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I wrote about racism and the world didn't end
Reflecting on one year of Sharon's Anti-Racism Newsletter
Go back in time with me to just over a year ago. George Floyd had been murdered, racism was everywhere, and I was tired. It’s when I wrote I’m Tired of Racism, which you can read here.
How it started
I think of it as the article that led to this newsletter. I’d written a couple of articles about racism before, here and there, but what was different about this one is that I shared it everywhere. I took my Fukitol pill and let people know how I really felt. It was cathartic, and that was all that mattered at the start.
Then I realized that people were responding, that they wanted to hear these experiences. Even on LinkedIn, a so-called “professional” platform, people were starting to engage with issues around white supremacy and systemic racism, and my article was part of that. So I kept writing, and discovered a purpose.
A sense of purpose
In the year or more since that first article, that purpose hasn’t wavered. In fact, somewhere within me, I know I’m doing the right thing. That sense of purpose has guided me to say yes to opportunities that weren’t even on my radar, like creating an anti-racism course for kids for Omnis Education.
You know how that turned out: I ended up running a workshop for adults and an allies group (we’re accepting new members), and then creating more educational content for what’s probably the most innovative Ed Tech startup around. And now I have the chance to make a difference as the Head of Diversity, Equity and Belonging. That means using my strengths in writing and education to support a company that has anti-racism baked in and is serious about it.
The same sense of purpose has led me to opportunities to participate in online events talking about experiences of racism, and how we can all make a difference. I’m always clear that I’m one person, and don’t speak for everyone, but I like to think I’ve helped a few people think differently.
How it’s going
And so to the newsletter, which I am immensely proud of founding. Though much of it is my perspective, I was clear from the start that amplifying others was part of the mission.
In the last year, I’ve shared interviews with 22+ writers, and have published 13 reading list posts including almost 100 articles by other writers. I’ve shared resources, which are being used by others in their own anti-racism work. I’ve published 20+ articles and held a couple of events specifically for those supporting my work with a paid subscription - thank you all!
Assessing the impact and next steps
I still wonder sometimes if I am doing enough; if writing articles, interviewing writers, and sharing resources is moving the needle on anti-racism. Every single time I wonder that, without exception, I get an email, a message or a comment from someone letting me know that this newsletter matters to them. Thank you for the encouragement.
And so, on to year two, which starts tomorrow. It’s hard to say at this point exactly what it will look like. I’ve still got a long list of topics to write, and there’s new stuff happening all the time. I’ve already made contact with some anti-racism activists to kick off the second year of my interview series, and I’m constantly saving articles, videos, tools, and resources that I think will be useful.
I’m in it for the long haul, and would like to see racism end in my lifetime. It’s a long shot, I know, but I’m happy we’re on this journey together.
Thanks for being here,
© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Cover photo courtesy of Canva.