Being put to the test

Shakira Moore

Sr. Media Planner

The last 3 months have been a true test! A test for work from home policies, for daily operations, for how we conduct business, how we service our clients, for group dynamics, for our technology. As we watched and re-watched the death of George Floyd — yet another unarmed black man in America and the resulting nationwide protests and riots, we found ourselves dealing with another round of tests. We saw our compassion, our candor, our courage, our resilience being tested and pushed to the limit.

Nothing about living in this world as a black person is easy. We are judged by something we cannot and do not wish to hide – our skin. We are stereotyped, labelled, and are forced to prove ourselves and our worth at every turn. When the truth of the matter is, we are human like everyone else! We have dreams, ambitions and desires like the next person. We work hard – twice as hard – because that has been ingrained in us.

I find the courage to have the uncomfortable conversations and speak with candor because that is how we grow. Bravely stepping outside of my comfort zone to advance the dialogue and truly support the well needed and long overdue change is something I felt I had to do.  Compassion and grace have allowed me to channel the anger and frustration I experience daily. I did not choose this burden; rather it has chosen me and so I will continue to give voice to our issues and ask that diversity and inclusion be seen through the lens of humanity and not a network policy. There is no place for ignorance if we are to advance the conversation. Awareness and education are key to tearing down the walls of apathy and white fragility that can derail the conversation. I suggest we include the following books to our reading list:

So you want to talk about race  ljeoma Oluob
Black skin, White masks  Frantz Fanon
I am not your Negro – James Baldwin
White fragility – Robin Diangelo

Let the words seep into your soul and then be brave to have the much-needed dialogue with your black colleagues.

What makes Canada unique and DAN Canada so great is what we bring to the table; what we bring to work for the benefit of our clients and partners. It is not our media and technology tools or the countless other resources we use that make us great — it is our people! We will continue to be great when we recognize that humanity, care and compassion must be at the heart of who we are and what we do. We must do the introspection and see where we have fallen short and commit to doing better and actually do better! Racism doesn’t only affect me as a black woman; it affects all of us. The change must start at the individual level and each of us must truly embody the change we want to see. My desire is to leave this world better than I found it. What is yours?