This message serves as a reflection from an event I attended at my alma mater, Southern Methodist University (SMU), where they hosted Alicia Garza, the architect of #BlackLivesMatter…. I know, I was shocked!!!! I’ll reserve my state for another post… this post is to share some of the takeaways I received from her from her VERY INTERESTING, WELL ATTENDED talk in the student center ballrooms:
You need a strategy, not just an emotion
Her plans for “Black Lives Matter” weren’t a knee-jerk reaction to some discrimination she encountered, there was a deliberate plan that was well thought out and executed to ensure sustainability.
“Hashtags does not make movements, people do”
This was a quote she stated that’s stuck with me. Recently, I did a talk for Ignite DFW (post of the presentation coming soon) where I give advice to millennials on how to survive in leadership roles; the main point is to not stop once you state something on Facebook or twitter; go beyond that and act!
You NEED to have a broad reach/network
Her network did not just include her friends; but people she interacted with all over the country before the incident… Which means she’s not only known but have positive relationships with individuals of all backgrounds, allowing her to be an influencer.
“Black Lives Matter” was a love letter to black people
This was beautifully said… I know this seems weird or exclusive to non-blacks in the audience, but let me explain; Unlike MOST ethnicities, blacks are the most exploited type of people in current media, for better or worse. Therefore, we are bombarded with information about “us” from everyone- the media, papers, strangers, aliens, etc. So it’s endearing to me when someone from our own culture actually expels energy to positively communicate to us. Thanks Alicia…
Both sexes need to work together in the strategy process
We’re facing an on-going battle of the sexes, where men and women are establishing footing for newly formed gender roles in our society. This is a good thing, as we are going through “growing pains” as a society; dispelling our past misogynistic ways and working toward a more, equal partnership in leadership. Consequently, there needs to be more black women at the planning table to dictate future strategy.
Black lives matter is not Anti-Police, it’s anti-violence movement
For people that say the line above either ignorant or purposely wants to be polarizing… The solution for a systemic problem isn’t inflicting pain to the oppressors, it’s creating an environment where all can be pain-free. #BlackLivesMatter is so popular because it resonates with SO MANY people’s feeling that Black Lives DONT Matter in our society…
“Pay attention to the culture we create”
This is applicable in so many facets of life. You are what you eat, you are the company you keep, all of these sayings I’ve heard from my influencers come to life as I breathe each breath. The same goes with the macro-systems we create/operate/exists in. By creating a sociologic environment of discrimination and prejudice, we assist in poisoning our future generations… The culture we create isn’t so important to us, but to the ones that follow; but if we don’t care about anyone now, how could we have the capacity to nurture an environment for people that don’t exist yet????
These are just some of the great things said by this influential sista. I appreciate you sharing your words, experiences, and thoughts so we can analyze, ponder, and take action!