We Need to Tackle (Responsibly) These Issues Head On

July 16, 2020

By: Sadiq Ali

Now what?

This has been a really tough several weeks for our country. Personally, I haven’t been this sad or emotionally drained in a while. I’ve cried listening to people on TV share their truth. I’ve cried listening to the countless stories of friends and family being traumatized by the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, as well as their first-hand experiences. I’ve cried thinking about my own sons and what it would feel like to lose them or to have them lose me. Then I cried some more.

We’ve also seen a familiar cycle play out: More police and vigilante killings of unarmed Black people. More protest. More tears. More conversation about what we can collectively do to improve the conditions that lead to and encourage racism in the first place. For some, more denial and excuses.

Yet and still many of these conversations about correcting what ails us do not include our young people, even though they are the most traumatized from these incidents. 

But I’m here to say we are missing out on a prime opportunity when we shy away from creating thoughtful spaces for our young people to process these complex issues. We need to tackle (responsibly) these issues head on.

We also know that youth-led social justice movements have always produced long lasting impact on this country, and I believe that’s exactly what we need more of right now.

Check out the EmbraceRace suite of tools and resources for how to have thoughtful conversations with young people about race, if you’d like to go deeper. The bottom line is we have to start somewhere.

Stay strong, take care of each other & always follow your heart.