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  • Maria Vandenburg

So, What's Next?

Updated: Aug 22

Maybe you are wondering (like myself), OK, so I put up a black box in solidarity, I have realized that I will never understand, but yet I will always stand in support of the black community, so after #blackouttuesday, I'm left with what's next? What is mine to do next?



Well if an effort to try and organize my thoughts and my world, I've come up with the following list.


BREATHE and focus on the next step. This is number one for me. You know the age-old saying "Rome wasn't built in a day," keeps rising up here. What my heart is longing for is systematic change, a breakdown, and a re-structure of society as we know it, one that has foundations of love, truth, justice, and equality. But I realize that this long-lasting change takes time, and I also realize that it's not going to happen tomorrow. But it IS going to happen by taking it one breathe and one step at a time. Last night I was completely stressing myself out thinking I had to listen to ALL of the podcasts and finish ALL of the books.😢 Do I need to start reading and listening? Yes, of course, but one step at a time.💃🏻





GET INVOLVED. There are tons of ways that we can do this. I've included this list compiled by the folks at Mighty Networks to give you a start. My friend Yvonne also shared this:

ps://www.adhoc.fm/post/black-lives-matter-r

EDUCATE YOURSELF. I am currently reading How to be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi, and I've just signed up for a study group put on by the folks at Daybreakers. You know it isn't the black communities (or frankly anyone else's) responsibility to educate us. I made this same mistake a few days ago, genuinely asking for help. The black community is tired, exhausted, and angry, AND they need their energy for themselves, not to help us. It's our job, our responsibility even to educate ourselves. Where to start? Click here:


Or you can join me with Daybreakers, the details are here:


HAVE DIALOGUES. You are not a "bad" person for having unconscious biases, WE ALL HAVE THEM. It's only through the willingness to have the uncomfortable conversations and open up the dialogue that we become aware of them. That awareness is what leads to change. The change has to start within us, and we have to be aware of the systematic nature of racism within our own lives and systems.


BE OPEN/HAVE AN OPEN MIND. Now more than ever the beginner's mindset is needed (and I'm speaking specifically to the non-black community here). We have lived our entire life with blindspots, with believing that things are OK that aren't OK. It doesn't make us "evil" or "bad" but we do need to be curious and open, to be willing to unlearn what we think we already know.


AND, FINALLY? TELL THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU THAT YOU LOVE THEM.

That's where my heart is really landing currently, letting the people in your life know that you care.

So, you, person, out there reading these words. I care. I love and appreciate you.

Thank you for taking the time to tune in here.

We will get through this. Change doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen.

I love you.

© 2020 by Maria Vandenburg