June 2, 2020
This is for the Black women.
Not the women of color. Not the people of color. Not the White allies. Not ‘All of us.’
This is for you Black women – me and you.
A list of reminders:
1. You don’t have to respond to any text messages or emails of support. You don’t have to open them, you don’t have to say Thank you, you don’t have to send an emoji, nothing. You don’t owe anyone anything. Make radical authenticity your self-care practice.
2. You really don’t have to accept words or offers of support from people who have barely interacted with you before this moment. See above.
3. You don’t have to produce anything right now. Your institution reaps benefits from having you employed, period. If you are a Black woman in academic medicine, I already know you’ve been on the cover of something. For every DEI ‘requirement’ they have, your name is in use, whether you know it or not, I promise you. Take a break.
4. You don’t have to stay. If you were looking for a sign that you may be in the wrong institution – this may be it. If your institution can’t say BLACK, if they can’t say RACISM, if they can’t say SOLIDARITY – you may have your sign. Now, these words are the bare minimum and meaningless without action. But if they can’t even SAY them…Girl, start looking.
What can you do, if you so choose?
5. Remember, you are not alone. We are isolated by design. We are silenced by design. You are NOT alone. If you want to join my text messaging support group – text KDCOACH to 55444. (It’s straight support, no chaser. Message frequency varies by my inspiration and capacity.)
6. Remember, powerful thoughts create powerful results. Here’s mine: Everything I need, I have. When I feel most bereft, most anxious, most disempowered – I go there. I sit with it. I let it change my perspective.
7. Remember, your strength and resilience are built into your DNA. In this world filled with anti-Blackness, you are the descendants of the strongest of the strong. You are here on purpose. If you feel brittle, weak, or tired, it’s because it’s been too long since that strength has been turned inward. That strength is sacred and it is there to serve YOU first, period. First order of business? REST.
I love you. Your ideas, your creativity, and your brilliance are sorely needed. That’s why I want you to rest. I want you here for the long run.
Much, much love and deep respect to you,