Lunch with Lindsay: Diversity and Inclusion Work During a Reckoning

Last week, I continued the Lunch with Lindsay video series with my friend Paty. She and I met our first year at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Almost two decades later, we reminisced on college, reflected on how we have evolved, and discussed how she approaches diversity and inclusion work during a reckoning with racism and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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What Is Your Guiding Light?

Photo from Flickr

On and off since my breast cancer diagnosis, I have not been sleeping well. When I went on leave to focus on my recovery from surgery, I had more time to focus on making sleep and other basic self-care habits a priority.

After my leave ended, I started radiation and returned to work within a day of each other. Again I had to learn new sleeping patterns as my daily schedule had drastically changed within only a couple days.

Then my radiation ended, and I had to readjust my daily work schedule and relearn new sleeping patterns. It is as if my body does not know how much to rest because it does not know what to expect.

My body sure was jolted by recent stories of Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and most recently Rayshard Brooks.

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Lunch with Lindsay: Supporting Black Lives Matter and Practicing Self-Care

Is it just me, or did last week feel pretty long?

Actually, if you are like many people in my social circles who have been heavily engaged in the active work of racial justice, the last few decades have felt extremely long.

I both am encouraged to see more people fighting for racial justice—especially Black lives—in ways I have not seen in my lifetime, and I also am frustrated that this journey to progress is both so long and mentally and emotionally taxing for those involved. This is why when I saw the NPR Code Switch piece titled A Decade of Watching Black People Die, I thought to myself, “A decade? JUST a decade?” I decided not to listen to it.

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If Racism Were a Cancer

I didn’t sleep well last night. Today I will start a new segment of treatment for breast cancer, and I feel emotional about how my body, spirit, and mind will respond to treatment. I’m crying as I write this because I’m both nervous of the effects and also grateful to have access to healthcare. With that said, RACISM IS WORSE THAN CANCER. In the past few days, racism has caused me more sorrow than cancer.

Image from Flickr

When I found out I had cancer, nobody asked me what I did wrong or how bad the cancer was before showing me compassion and wanting justice in my healthcare. When someone experiences racism, there is always someone who needs to evaluate how bad the situation is before determining if the victim is “worthy” of compassion and justice.

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Lunch with Lindsay: Processing Racial Injustice in the US During a Pandemic

If you’re like me, you have been enduring a wide range of thoughts and emotions for the past week.

George Floyd.

Breonna Taylor.

Tony McDade.

Ahmaud Arbery.

The incident with Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper.

I don’t even need to write in full sentences. Many of you know most, if not all, of the names I listed.

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How Close Does Pain Need to Be to Impact Your Spirituality?

Last week I had a couple conversations with friends who were contemplating the impact that the pandemic was having on their spirituality.

Photo from Flickr

That’s not surprising. Whether someone is enduring a personal or global crisis, it’s not unheard of to have spiritual questions in the process. I should know. I’ve been through a wide array of thoughts, emotions, and questions since I started Saying Goodbye to My Body (As I Know It) with my breast cancer diagnosis. Over the past few months, I’ve replayed the chain of events that led to my diagnosis. Upon receiving antiquated and unhealthy advice that society gives breast cancer patients and survivors, I’ve managed hurt and anger while seeking both community care and self-care. As I’ve confronted the largest medical bills of my life, I’ve rethought the way gift giving and generosity are perceived in society. All of this mental processing is just what I call January.

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When Love Is Not Enough for Justice

It is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and I am feeling all types of feelings about the world. Some of MLK’s most famous quotes are about love and justice, but I am thinking that love is not enough to advocate for justice.

LoveWall

Photo from Flickr

Last night, I saw the Babe article about the woman who went on a date with Aziz Ansari that described how their night together evolved from sexual consent to sexual misconduct. (Since the allegations surfaced, Aziz responded with his own statement describing how his sexual activity with her was “completely consensual.”)

After reading the Babe article, I had separate text conversations with a couple girlfriends who were as disappointed as I was by the news. Even if this incident may not qualify as sexual assault for legal purposes, it sounds like there could have been stronger communication and more respect shown in their sexual encounter. Since #MeToo has become ubiquitous in American culture, we keep hearing how men in Hollywood, media, and other industries have been predators and creeps to women.

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