Something amazing happened today. I went to lunch with a dear neighbor and our two infant daughters. What started out as a lovely outing turned into a powerful moment on my quest to create a space for parents passionate about issues around social justice.
As a parent, we all have friends that serve different purposes in our lives…park friends, work friends, childhood friends. Then there are those friends who you can go IN with. I appreciate all my friends, but I’ve been so lucky to meet some women since I moved back to Atlanta who I can just dive right into the meaty topics with all while bouncing our babes on our hips. It is so refreshing.
While enjoying our lunch alfresco, my neighbor and I started talking about the Charleston shooting and brainstorming ideas for this blog. We were discussing how to be involved in social justice efforts as individuals while also incorporating our kids and families when a black gentleman sitting behind us kindly interjected. He had overheard our dialogue and simply asked if he could join in as he too had an 8 month old infant and struggled with how he was going to speak to him about race and his place in the world as he grew up. What happened next was wonderful, healthy and even vulnerable dialogue. We shared our fears as parents, even though those fears were different due to our different backgrounds. None of us pretended to have any answers, but we shared stories and brainstormed together how we could be the parents we wanted to be while also elevating consciousness within our community.
So many of us ask ourselves and each other “what can we do?” with regards to social justice and the horrific events happening in the news, knowing so much more is happening and going unnoticed by the mainstream. Today showed me how powerful simple conversations can be. No, we did not solve anything today, but we connected with each other as strangers, and were able to talk about race and privilege in a meaningful, honest way. I kid you not, it gave me hope for the future. If we’re not scared to speak up, if we’re not paralyzed by our fear of saying the wrong thing, if we’re okay with being vulnerable and putting ourselves out there, if we stay committed to searching for the answers when there may not be any readily available I think progress can be made.
Keep talking, keep questioning, keep striving. Today was a good day.