2020 has been a year of unexpected struggles; this is especially true for Black Americans and their communities all over the country. On top of being subject to the brunt of the COVID-19 outbreak with the CDC reporting 33% of hospitalized patients being black, being largely overlooked during the first round of CARES Act and PPP funding and facing devastating levels of job loss, the senseless deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have only highlighted that we as Black Americans are all-too-often placed in disadvantageous or impossible positions in this country.
The level of support we need to survive, nonetheless thrive, has to come from within. It’s the perfect time for black entrepreneurs to lean into their communities and offer as much support as we can during this trying time.
- Processing Emotions in a Healthy Way
- Being a Resource for Your Community
- Therapy: Real Talk
- Supporting Black America
Processing Emotions in a Healthy Way
In this video our resident positivity master, Coach P talks about reframing your mindset to cope with the unpleasantness going on in our country in a healthy, and positive way. There is no doubt that senseless and tragic violence against another member of our community is traumatic and hard to deal with.
The event is taking a toll on our communities all over the world which is evidenced by the many outcries for justice in the form of protests and petitions aimed to spark the change that we are desperately seeking.
But the question is: what are we doing at home, in our families and even in ourselves to make sure we are coping with these events in the right way?
As an entrepreneur, you’re not only expected to keep it together for your family, but for you business and employees as well. It’s important to keep a positive mindset in order to remain productive and get through these tough times thriving.
Don’t be afraid to lean on resources like Coach P to help you get through these tough times so you can be healthy, strong, and offer the support that your family, business, and community needs.
Being a Resource for Your Community
As we work through and process some of the emotions that have been drummed up by the recent events in the US, it’s easy to lose sight of how much other people in our communities are relying on us.
As entrepreneurs, business owners, and thought leaders, it is often our responsibility to make waves for the members of our community that don’t have the same access or influence that we do.
In this interview with Lawrence Watkins, he talks about how we can push through that pain in order to make strides for our communities through developing economic prosperity, developmental resources, and safe spaces for people in black communities to thrive through tragedies like this one.
Now is the time to lean into your communities both on and offline. Be a pillar of strength for the people that rely on in this uncertain time; find your purpose and reason to keep going in them and watch how you grow as an individual and an entrepreneur!
Therapy: Real Talk
It may seem unconventional, but another way you can support your community as a black entrepreneur is to openly talk about mental health.
Aiyana Ma’at came on in an interview with Lamar to discuss the mental health disparity that is still haunting the black community in 2020 and how we need to move past it and heal in order to see real generational change for our people and our culture.
Be an advocate for people talking to mental health professionals, family, or even friends about the feelings and thoughts they’re having around the state of being black in America. Don’t be afraid to share your own vulnerabilities with the people around you. It will make them feel vindicated and safe; perhaps enough to be willing to share their own woes.
Though you may not be able to give out advice that directly aids in someone’s emotional coping process, you can provide them with resources like the National Institute for Mental Health’s resource list or NAMI’s African American Mental Health resource center.
Sometimes, just having and open conversation is enough. You have the ability to help more people than you know with your platform so it’s important that you step up and use it in times like this.
Supporting Black America
There are many other ways to support your community apart from the 3 listed in this article.
Many large publications like Entrepreneur.com are compiling their own lists and articles highlighting black businesses and entrepreneurs to support during these times. Even if you don’t choose one of them, supporting any of your fellow entrepreneurs locally helps to close the wealth gap in the US. It’s a simple and easy way to support not only your own, but black communities around the country.
Keep your voice loud and allow yourself–and by proxy, your audience–to be heard during these times. Whether it be for equality in lending from the government, the fight against racial profiling by law enforement, or keeping our communties healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak, do not forget the power that your piece has.
Finally, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. The people that look to you–your family, kids, co-workers, friends–will feel vindicated by your own process of dealing with what is going on. They will lean into you, allowing you in turn to lean into them.
Times are hard right now, but they are also changing. As strong-minded entrepreneurs and black Americans in the US, we owe it not only to ourselves, but our communities to show up strong and show up now.
While you’re here, make sure to check out our other articles on how you can balance business, purpose, and profit on the TSP Blog!
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