I can’t breath
By Beverly Stallings-Johnson
These words translate generations of fear, anger, despair, powerlessness, pressure and exhaustion. As a member of City of Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther’s leadership team and a proud mother of African-American children, I know that it is paramount that we treat racism like the systemic disease it is and come together as a city to mobilize and dialogue and to actively work on lifting and empowering.
We need to support all of the residents of Columbus – not just those with the most political clout or the most money. We must center race in our work and policy decision making, data has shown us over and over again that communities of color are most disproportionately and adversely affected by disease as we are seeing with COVID-19. Communities of color are most affected by police brutality, access to fair and affordable housing, health care and other aspects of disparities.
Mayor Ginther did not start working on addressing these issues seven days ago or even at his State of the City address in February. He began on day one by creating the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. He called for the first disparity study in Columbus since 1993. He signed an executive order to accelerate the recommendations of the disparity study just weeks ago.
Addressing racism and disparity must be a multi-pronged approach from addressing police reform to making sure all residents have the opportunity to build wealth.
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion continues to work with Mayor Ginther and the people of Columbus to flatten the racism curve while enabling all of us to work together to enable economic equality — and to simply breathe without fear.
(Beverly Stallings-Johnson is the Chief Diversity Officer, City of Columbus, Ohio)
Everyone has a responsibility!
By Houleye Thiam
In this fight against racial injustice, businesses have a social responsibility and immigrants have a social responsibility.
We are not here “to make money” and go “home”, because guess what this is home now.
When Rome is burning, everyone has a price to pay and everyone has a social responsibility, it should not matter where you are originally from or where you happened to be at that time.
When you see wrongdoing speak out against it, when you see bigotry oppose it, and when you see a bully stand up to/against him/her.
Yes, it has finally hit the bottom line for some but guess what, for some others it has been like that for decades on end for, and for them, that bottom line is a breath, a lifeline. #BLM!
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!
A mother’s love
By D’Narius Lewis
I have a confession to make. Every day my mom calls me to check up on me to make sure I’m safe and I’m not protesting. Each time she calls I’m doing the complete opposite of what she wants me to do, which is go home, stop protesting and it’ll all magically just work out.
Now I can go on a rant and say how I fact-checked her. I got irritated that she just happened to always call when I’m going Facebook Live. When I asked her why she kept calling she always tell me “I’m a good mom, I’m good.”
Now, these past days I’ve attended these protests I have seen and heard mothers’ cry and scream out in pain for the loss of their children. It dawned on me I’m my mom’s only son and still clearly hard-headed.
We ended our call and her words were that I don’t know “what the problem is with a mom worrying about her son”
I’ll never understand the worry of a black mom, but I’ve seen the pain that goes with it.