Pause On The Play Ep 14

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Hello, hello there, and welcome back to Pause On The Play. As always, it is amazing to see you here where you are challenged to examine your beliefs, question your predisposed notions and consider realities you may be unfamiliar with in order to understand that they too are real. I am your host and conversation MC for the day, Erica Courdae, here to get the dialogue going

I've had a very busy week, so I went to the National Museum for African American History and Culture in DC, and yeah, it was a lot. It's a lot to take in, it's a lot to process. First of all, It's always kind of crazy, because I live in Maryland, and I have access to all of the amazing museums in just culture and learning, so much around me, and I don't take nearly enough ... I really don't take advantage of it, and I am actively working on doing that. This is one of those steps.

I went that day with a few friends, India Jackson of India Jackson Artistry, who we're actually friends on and off air here, we're actually really good friends in real life. Her, as well as a few other people that we're friends with. We went and we had a lot of really good dialogue with it. One of the best parts of having all of this culture, and having it around is that it does really prompt some really great conversation.

We talked about a lot of things, and the interesting thing about it was, we really talked about what we saw, how we felt about it, how we processed it, and I also went online and I posted it in my stories over on Instagram. I'm actually going to post some individual pieces in my feed because I think there's a lot of things there to really dig into.

One of the things that struck me about all of the things that I captured, and there were a lot of things that I simply just absorbed as I was there. It's a lot of information to anyone that has not done it. It is not a, "Oh I went in one day, and I really got in everything that's there." No, it takes, I would say, a few visits to really get it in and to really, to process it. But of all of the things that I saw and did not capture, there were a lot of things that I noticed.

I noticed this underlying themes in, and then of the things that I did capture and I did share with you guys, which I didn't even share everything, and I shared a lot of it, but the constant theme of everything was that nothing is new.

Nothing. Absolutely nothing is new. These are recurring themes. These are things that keep coming up.

These are things that continuously need addressing, that need reevaluating, that need continued awareness.

I think sometimes what happens is, with the work that I do in helping people to uncover where they are on their journey of imperfect allyship, how this plays into their life, how this plays into them being a business owner, and how they build a brand, how they are building this reputation for themselves. The things that they choose to do. All of these things that are coming up, none of it is new. None of it is new.

There was literally one that I took a photo of, and it talked about,

don't work anywhere that you can't spend your dollars.

I have to look and find the exact image and I'll try to post it with this podcast, but if you are not represented there, if you are not being supported, don't spend your money there. That is directly in line with our vote for your dollars directory, which you can get by going over to Erica Courdae, so you can see this list, that's just a start, that has some businesses on it that we've curated for you, so that you can actually use your buying power as a catalyst for amplifying your voice around your beliefs, ethics, and values.

This list in this directory is continuously being updated because I want people to find these places that they can go to and patronize that are standing for something as opposed to I'm going to give all my money to fill in the blank business that could give two shits about what matters to me. Your dollars is one of your most powerful ways to speak up about how you feel about something.

I'm seeing these things. That was just one of the examples of this stuff is not new. Seeing when it talked about race when it comes to television, and for me, when I was growing up, I remember watching things like the Jefferson's and Sanford and son, movies like Mahogany, and seeing these

themes of activism, racism, colorism, coming all weaved through there, and yet, here we are now, what is today?

Today I think, today is actually for me, which is not, obviously, when you're going to get the podcast, but today is July 5th, and yesterday I was on Instagram on my soapbox around the fact that people are pissed off because they chose a black actress to play Ariel in this reboot of the Disney movie, Little Mermaid.

I'm like, "Well, shit. Here we go, nothing is new. We keep running into the same walls. When you keep going through these things, then that's basically ... the universe being like, "Hey, guess what? You haven't figured it out yet, and I'm going to give it to you again until you finally get the message."

It's like when you're running across things and you're doing your evolution, please don't ever stop because you think, "Oh my gosh, I don't know why I keep coming across this," because you know what? It's been hundreds, thousands of years, and we're still dealing with the same shit. You're good, you're good, because the time that it takes for you to try to realize it and to be a continuous work in progress, and to say that I am continuously trying to get better, I am looking for my biases, I am looking for the systemic thoughts that I didn't realize were programmed in me, and I'm trying to break that down, because I no longer want to be a complicit part in this machine that is full of crap. I don't want to do this anymore.

You know that that's how you feel, but you have these moments, and you feel like you've run into a wall, and you're like, "This is really, really, painful, and it's difficult." Do not stop. Do not stop. You are 10 steps ahead just for the simple fact that you have acknowledged that it's hard, but you also understand the seriousness of not stopping, of not giving up.

When you are able to see that you seeing something and saying that,

"I am going to acknowledge this, and I am going to continuously work on it,"

well, guess what? Again, you have made a difference by saying and acknowledging and doing that. Because for me to go in to see these same types of things that were coming up when slavery was abolished. These same things that came up that made slavery something that could even be put into action, to now, modern day and these things still keep coming up. Nothing is new. Nothing is new.

But if you know that, then at least then you can say, "Okay," so then that means that it is actively time to do something different. It is actively time to be, think, and act, and feel differently, because that is what has not changed. That is what is different. Things being the same? Yeah, a lot of the shit is the same. What's different is how you choose to be, do, act, and feel about these things. That is what begins to turn the tide. That is what begins the concept of those million raindrops filling that ocean because you have said, "I refuse to do this.

I refuse to be silent. I can't turn a blind eye. I can't unsee what I have seen. I am not willing to be quiet.

I am not willing to just be okay out of fear of, am I going to lost business? Am I going to lose friends? Is my family going to be annoyed with me?" Oh, so what.

We all have to have something that we stand for or we fall for anything. What are you standing up for? Who are you standing up for? What do you want to plant the seeds for, to be better moving forward? By being the example. I want you to ask yourself that. I want you to have that takeaway. Whatever comes from that, to be the thing that you go and take action on is one thing. From all the ranting I have done today on my soapbox, and yes I'm on my soapbox, I am, but it is because so many things are not new. The thing that can be new is what you choose to do.

With that, I want you to know you do not have to do it alone. When you come over and you talk on Instagram about your takeaways, this is a safe, but brave space. You are not there to be shamed, you are not there to be chastised, you will not be ridiculed, or belittled, or made to feel like less, because you have not done more enough. You haven't been faster, you didn't pick it up sooner. No, that will not help you move forward.

All you can do is today forward, and with that, that is where I will challenge you to be brave. I won't allow you to sit in it. I won't allow you to wallow, to play the victim because you have the responsibility and the availability to do great things. Take the platform and privilege that you have and move mountains with it. That is what I curate space for. That is how I am here to support you. That is how I will facilitate you in coming to the awareness for your change.

As always, you know I want you to talk. That is the most important thing about any of this. Nothing happens if it lives in your head. Come over to Instagram, let's talk about this.

Pause on a Play is one iteration of how we use conversation to create connection. Our one on one calls, is another. This is where you can get support on how your beliefs and values around diversity, equity and inclusion, are showing up for your business. How you vote with your dollars, how you are sharing your message to let people know that you curated a space with them in mind, that you want to talk with them and hold space with them to have a seat at the table.

Hop on over to ericacourdae.com today, and register for a complimentary tea time chat. These are our connection calls, so we can hop on, discuss your needs, and create a plan of action that's personalized for your brand to further it's evolution.

The conversations we have here are to normalize the challenging things and make them a part of your normal exchanges. This is how we remove stigma and create real change and connection, cross lines and recreate boundaries to support, not separate.

If you enjoyed this podcast, show me some love by subscribing, sharing it with a friend, or leaving us a review. Reviews are the fuel to keep the podcast engine going. Let's get more people dropping the veil and challenging their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Speaking of keeping it going, if you don't already follow and engage with us over on Instagram @ericacourdae, come on over there and do that. I really want to talk with you, so DM me and let's do this.

I love being here and creating the bridge for you to walk over to become the change that you want to see. Join us next time, and until then, keep the dialogue going. Bye.

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