Hannah Foldes, PhD, Director of Talent Management, at home with her husband Michael Foldes, Digital Product Owner, and their children.
"I've been well-schooled in unconscious bias and have actively tried to keep it in check. I never thought of myself as racist and probably would have been deeply offended if someone ever described me that way. But the hard truth is that I am racist. How can I not be? Writing those words makes me deeply uncomfortable because it's not how I ever thought of myself. Racism is what OTHER people do. I've been reading and listening a lot recently, trying to better understand the history and experiences of the BIPOC community. I'm also trying to understand myself better.
I listened to a great interview in which it was suggested that white people are just too comfortable with racism. At first I thought, "no!" But then I thought, "yeah, it's true." And until we get uncomfortable with racism - truly, deeply, intolerably uncomfortable - nothing will really change. COVID-19 is just another manifestation of how the system has failed our Black communities in particular. The numbers don't lie and it's unacceptable. It's all unacceptable. Change will come from a million acts, large and small, done by a whole society of individuals.
To that end, I took steps in 2018 to become an American citizen. Even the experience of how relatively easy it was to become an American, which takes many a lifetime of struggle and sacrifice, illuminates my privilege. I did it because I want a voice - a vote - that wasn't afforded me as a non-citizen. I never took it lightly, and even more so now I will use my vote for change. Because the system from the federal to the local has to change. The leaders, the priorities, the policies, the narrative.
I am uncomfortable - and glad for it. For as long as I and millions of others feel this level of discomfort with the status quo, we will build a coalition for the future in which no demographic needlessly suffers and dies - by police weapon or pandemic - because of inequality and injustice."