Foreward by Kanette Worlds
I, too, am America.
These emphatic four words that conclude the poem I, Too, written by Langston Hughes still resonates with me to this day.
I discovered Langston’s poetry in high school while working on an English research paper about the Harlem Renaissance. In this particular poem, Hughes declares his right to be considered a full and equal American citizen.
Written in 1925 in the midst of legal segregation, I understood the message, but it hit differently when I left American soil and moved abroad to Tanzania. It may very well be the only instance in my life that my race and skin color were considered insignificant.
In sub-Saharan Africa, people mostly concern themselves with nationality or ethnic identity, but less attention is given to race. So, upon my arrival, I was not a black person, nor an African American – I was just American. Oh, if only this concept were true in America!
I moved abroad because I was curious about my own ancestry and have a general interest in other cultures. Living among the racial majority for nearly three years was an eye-opening experience. The innate anxiety and fear of prejudice that comes with being a black minority in America subsided and was reduced to simply worrying about how I would navigate a new language.
I am an advocate for international travel and global education for this very reason. In order to really understand the experience of another person, you have to step outside your comfort zone, your culture, and sometimes your country and be intentional about seeking new experiences and relationships.
At the core of the Black Lives Matter movement is the demand for acknowledgement. Acknowledgement that slavery, segregation, and systemic racism is real… Acceptance that this reality frequently makes life really difficult for a particular group of people in the United States... and an Understanding that individually and collectively we have the power to erase racial bias and insensitivity.
As easy as it might be to make a reservation for dinner at your favorite international restaurant or book a flight to another country – we can do the same thing at home. We can invite our neighbors, co-workers, or the parents of our kid’s friends, who come from different cultural backgrounds, over for dinner (or on Zoom) and have random conversations, enjoy a movie night, or read poetry by Langston Hughes!
Cultural diversity is what makes this country beautiful and unique. We, too, are America!
- Kanette Worlds
We at the Global Leadership League believe that speaking up and standing tall for the sake of your community, and all of its members, matters. Those who choose to step forward for their communities in the face of challenges, and through the pains of growth, are what make communities such powerful things.
Below is a list of resources we have compiled from other articles and organizations. These are to help us all explore, listen, and support this important movement. Keep pushing forward for justice. Keep raising awareness and attention for the cause. Keep focusing on a better tomorrow and striving for better communities for all of us.
Today and every day, Black Lives Matter.
Resources for Black Lives Matter Allyship and Support:
DonationsDonate to organizations and sources that are verified, trustworthy, and contribute to the cause. Here are a handful of options for donations in support of Black Lives Matter that have been vetted.
1. 142 Ways to Donate in Support of Black Lives and Communities of Color
2. Elijah McClain Memorial Fund
3. George Floyd Memorial Fund
4. Breonna Taylor Memorial Fund
5. 20 Social Justice Organizations to Support Right Now
6. 14 Black Funds and 23 Creative Ecosystems to Support
Take time to suspend your own opinions and just. listen. Below are articles that offer numerous reading options and opportunities.
1. Guide to Allyship
2. An Essential #BlackLivesMatter Reading List
3. Deliberate & Unafraid: A New Book Club Cultivating Fearless, Creative Warriors
4. Do The Work: An Anti-Racist Reading List
5. From BlackLivesMatter.com Resources and Toolkits
6. This resource from FutureLearn offers petitions to sign, a reading list, and films to watch.
Work Place Actions
Here are a few articles exploring how companies and organizations can work to foster transparent and supportive workplace environments for all.
1. How Businesses Can Show Real Support for Black Lives Matter
2. Corporations Say 'Black Lives Matter.' Here's What They Need to Do to Show They Mean It
3. Why words aren’t enough from companies claiming to support Black Lives Matter
BLM Social Media
Stay in touch with the cause through these social media accounts. Allyship and activism is an everyday thing.
1. Black Lives Matter Facebook
2. Black Lives Matter Twitter
3. Black Lives Matter Instagram
4. NAACP Facebook
5. NAACP Twitter
6. NAACP Instagram
Lastly, find your local Black Lives Matter chapter here.
Is there a BLM resource you'd like to see added to this list? Give us a shout either on our social media (Facebook or Twitter) or Contact us here and let us know.
The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.