When I look at this picture I see them for who they are, who they're becoming, their beliefs, wants, desires, funny moments, conflicts and crunch times of togetherness in some really tough moments. The night we took this picture was a dream for us: our first mother-son, father- daughter dance, complete with a fancy dinner and all the trimmings. When I look at this picture I feel the moment. It's as pungent, warm and snuggle-worthy as fresh laundry straight out of the dryer.
I've been in corporate America for years now and boy how I've invested in getting to know you and you, me.
Relationships have been borne out of countless conversations before the meeting, after the meeting, on Webex, behind closed doors, at lunch, coffee and in teambuilding events. We've been in the trenches of work together. I know first-hand how having work relationships has made work better, challenges surmountable and life at work richer, fuller somehow.
In these moments, I feel like you see me for me and that we've gotten beyond the skin, titles and functional areas we're in. I know and embrace the you you've shown me.
I think of many of you as my Sisters-and-Brothers-from-Other-Mothers.
It's time to take our work friend kinship/relationship to another level, a new normal. My world is filled with African American men, young and old, corporate and working class, executives and cleaning staff. Mustached, clean-shaven, suits, jeans, erudite,streetwise, even some in earrings. They are my family, the husbands, brothers and sons of my 'Momtourage' mothers group, school chums, Boy Scout Troop 242, church members and friends. My world transforms into a cornucopia of brown hues when I leave the office. Every one of them are loved and valued.
It's important that my husband, son and dad make it home safely each day. That a chance encounter with an officer doesn't result in me living without them. It's important that your family and friends make it home safely each day. I know how much your family and friends mean to you.
My world may be colored differently than yours yet our desires for a great life are largely the same.
So today, I'm embarking on a new normal, sharing more of me with you in my heart's deepest desire for you to see the dimensions and breadth of African Americans more comprehensively. We talk about everything else that's available for public consumption-let's add what's on the news about African Americans and the police to our conversation. I believe you are just and have the horsepower and empathy to help dream up a new normal for America.
Join me. Better yet, share the load and initiate a dialogue about this topic. It's already front and center on my mind.
Let's lead and light a way forward.
Tracy Carmen-Jones, President
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