Last night I stopped by the National Action Network's DC office to see my NAACP family at work – Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, Rev. Charles White and Trudy Lucas. The fact that these former NAACP staffers and institutional experts were let go unexpectedly after 20-30+ years of service earlier this year, then hired by Rev. Sharpton at NAN with a renewed passion to continue their civil rights work with a new organization is truly inspiring. They could have been broken by the challenges they experienced at the hands of the organization they've dedicated most of their lives to serving. But once again, here they were working at almost midnight getting ready for a march the next day because at the end of the day, it's not about which organization they work for, but the love they have for black people and the desire to work for positive changes.
As a I left the NAN office last it hit me that I needed to apologize for the admonishment I gave towards the "Black Friday" boycott in response to all that has transpired. What good was it for me to publicly criticize an effort that was only trying to help address a problem? I could have tracked down the key people who started the boycott idea to give them some strategic guidance based off my experiences but I chose to vent on Facebook instead of offering a helping hand. I allowed by "organizers arrogance" to overrule my sincere desire to see people take substantive action and for that I apologize.
On a similar note, this week there have been so many negative comments about NAN's National March Against Police Violence - so much criticism of either the event itself or the organizers behind the effort. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of marches myself, but the fact that you have people who are spending time trying to organize an effort to address a problem that is literally killing black people shouldn't be shunned. Trust me, there's not too many people who will work 15+ hours a day into the morning to do something to try and help someone else. And I'm talking about people who do laborious work, not pontificating online or on TV. Who knows how many people will be spurred into sustained action because they attended the march today? And isn't that a good thing?
Whether we agree with marching (or the march speakers), or shopping boycotts or protests in the streets, we have to be encouraged that there are people who are out there doing what they feel is best to advocate for justice. And we need to stop playing each other and truly work together - like for real! We all have strengths and weakness and the sooner we figure out how we can fill each other's gaps, uplift each other's goodness and put our unity puzzle together instead of spending energy bashing each other, the better off we'll be as a community.
It's not News Year's yet but I've resolved that from now on I won't waste time criticizing the road someone or some organization takes as they try to determine their best path for success (especially if I'm not a member of said organization). Instead, I'm going to focus on figuring out and acting on what I need to do to uplift others (and give some advice along the way). So in closing I want to thank all the community organizers for the work you're doing to better the lives of so many people you'll never know personally. You may burn the midnight oil and think sometimes that your work is in vain but trust me; we need you and appreciate all that you do.
WHO IS STEFANIE?
I am an inspirationeur!
I am passionate about empowering people to understand how their unique skills, talents and interests can change the world for the better while leading to personal happiness in the process. Through my work as a cutting-edge business woman, founder of a leadership development organization and spirited public speaker, I believe in #DoingItBIG and accomplishing results. #LiveCandid