Narratives are critical to building movements. They provide the “why” that helps us understand issues and take action to right wrongs. For Black Lives Matter, “the why” is combating the anti-Blackness that leads to death at the hands of cops. For the #MeToo movement, it’s ending sexual harassment and assault.
So how do we do this hearts-and-minds inclusion work? I think it happens through the mandated diversity, when people work with people and practice inclusion.
A trivial case: The other day in the grocery checkout (superwhite, super-red, semirural NW NJ), as always I told the cashier I wasn’t playing the Monopoly game. Then as always I just turned to the next party in line and asked if they were playing. It was two young Black men, dressed for rough and dirty work. I’m an old White woman. They looked shocked, but then one shrugged and answered, “Um, what? Sure. I guess.” We smiled, I asked the cashier to give them my game pieces. She smiled and said she would. It turned out the guys were parked nose to mine. We exchanged waves and smiles again as they loaded cases of water and gallon jugs of iced tea. They were probably not from around here, but working at some hard, dirty, poorly paid job and sent to get hydration for the whole crew. I hope they left with the knowledge that at least some of us have open hearts and minds.
I agree bks, great post.