Life the way we knew it does not exist. Daily, we have to chart new courses for the twists and turns that confront us. We have been thrust into finding new ways to live, work and play.
When the devastating impact of COVID-19 on my family and friends became clear, I first had to accept this reality: friends and family in Detroit and other places were getting sick and dying, many have struggled to keep their businesses going and families safe. The scab of the inequities that have always existed is now being pulled off.
Next, I had to allow myself time and grace to adjust to an abnormal environment. I was limited in the ways I could reach out. I wanted to run and hug my loved ones and scream at the top of my lungs. I couldn’t hug, but I did scream. I found that our community partners were also having similar experiences. We were all adjusting but aware that we had to find other ways to communicate the urgency for solving the inequities that this crisis magnified.
Adapting lets us fine-tune our skills for the fierce fight ahead. We may not have the same platform, but we still have our voice. Now is the time for us to go deep within, put our heads together and develop a plan of action. Decisions are being made whether we engage or not and when the good remain silent, evil prevails.
There are ways to engage while staying home and staying safe. We have to innovate, initiate and implement new methods of elevating our voice so community solutions can be leveraged statewide.
There are platforms to connect with allies to inform, educate and plan. We can use email, social media, text and phones in creative ways to reach lawmakers. Community activists have used Facebook Live panels and other platforms to lift up disparities and help their networks navigate the crisis.
So right now, even though I can’t physically embrace the family, friends and community members that I love, I can embrace the change that will help build a stronger Michigan. We have to continue to connect, share learnings and raise our voices to help shape what the future should look like. I encourage you to embrace this change with me. We can make it happen together!