How Can I “Be” What I Cannot See?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(MP3 Recording)  

Dear Corporate America,

How can I be what I cannot see?

I know that there are qualified people that look like me,

But rarely, if ever, do I see someone who resembles me,

In positions that matter, or succeeding in climbing the corporate ladder.

I have grandiose visions of being in a position where I am truly making a difference.

However, who I see in these positions, that make a difference, look nothing     like me and I wonder, Is that the key?

I ask myself, “could I ever fit in. How will I ever make friends if they refuse to acknowledge people like me?”

I am intelligent and qualified, but your judgmental expression makes me question the reason I even tried.

What do you think when you see me, Can you be true to yourself and answer that question honestly?

We all have unconscious bias that is rooted deep within causing us to judge based on the color of one’s skin.

So I am judging you right now; judging the fact that you lack the strength to identify the need for people like me in this industry.

I am biased to believe that you, conscious or unconscious, keep people like me from advancing in this industry.

Can you relate to my plight, do you understand my fight?

Be like me and be willing to acknowledge your bias, unafraid to be your friend to work hard and help you win.

Can’t you see that not advancing people that look like me will eventually be the death to growth and creativity in this industry?

I need to see people that look like me, to be comfortable in a space I wouldn’t normally be.

I agree that we shouldn’t allow the lack of representation to stop our aspiration to achieve more than the previous generation.

This is about more than me. It’s about all the young women of color who are not yet able or ready to address this issue and so I am willing to forego my fears to help the next generation in the coming years.

Is it the bias, or is it the process of seeing the bias and what that means about us as people, that we would need to consciously acknowledge we are all equal?

We have to be honest with ourselves to make progress; without each other we regress.

To your positions we will not apply and our interest will die, due to the lack of representation of people that make up thirty percent of our nation’s population.

So the next time you see an applicant like me, give them the opportunity to show you how great they can be.

So the next time you see an applicant like me, give them the opportunity to show you how great they can be.

Allow the next applicant to see how truly great we all can be if we would just treat each other equally.

 

 

 

 

Poem By: Shonnah Hughes AKA Saasy Sistah

Voice over by: Azarria Hughes