I am one that always tries to be an optimist, looking for the silver lining. 2020 has been a pretty unreal year, with so many lessons already learned. First COVID-19 and quarantine. This has taught us to slow down and to appreciate what we have right in front of us; our families, our health, our home over our head, a job to go to virtually, and food on the table. Then the horrific death of George Floyd. Exposing many in our country to systemic racism and police brutality. All which taught us to really listen and learn from our black community members.
Thus, I officially muted myself from posting my regular content from June 1 – June 7, 2020 in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. I used this week as a time to reflect, listen, learn, grow, and most importantly share with all of you!
Growing up in the predominantly white Catholic community of Darboy, Wisconsin, I truly didn’t recognize my privilege until I moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the summer of 2009, going into my junior year of college. I remember people being in shock that I was living on Locust street….”People get shot there…” or “Don’t walk alone, you’re going to get raped!” Maybe, I was young, naive, trustworthy, but I looked past all of the comments I was excited to escape my comfort zone and push myself to grow in this new setting.
Now, 11 years later, I am a mother to a 6-month-old and have set roots in the most segregated city in America, ahead, of New York, Chicago, and Detriot. I feel more than ever that I need to continue to push myself and use Darboy Kate as a vehicle to educate my friends, family, and followers that may be feeling like me. Wanting a change, wanting to help, but not knowing where to go.
This image from @Optic.Legacy was really a great jumping out point for our family in figuring out how we can help.
For both Romy and I, time is hard to donate, with both working full time and having our 6-month-old at home with us. So we decided to donate monetarily and picked the following 3 organizations:
Local Milwaukee: Sherman Phoenix
We did have a peaceful protest that walked through our Northshore neighborhood, and we walked with the protest for part of the route. We stopped at every intersection and the organizers of the protest (Shorewood High School students) spoke. Listening to the words and the raw emotions in each of these child’s voices, I found myself with tears running down my face. Mamas I promise to teach my babies to love your babies. Period!
Romy and I ended listening to the podcast, The Longest Shortest Time, How to Not (Accidenteaily) Raise a Racist. Highly suggest any parent listen to with such good perspective from Dr. Brigitte Vittrup. One of her biggest pieces of advice was to start to talk to your children early about racism, even as infants. Not as though the infant will understand, but to help you as a parent to have uncomfortable conversations.
We also began diversifying August’s library. Getting him books showing children of different races, to get him comfortable with differences in skin colors among his future friends.
This is really just the start for our family and we are pledging to continue to push ourselves to better. I understand I will never understand, however, I stand.