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Fighting Fatigue in Racial Equity & DEI Work

Updated: May 31, 2023

There are lots of tired folks out there. Many people of colors are exhausted by the ongoing racism, bias, diminishment and marginalization of their voice, identity, and their being. They are tired of being the ones to always say something and be the "holder of this work."

Many white people are also tired in different ways. Sometimes their own white colleagues and networks exhaust them (family too!) with their stubborn and willful ignorance or unwillingness to engage in this work at any level. Also deeply concerning: white people who are tired of "this work still being a thing"; meaning, “How many more trainings, consultants, and plans do we need to show we've done the work of racial equity?” as someone recently mentioned when we were talking about this work.

Sigh. There is so very much to say about this. But I want to focus on one piece of the antidote for fatigue.

First: rest. Gather yourself. Reflect on your purpose and your space for how you take care of yourself. Take space for stillness, for rejuvenation, for wellness. It is an essential part of getting to the next step.

Next: keep going. Say one more thing, take one more action, take one more moment of deep breaths, take one more hour of extra self care. Keep going. We need you.

White supremacy works on silencing and shaming the reimaginers and redesigners of this world. For ourselves and our purpose —define a space that is meaningful for you and let your purpose define your actions.

A lapel pin and a gentle reminder. | Photo Credit: Bina M. Patel, 2018.

Check out this article I wrote on taking a time out from this work.


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