What If We Focused On The Solution?

Exploring a different focus when tackling racism

Hello friends,

My Mission Equality co-founder Lea is a big thinker. It’s a rare conversation with her that doesn’t leave you rethinking everything you’ve taken for granted.

One of those moments came when we were discussing an anti-racism education programme. She said what if focusing on racism and anti-racism was a distraction, per Toni Morrison’s words, that prevented us from focusing on and acting on possible solutions.

That led us to completely rethink the programme, and I’ve continued to think about it in relation to the work I do. As someone else said (I’ll attribute if I find it), there are lots of lanes to activism and to undermining racism and discrimination. It’s something we all have to work on in different ways.

Let’s face it: learning that racism exists, for those who don’t know it, is like a foundation level. Being able to spot the overt ways it shows up is another level. Being able to spot covert racism is another level. Understanding how it permeates all our thinking is another level. But then what?

Lately, thanks to Lea, we’ve been focusing on the answer to that question. And the solution we’ve landed on at the moment is two-fold. Well, three-fold, really, based on the three-step process of change.

  1. Understanding what racial inequality is and how it affects everyone.

  2. Focusing on the solution, which includes looking at alternatives to the paradigms we’ve taken for granted and designing for equality.

  3. Taking active steps to bring equality into being in all your circles of influence.

Some of the anti-racism education I most admire - from Ashani Mfuko and Theresa M. Robinson - focuses on undermining racist thinking, taking action to change it, and doing less harm as a result.

Our Mx of Equality in Business and Leadership aims to bring about a radical rethink of how we do business and lead, and how we can do so more holistically in a way that allows people to thrive. (Thriving at work really shouldn’t be a radical concept, don’t you think?)

It’s about changing the things we can no longer accept, to paraphrase Angela Davis.

I want this newsletter to be part of that change. The stories, interviews and reading lists aim to get rid of the unawareness. And if you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that I often urge readers to do something with that they learn here; to spread the word, and to make changes anywhere they can make a difference (which is everywhere they have a place, a voice or some influence.) And my hope, too, is that we are and continue to be a community of change agents. After all, as Fannie Lou Hamer said: ''Nobody's free until everybody's free''. And we ALL need freedom and equality.

So now, over to you. What if we imagined a world without racism and worked actively to bring it about, focusing on the solution rather than the problem? What would that look like to you, and where would you start to take action?

Thanks for reading


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© Sharon Hurley Hall, 2023. All Rights Reserved.

Cover photo courtesy of Canva.

I am an anti-racism educator and activist, Co-Founder of Mission Equality, the author of “I’m Tired of Racism”, and co-host of The Introvert Sisters podcast.

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