Since Ahmad Avery was murdered, I have been in a spirit of apathy. The weight of watching a Black man being hunted in Georgia’s streets was overwhelming. Hearing Breonna Taylor’s story just chiseled another chip into my stone of sensitivity.
Something was different about George Floyd. His murder has been the first time that I have felt something in a while. It’s a high-level emotional combination of being enraged and dejected. His death has touched every part of my life.
I take daily walks around my neighborhood with my 10-month old son. My wife uses this time to take a quick nap, tired from juggling motherhood and work. She hugged me on Sunday and told me to turn on my phone tracker so she could make sure I am safe. Her sleep was restless.
There is a deep cry in my household and within Profound Gentlemen’s Beloved Community.
In the past few days, we have received an out-pour of statements of hurt, words of support, and contributions to our work. Words and gifts from community members, partners, educators, and board members are demonstrations of an honest and authentic form of advocacy. It pushes me to rethink my contribution to equity, shared liberation, inclusion, and justice.
Inherently, there are aspects of identity that are both political and privileged – Black, Male, Black conscious, Southern, Christian, Straight. I have more access to move in spaces that many can’t because I am a Straight Christian Man but have also been subject to judgment because of my Blackness. I have never hidden my story and have always leaned into work where I could advocate for my community.
Upon reflection, I realize that relying solely on my identity is not enough. I have to leverage my position and the unique genius, identity, and stories of everyone to reach shared liberation, especially of those who are most marginalized and looked over.
I have been reflecting and asking myself: what are my values, how can I be aligned and in the right relationship with them, what are the needs of the communities who anchor me, and what can I offer with my full energy?
Our roles in this movement will not all look the same, but we must lift our voices to speak out against the present injustices that if not corrected will plaque our children.
At PG we have been using a tool to help us uncover each of our roles in creating a Beloved Community Ecosystem: https://medium.com/@dviyer/mapping-our-social-change-roles-in-times-of-crisis-8bbe71a8ab01
I invite you to also use this tool with your team, household, or during personal reflection time. If you do use the framework and the reflection guide, I would love to know what you uncover about your role in the Beloved Community Ecosystem.
Thank you for using your positions and privilege to fight for what’s right. We need your stories and want to hear your stories to build upon our story sharing series. Please email me at [email protected].
Committed to Building the Beloved Community,
Jason Terrell Co-Founder & Executive Director
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.