Erica and Seth 2

What started as a Facebook post for my friends and family, is now an article that has reached more people than I could have imagined. I tend to identify as an internal processor. It takes me some time to process and articulate my thoughts, and I often feel that I do so best in writing. Over the last week, Seth has made the decision that being a good ally will often mean turning down opportunities to speak when they are offered to him, so as to avoid being the loudest voice in the conversation. I want his decision to support black voices to be normalized. Moving forward, we are looking to find an effective balance in which Seth can take a question or a request and then pass it on to amplify black voices and black activism. When SET wanted to have Seth on for SET Real Talk Tuesday, both he and I thought it might be best for me to participate. We later agreed, after careful thought, that it would be best for me to write something.

We have received an incredible amount of encouragement and love over the last week. I found it moving that strangers would take time out of their day to send uplifting messages and kind words our way. I want to take this opportunity to encourage others, the same way that I’ve been encouraged this past week. I want to encourage those who are passionate about seeing this country progress, improve, and be better for its citizens of color, to be intentional about keeping this conversation going. Protest and demonstrate, speak up, engage, volunteer, and challenge. Don’t listen to those who try to derail you, or undermine you.

Seth and I are in the process of familiarizing ourselves with the organizations here in Cleveland that impact and empower those who we believe to be the most vulnerable to racism: black children. The conversation about racial inequality that is currently taking place throughout the country is one that we take very seriously. I want to encourage the readers of this post that protest is not inaction, and that your words, when speaking up against racial injustice in this country, are not futile. We cannot trivialize the value of igniting conversation, when there are still whole groups of people who blatantly deny that racism even exists. It is my prayer that those who care deeply about issues of racial injustice would continue to embody justice in an environment that is so sorely lacking it.

The continued support, encouragement, advice, and love is so meaningful.  Thank you all.

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