Malala is one of my all time greatest heros. Against incredible odds she continues to stand up for girls’ rights for education, even after being shot in the face in close range by the Taliban.
The Malala Fund is working for a world where every girl can learn and lead and I am here for it! With more than 130 million girls out of school today, we’re breaking down barriers that hold girls back.
I am dedicating my Golden Gate Half Marathon & Training to raise funds for all girls to have safe and equitable access to education in their communities.
Please help me #run4edu by donating to My Malala Fund Campaign today! No donation is too small. Together we can make a better world and lead with love.
I’ve worked for #fakewoke organizations and I’ve worked for the straight up #patriarchy and both types are an uphill battle. It is such a gift to finally be with a company that genuinely values diversity and inclusivity and keeps showing up to prove it.
We are offered literally 1000s of educational opportunities through our company portal and many of them go far beyond technical skill and into modules that simply help us be better humans to each other.
I’ve had to spend so much time in my career fighting with leadership to just do the right thing. I felt it was my responsibility for everyone that couldn’t do so without fear, and had more to lose than I do. My frustration at failing (or delayed success, we’ll see) with those former companies is a privilege and I know it. People who can’t even get an interview because their name sounds too “ethnic” or not “white enough” on paper have the real struggle, and they don’t deserve that treatment. People that have to live in fear for their very lives…it’s just so utterly wrong and despicable.
As a woman in a male dominated industry I have had to fight my whole career to be taken seriously. Even down to being perceived as “dumb” just by the color of my hair (blonde jokes anyone?). But I’m also CIS, white, and straight-passing which are all a privilege. The gender discrimination I’ve faced is only a fraction of the systemic inequality the BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities face.
If you have skin privilege (or any other privilege) it’s our duty to speak up and right these archaic wrongs. I think of the parallel the incredible men in my industry who stood up for me against sexist remarks and misogynist situations. It made it so much easier because if I said it there would’ve been backlash. I have said it and there was backlash. So when someone stands up for you it’s huge. Has that ever happened to you?
We have this one precious life. Stand up for each other. We are so much better together. There are 2 options, to live in love or to live in fear. Which path will you choose?
This month we honor and recognize our black citizens, community members, family, and friends, though we should be celebrating black people every damn day! Black History Month originated in 1915, 50 years after the thirteenth amendment abolished slavery, via history.com.
In 1926 the event was celebrated on the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, which in turn inspired schools and communities across the nation to host local celebrations. It wasn’t until 1976 that President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month, “calling upon the public to ‘seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.’”1
2020 was a wake up call for all2. The deeply embedded systemic racism in our society can not be denied. It is violent, terrifying, archaic, and needs to end NOW. Even in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others that should be here with us today, these heinous crimes continue. Please, please, don’t go back to sleep. Please continue (or start!) to do the work of fighting racism, of building a society that can live in genuine unity. It’s not enough to say “I’m not racist”, or to think it does not affect you. You have to stand up for what’s right. People of color deserve for those of us with skin privilege to stand up and speak out against injustice.
There are countless ways to get involved. NAACP membership is only $35 / year and shares a wealth of information and actionable steps. ACLU membership is however much you want to give and funds extensive litigation, communications, and public education programs. There are local organizations with which you can become involved with for free, and following these groups on social media will keep you up to date on current events as well as opportunities where you could jump in and help.
Even if you don’t volunteer, it is vastly important for us all to continue to educate ourselves. Most importantly, if you bare witness to any inequity at school, at work, on the subway, in the store, at the park – it’s our duty to say something. We owe it to each other. Don’t let another moment pass you by where you give in to complacency. Have you ever needed help? Yes. We all have. Someone needs your help today, and all you have to do is be vocal. We can build a better world, together. I have no doubt!
Below are a few links to expand your knowledge and open your heart. There are many more, this is just a start.
2Though all are welcome and encouraged to read this blog, please understand that this is written by a person with skin privilege, and therefore written from a perspective as a call to action, particularly to others with skin privilege, as I believe it is our duty to use our privileges to help others. For those that know these harsh truths and live this fight daily due to race and inequities you face regularly, I send the utmost love, respect, and empowerment. I welcome corrections and suggestions to re-align my language if I’ve misused any terms or said anything inappropriate. Thank you.