Please, take your knee off my neck.

Many days, I find myself mesmerized by my daughter’s brilliant eyes and vibrant confidence. She’s enchanting, warm, and outspoken. I feel privileged to know her and love her. However, there are also many days I look at her, and far too often, think, “I am thankful that she does not look like me.”

Photo: Jen Brown Photography, Columbus, OH
  • In high school, I reported that I was raped. The white man, whose sperm was found inside me, denied touching me. The detectives told me he was innocent and called me a liar. At that moment, I recall feeling powerless and worrying, “What’s the point of crying for help? Because, as a black woman, society will always value his words over mine.”
  • In college, I remember having to console friends after a swastika was carved into a classmate’s dorm room door at Miami University.
  • As a young adult, I’ve heard too many times to count, “You’re really pretty… for a black girl. But I can’t date black women.”
  • As an adult, I worry about the day when I may be stopped, in my mostly white neighborhood, not because I did anything wrong, but simply because I look like I do not belong.
  • If you have shrugged your shoulders at President Trump’s tweets as “not that bad,” — this message is for you.
  • If you’ve replied to reading “Black Lives Matters” with “Well, White Lives Matters too,” — this message is for you.
  • If in those quiet moments in your home, you’ve thought, “But I’m not a racist. I don’t see color.” — this is for you.
  • If you have watched the video of Amy Cooper in Central Park and thought, “I could never be her,” — this is for you.
Photo: Caroline Hilty Photography, Columbus Ohio
  • I need you to realize there are systemic injustices that black and brown people face every day in our country.
  • I need you to understand and acknowledge institutionalized racism exists.
  • Imagine what it is like to go on a run and die because you don’t look like you belong. #AhmaudArbery #LivingWhileBlack
  • Imagine what it is like to be violently assaulted and being accused of making it up. #SophiaFifner #MeToo
  • Imagine what it is like to be unfairly convicted of a crime that if you were just a few shades lighter would be a misdemeanor #FerrellScott
  • Imagine what it is like to be black and to die simply because you exist. #BreonnaTaylor
  1. Admit your bias and check your privilege
  2. Learn with intentionality to understand people who do not share your same experience.

I live for the intersection of philanthropy, public relations & politics. As advocate for women & girls, I’m a #metoo survivor & #feministbeautyqueen

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