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#BlackBlogsMatter Challenge – Week 1 – Black Blogs STILL Matter

I wasn’t going to do a follow up to the original #BlackBlogsMatter challenge. I fully intended to flake and bow out of this whole thing.

Blog challenges are grueling. I’m not a blogger who writes content super far in advance — 2 or 3 days at most. That’s why I write once a week … or less. Sometimes much less. So I was truly creating on the fly most of last year. Creating every day while still keeping up with your job and your family and your life is hard.

Creating every day on heavy topics like colorism, cultural appropriation, White fragility and Black consciousness is harder. In my experience, Black people talk about these subjects amongst ourselves on an almost daily basis. We ebb and flow and bob and weave our way through these subjects with passion and humor and fire like it’s no big deal. Because speaking openly about these issues amongst ourselves is no big deal. It is comfortable and easy and normal.

Speaking about these issues publicly for those who don’t likely know or understand you or your culture or your experiences is not comfortable or easy. It is not normal. It is a big fuggin deal.

The thought of doing it again gave me much pause.  Even though I said I was going to. Even though I knew I needed to …  Still, I almost gave up.

Sometime in October, I got messages from a few blogger friends asking when, not if, the 2018 challenge would start. When I responded jokingly saying I hadn’t even thought about it yet, one said “Well, get to thinking! You’re the only one talking about these topics this way. We all need this. Black Blogs Matter STILL Matters.”

I don’t know if she realizes that her message saved this challenge. And me.

Black Blogs Matter STILL Matters because Black bloggers are STILL the main and often only ones talking about these so very relevant, powerful and necessary topics.

Black Blogs Matter STILL Matters because Black bloggers are STILL  being overlooked and marginalized despite being the only ones talking about these topics.

Black Blogs STILL Matter because our silence continues to mean to our complicity in our oppression.

Black Blogs STILL Matter because our stories need to be told through our eyes and voices.

Black Blogs STILL Matter because Black Lives Matter STILL Matters.

This challenge is more than just a month of posts about diversity and inclusion focused topics.  It’s a paradigm shift. It’s a moment that is becoming a movement. It’s some of the most important work I’ve ever done.

And it matters. It STILL matters. It will ALWAYS matter.

So buckle up! The next 15 weeks are going to be a wild ride!

The #BlackBlogsMatter Challenge Is Back!

In 2017, I launched the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge. It was a 28-day blogging challenge focused on Black culture and experiences. You can go back and read all the posts from last year HERE.

The goal with the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge was to push myself to blog consistently and to express thoughts I’d been suppressing surrounding race that were keeping me bound and blocked as a writer. I enlisted the help of my BlogFFs Keirsten Greggs and Janine Truitt to help me put together the lineup and keep me accountable on follow-through.

I had no idea how it would change me — and others.  It opened new doors for dialogue and shed light in spaces that had been kept in the dark for a long time. And when the challenge ended, I immediately began getting questions about whether it would keep going and how to increase its impact.

So I am proud to bring the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge back for 2018.

This year’s challenge will have 2 aspects:

  1. #BlackBlogsMatter weekly challenge. This 15-week challenge has a weekly blog theme surrounding both Black culture and experience as well as broader topics of diversity, inclusion, micro-aggression, intersectionality and equality.  In each week, you can write 1 blog post or several within your thoughts on the theme.  Below is the graphic with the topics. 
  2. #BlackBlogsMatter microblog challenge.  This 28-day challenges is designed for Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and features a different blogging genre each day.  You will post each day shoutout and highlight the work of a Black blogger who focuses on the genre listed. My hope is for everyone to meet new blog friends, add new content to their feeder, and amplify the voices of talented Black bloggers. Below is the graphic with the topics.

 

Whether for a few posts, for 28-days, or for the 15-week duration, I hope you will consider taking the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge.

And I hope you will follow the #BlackBlogsMatter hashtag so you can read and share the posts.

And if you’d like to wear your support for #BlackBlogsMatter, check out my TeeSpring boutique and buy a t-shirt or sweatshirt

The #BlackBlogsMatter challenge kicks off on  Thursday, February 1st … See you there!

The Best of the Buzz 2017

2017 was a good year for The Buzz on HR, both online and off. The best part was finding my voice again as a writer and speaker. And feeling supported and encouraged by my readers to express myself fully and freely.

As someone who writes about management, leadership and human resources as my primary focus, it is hard to know sometimes how accepting people when you start pushing the boundaries and speaking up or out about controversial topics. There’s a fear that your audience won’t make the shift with you — and that you won’t find another one.  That fear kept me inconsistent with my writing for a few years.

In one of my earliest posts of the year, I declared 2017 The Year of the Savage. I committed myself to being bold and being honest. I’m proud of that.

2017 taught me that my audience will grow with me and that a new audience will find me when I am brave enough to be fully myself. Because truth always resonates and real always recognizes real.

So I’m excited as this new year begins — and I declare 2018 will be Savage AF as I push myself to be even more bold and honest and to stretch in new directions.

Before I get started, I want to take a quick look back at The Best of The Buzz on HR in 2017.

#5 – Addressing Gender Bias Complaints

Before the #MeToo movement reignited and took the nation by storm, this post gave practical advice on how address complaints in the workplace

#4 – Prioritizing Your Priorities

When your busy and everything needs to get done, use these methods to decide what to do first.

 

#3 – Your Employees Are In Pain

Following the events in Charlottesville, this post provided advice on how employers can acknowledge and heal the hurts caused by racial tensions and explosions.

 

#2 – Dear Pepsi, Your Apology Sucks

Following backlash from their new Kendall Jenner ad, Pepsi issued a weak apology. This post breaks down why it was so horrible — and how organizations can do better.

#1 – The #BlackBlogsMatter Challenge

February 2017 contained 28 posts addressing some of the most controversial topics in racism, diversity and inclusion. I couldn’t choose just one because they were all important, meaningful and widely read.

 

BONUS: Lessons from the #BlackBlogsMatter Challenge

I spent 28 days blogging about topics near, dear and difficult for me during the #BlackBlogsMatter challenge.

For me, this challenge was 2 things:

  • a way to force to get back into writing shape and rhythm
  • a way to force me to share the thoughts I’ve had that I too scared to let out so I slipped into inertia

I wasn’t looking to inspire or engage anyone. But I did.

I wasn’t looking to upset or offend. But I did that, too.

And I wasn’t looking to learn. But I did that as well.

I learned that people still expect an invitation. There were people who didn’t participate because they weren’t personally invited. It left them unsure about whether their voice were wanted or welcomed. I assumed anyone who felt passionate about the topic would happily jump in. That turned out not to be the case.

I learned that people will flake out on you. There were people who were very excited when the challenge was announced. There were others who started out posting and sharing with enthusiasm. That dwindled as the month went on. They got tired. So did I! Somewhere around Day 20, I honestly wanted to quit. But I dug deep and pushed thru it. Posting daily wasn’t easy for me and I know it wasn’t easy for anyone else. I’m grateful for everyone who joined, in whatever way they participated and for however long. I’m honored by those who crossed the finish line with me.

I learned that White Privilege really is fragile. I’d actually never hear the theory of white fragility before this challenge. I had no idea it was a real thing. My decision to tackle it turned out to be far more controversial than I ever thought it would be. But I’m glad that I did it and I’m glad for all the conversations, both public and private, that have come from that post and all the others.

I learned that Black Blogs really do Matter. There are so many of our voices in the blogosphere not getting the exposure and accolades we deserve. I found new bloggers in the HR space as well as in other spaces that are doing and writing dope things! I’m not sure I ever would have learned about them without this challenge. If we do not speak up and support each other, we all lose. We also have to share so others can see and learn what else is out there. New, diverse voices are needed and welcomed.

I learned that this is more than a one-month challenge. There are very few people addressing these topics head on in the HR space. People have called me brave for tackling the topics covered; I don’t feel that way. It took me over a year to muster the motivation to say what’s been trapped in my mind. I’m left wondering what differences I could have made if I’d spoken sooner … But I know I can’t stop. So I won’t. I commit to continue this conversation and these kinds of posts at least once a month. I encourage you to ask questions, publicly or privately. Because it is only thru sincere conversation that we’ll ever reach understanding and progress.

I’ve found my voice again. I plan to keep talking. I hope you’ll keep listening. I hope you’ll holla back.

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