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How are you doing? Vs. What are you doing?

Friday, June 19, 2020 by Robert DeJournett

A normal greeting when we talk or see one another is “How are you doing?” The most common answer is “Fine!” or “Good!”  With current events over the last few months, and, in particular, over the last few weeks, the answers may vary depending on who you ask.  What was common or normal is no longer the case.  We are all adapting to a “new normal.”

If you ask this question to a black person, the response may not be the “common or normal” response.  Speaking for myself, my response has been “I’m not doing good at all” or “I’m struggling.”

The impact of racial injustice and systemic racism has hit a breaking point for me and I can no longer be silent and must speak my truth.  Given the research and recent data shared with our community through the efforts of the collaborative partners who comprised Elevate Greater Akron, we all know and have agreed that the black population have been systemically excluded from opportunities in Greater Akron.

The wealth gap and income gap between whites and blacks in our community have revealed that there is much work to do to achieve equity.  Without intentional and deliberate efforts from those with influence and privilege, we will not reach our goal of thriving economically as a community.  Until we level the playing field and include those voices who have traditionally not been at the table, we will not move the needle when it comes to equity and inclusion. We have to begin at the foundational level of first identifying how we got to where we are today.  We have to take a deep dive historically and first admit or acknowledge that our policies and procedures were created without inclusive input. This is just a start!

We asked the question at our inaugural Inclusion Summit last fall, “What are you going to do?”  There have been many organizations stepping up making written statements against racial injustice and systemic racism and I applaud those efforts.  The important question for these organizations is: “What actions are you putting in place behind your statements?”

I invite you to let us know so that we can share with others!  Email us at [email protected]  and share your ideas.  And, instead of asking the common question “How are you doing”, let’s ask one another “What are you doing?”
Posted: Friday, June 19, 2020 by Robert DeJournett | with 2 comments


Comments
Mark
We believe that everyone likes to be treated differently. I have found that n my time no elderly woman likes to be called mam. Miss is the way to go it makes them feel young and happy.
7/21/2020 12:16:07 AM
 
John Z
Great article, Robert. You're absolutely right. We need those with platforms and influence to do more than just put out statements supporting the cause. We need them to help organize specific strategies and implement actual solutions at the local level. It all starts in the community.
7/1/2020 10:40:13 PM
 
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