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  • Denise

Listen, really listen!

Tips for accomplices: Listen, really listen. Don't be so ready to speak that you don't listen to the person who is talking, especially if you ask them a question.

A few months ago I was with a colleague who asked me about my background and how I started working in the area of equity and inclusion. I told her about having grown up in Vermont with my white family. I also told her that my biological father was black and my biological mother was white, and what that was like for me as a youth. I shared some pretty deep things and was shocked when she responded with: "Right, so you're Dominican." I was so frustrated that she had not heard anything I said especially when I decided to be vulnerable and let my wall down enough for her to truly see me. Needless to say, the wall came right back up and it is now even higher than it was originally.

If you don't listen and truly hear what people of color say, it seems like you don't care. Please, just listen!

Self-care tips for folks of color: Practice self-compassion. Be kind to yourself! Practice positive self-talk. If you wouldn't say it to your best friend, don't say it to yourself. Forgive yourself for the things you don't know and be okay with the fact that you are human. You are enough!

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