Common traps in the quest for racial justice, and what to do instead

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This great awakening we are in is, no doubt, a great thing. As the realities of systemic racism take center stage, and white people join the fight against racial injustice, I am filled with hope for the new world that we are creating.

But in the midst of it all, I’m seeing actions performed in the name of allyship that are at best unhelpful and at worst actively harmful to the very people they are meant to support. Here are the five most common traps I see, and some suggestions for what you can do instead.

It’s important for me…

Activism can’t begin and end with a hashtag

Credit Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

On May 25, George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes as Floyd gasped, “I can’t breathe.” On March 13, Breonna Taylor was shot dead by police who stormed her home as she slept. On February 25, Ahmaud Arbery was killed in the middle of the day by two white men, a retired policeman and his son. They got in their car, tailed him, and shot him twice.

I could go on.

These tragedies, just the most recent examples in a long history of violence against black people, have…

It’s not more crystals, meditation or new style of yoga.

Modern day spirituality is often accused of being the height of individualistic, capitalistic, selfishness.

Entitled millennials, buying crystals and green juices all in the pursuit of personal wellbeing or some version of enlightenment. Whilst these attacks are sometimes unfairly targeted at people doing serious spiritual work and often ill intentioned, within them lies a truth.

Contemporary interpretations of spirituality seem to have lost one of the core principles of the wisdom traditions they draw from. In Hinduism they call it karma; in Buddhism seva; in Islam sadaqah; in the Judeo-Christian tradition, almsgiving. In non religious terms, we might simply call it service. At the core of these often opposing traditions is agreement. That any…

8 ways you can start being a better ancestor today.

As we stand at the precipice of a great change in the course of our history, (what many of us hope is a course-correction) vital and exciting conversations are happening — what kind of world do we want to recreate? What do we care about? And for who?

Recently, I’ve found myself coming back to he question — how can I be a better ancestor? And I’ve found some answers.

8 ways you can start being a better ancestor, today.

  1. Remember that you are a link in the great chain, not the chain

Good ancestors have the wisdom to accept that they probably won’t solve the world’s greatest challenges in…

When we think of crucial leadership skills we might think of innovation, courage, integrity. But there’s a secret skill we don’t read about in business books that the greatest leaders in the world have quietly mastered. Forgiveness.

Some time ago I was coaching a friend of mine who is also a high flying marketing exec at a Fortune 500 company. As is often the way when coaching time poor, highly motivated professionals, she wanted some quick tips and hard techniques to enable her to push a proposal through with the CEO of the company. She knew he needed facetime with…

Holiday Phillips

Sociologist, Consultant, & Writer. Concerned mostly with Love, justice & belonging. For regular reflections follow on IG

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