"The Work is the Work"
Lessons Learned From Leading an Allies Group
Some of you will know these two things about me:
I facilitated an allies group for an Ed Tech startup for more than 18 months, between November 2020 and June 2022.
I’m transitioning to co-leading the Anti-Racist Leaders Association for Diverse Leaders Group*. [Update: DLG is now Mission Equality]
As I move into this new phase, I’ve been reflecting on some of the lessons I’ve learned in the process. I believe that you learn from everything, and for me, this has been no exception, so here’s what’s occurring to me.
1. Not everyone who signs up is all in
In leading the group, I’ve come across people who are all in, and people who are not. People who will put themselves out to show up, and those who will not. People who will say the right things, and people who will DO the right things, speaking of which…
2. People have to be willing to do the work
As my sister Lisa Hurley often says “the work is the work”. I’m a lifelong learner, and I value reading, learning and discussing. However, it’s important to DO something with what you read, learn and discuss, otherwise how will anything change? A big part of the group was accountability at the start and end of every live session. We’re keeping that in the new group, too, and will be taking it even further to help people really commit to personal action.
I’m happy to say that I have seen people who joined the group step up into taking a more active role in anti-racism, whether that’s haranguing their local school board for more equity, making DEI a core facet of their job search, or stepping in to interrupt and call out racism where they see it. Those people’s actions keep me motivated to keep doing the work, because I can tell that it’s making a difference.