise of “Liberty and Justice for All”. As Revered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Let us be reminded during these challenging times that we must remain empowered to use our voice, share our truths, and settle for nothing less than justice and change.
James DaRin -President Warren Harvey -VP