Saturday, October 16

The System is Working Just Fine

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Went to sleep tight.
Woke up tight.
The mental gymnastics required to even function as a Black person in Columbus, Ohio right now is ridiculous.
More less function in
Youth advocacy and care.
Activism.
Organizing.
Any professional setting.
Raising your child.
Sitting on virtual meetings.
Caring for others.
Getting out of bed.
And being asked to do so
In the face of an officer who clearly is not from our community.
Who does not understand how many levels there are to de escalation in the face of a group fight.
That we even have to debate that.
I’m not going to debate that.
And y’all want us to get up.
Bathe.
Eat.
Speak.
Function.
Be articulate.
Care for our families.
Mourn some more.
Run our businesses.
Hold space.
Forgive all your microaggressions.
Educate all your bias.
Coddle your tears.
Like, come on.
Come onnnnnn.
I heard so many Black women say idk what they want me to do.
To Black people in Columbus today
Find your moments to breathe.
Be off camera.
Do what you have to do for you first.
I know a lot of you are up and ready right now.
I am too.
And please, take moments today.
Don’t watch the footage if you can avoid it.
Step away from social media at some point.
Don’t read news comments under the video.
Don’t engage with trolls who don’t value human life.
Call on your Folx.
Say no.
Set your boundaries.
Protect your energy.
Journal.
Eat.
Pick up the phone and say what you need.
Don’t apologize for being a wreck.
Check on your village if you have the energy.
You don’t have to have the answers.
Relax your shoulders.
Breathe.
Remember.
Find the life inside you.
Connect to it.
Remember.
The system is doing what it is designed to do.
It is not broken.
It is designed to try and break us.
The system is working just fine.

About Author

Karen Marie is committed to doing the work of building connection, belonging, and community. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Karen is currently a resident of Columbus, Ohio. Ze is a non-negotiable stand for the most marginalized and the dignity and value of every human life. Her professional reach is vast and includes competency and expertise in Human Resources, Executive Leadership Coaching, Anti-Racism Facilitation, Poetry, Writing, Music, Comedy, and overall performance. Karen is seen as a necessary contribution at various community tables and conversations and is both celebrated and respected for her ability to be strategic in navigating difficult and nuanced conversations and barriers in a brave and productive way. Karen is also a published author, creative, and musician. Ze is a 2020 recipient of the Create Columbus Visionary Award, a 2021 Cohort Poet in Scott Woods’ Rhapsody and Refrain, and an ensemble member in Counterfeit Madison’s Aretha Franklin Tribute; which performed in front of a sold out Lincoln Theatre in February 2020. In 2019, Karen self- published hir first book of poetry, "Grounded"; and is excited to release "Fire: Poetic Memoirs of a Movement" in Autumn 2021. Currently, Karen is the Associate Director for Leadership Columbus and also a facilitator and curator with K Hewitt Consulting. Karen is also the co-founder of The Ohio REST Collective. The Ohio REST Collective (Restorative Equity through Sustainable Transformation) was founded to create space for individual and collective restoration.

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