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Founder Fridays

Liberatory Consciousness

Last weekend, in response to the recent police brutality and Black Lives Matter protests, we committed to posting once per week about the just, equitable and regenerative future we believe in.

This week I attended two webinars about tackling racism and whiteness within small businesses. One hosted by @rachrodgersesq and the other by @desireeadaway. Both workshops introduced the same framework for Liberatory Consciousness by social justice and change educator Barbara J. Love, as a way for all folks to anchor our work towards freedom.

The framework is simple: Awareness → Analysis → Action → Accountability → (leads back to awareness i.e. it’s an ongoing process). Barbara J. Love’s definitions of each step are below.

What’s critical is that between coming to know an injustice and taking action, we must conduct thorough analysis. In both workshops it was stressed that this Analysis step is the piece all too often the one left out by our culture of whiteness that favors urgency and optical action. As a result brands rush out Black Lives Matter communications without first analyzing their racist internal cultures or ongoing intents. Often more harm is committed in the process.

In our own response, we showed this same tendency to spring into action as opposed to taking time to fully analyze where we’re at, and how a small business like us can meaningfully towards liberation and justice for all.

Committing to immediate action was a mistake. Instead we need to spend more time working on our awareness first; on coming to know our own racist tendencies more explicitly. To continue listening to what the Black community is saying, and then analyzing why this isn’t happening and how we can best support moving ourselves and the world in this direction.

So don’t expect us to begin posting each week. We may post the odd update as we continue this work, but this inner work will be more quiet. It will express itself in clear ways in future as we move towards action.

Thank you #BarbaraJLove, @rachrodgersesq, @desireeadaway, #ErickaHines and #JessicaFish for sharing your wisdom and helping me on my anti-racist journey.


— Stephen from Keap


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