Sometimes I need to remind myself of things, like affirmations but for things I need to work on or remember, as guiding principles for my life.

Today, I’m reminded that:

1. Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes is amazing. Here are some of her works: Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength, I Bring the Voices of my People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation, Prayer of a Weary Black Woman published in A Rhythm of Prayer edited by Sarah Bessey.

2. I benefit from systems put in place to protect whiteness.

3. I must not forget # 2 above, nor become complacent in this reality; working hard, instead, to dismantle systems of oppression.

4. I have a long way to go in my antiracism education, and must make the choice every day to learn, unlearn, and listen.

5. Black people, Indigenous people, Asian people, people of color in this country are living through 2 pandemics at the same time. COVID- 19 and white supremacy. Among the many symptoms of COVID-19 are respiratory problems and any number of complications that can lead to death. Among the many symptoms of white supremacy, is police brutality, which leads to murder. I will never know what it’s like to lack access to quality healthcare and vaccines, or fear for my life at a routine traffic stop, just because of the color of my skin – but in my empathy, thinking about people I know bearing that burden every day breaks my heart.

6. Empathy is not enough. I have to be a lifelong learner for them – learning to advocate, hold space, sit vigil, speak out. My life is a series of opportunities to do better, to learn, to amplify and affirm, to pass the mic.

7. Above all, love because love comes from God.

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