It breaks my heart that one of George Floyd’s last words was mama. That single word was my call to action. It opened my eyes to how much I need to diversify aspects of my life. It made me realize that I should be joining more of the many conversations happening about injustices in our city and country. It made me realize that while I’ve always supported the movement, I haven’t used my voice and privilege to speak up loud enough.
This was my enough is enough moment, and I know I’m not alone.
I’ve felt guilty about not being able to attend the protests because of my little ones, and so, I have started to do what I can in other ways to show my support for this revolution and to help fight for justice. I organized a group order of Signs for Justice, helping to spread the message that Black Lives Matter in the yards of 200 homes in our neighborhood, donating to the ACLU in the process. I’ve collected donations for Leaders Igniting Transformation. I helped to organize a daily march around our neighborhood with our little ones with protest signs on our strollers and wagons. The march sparked conversations with other mamas about what we’re reading, what we can do to continue to educate ourselves and our children, and how we can get more involved.
I know this isn’t enough, and I know my work is not done. Anti-racism work never ends.
I intend to continue the momentum: having hard conversations, signing petitions, sending emails, and making phone calls, amplifying Black and Brown voices, and supporting the powerful work being done by BIPOC activists.
I know I will misstep, and I know that my good intentions will not always be seen as such by everyone. I know I will second guess myself often because of this – just like I’m second-guessing myself right now as I write this blog. I may not be the right person to share this, but I’d rather come at you imperfectly rather than not at all.
Because staying silent is no longer an option, it is time to answer the call to action.
The bottom line is: I do not want to return to “normal,” and I want to keep doing the work. I am committed to continue doing my part: to listen, to educate myself, and to choose to act. I’ve learned that being anti-racist is an intentional daily effort. I vow not to disengage and to keep fighting every day.
And so, as a mother, the question in my mind now is, what more can I do to help teach my children?
As a white mother in one of the most segregated cities in the country, I have an obligation to teach my children to confront their privilege. To learn what it means to be anti-racist. I will continue to teach my children to respect, support, and celebrate other cultures and races.
I know this education starts at home and that I can teach them by leading by example. I know that I need to diversify our home library more to help celebrate diversity more into our day-to-day. I also know how important the school that we select for them will be in providing them with opportunities to surround them in other cultures.
Milwaukee moms, I want to hear from you. How are you answering this call to action?
What books are you reading with your little ones that celebrate diversity? What are you doing to educate your children about different races and cultures? About racism and privilege?
Motherhood unites us and enables us to advocate loudly for one another and to learn from each other. Now more than ever, we need to share our resources and ideas. This moment is our opportunity to learn from this experience and to do better. To not forget this movement and move on. We’re at a tipping point, and we need to push together for change. Let’s come together to keep the momentum going and do this important work.