IMHO: Jackie Elward on having hard conversations for positive action

IMHO: Jackie Elward on having hard conversations for positive action

My name is Jackie Elward. I was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am a mother raising our three children here in Sonoma County. Since my kids were young I have had to talk with them about what to do when dealing with the police.

As a Black woman I am tired. I am tired of having to continuously share my experience with race. I am tired of feeling like I always need to beg for my rights.

Why can’t we all come together and work for the betterment of all people? Why is White privilege so strong that people feel the need to justify their actions and guilt rather than try to learn and come alongside the Black community? 

Not only are we dealing with police brutality but we are also dealing with more cases of Covid in minority communities. We are also right now dealing with more wildfires. What’s next? As I am writing this, I have a family staying with us who have been evacuated because of the fire.

My role is to help people start having hard conversations, the kind that result in action. We have been silent for so long for fear of retaliation. We have a job to do and it is to bring everyone to the table despite our differences and come up with solutions.

All people regardless of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. are worthy of being treated with respect and dignity. If we cannot face our own flaws and blind spots we will continue to live with division. Let’s do better!