An Open Letter On Racism - amyhartl.com

An Open Letter On Racism

June 15, 2020

It’s time to address the subject of systemic racism and my role in it.

Right now the conversation in the world has predominantly shifted to addressing racism and oppression towards BIPOC and, in particular, Black people in our country.

I’ve been somewhat vocal on social media and in my immediate world but realized I have not shared a public statement. Perhaps I haven’t thought of myself as being in the public eye but even if only one person listens I want to make my feelings known.

I typically remain silent when it comes to topics that could be considered confrontational, controversial, or political. I believe everyone has a right to their opinions and I never want to offend or distract from my ability to work with someone of different beliefs. 

At this time in history it is no longer about leaving room for opinions or trying not to offend.

It is about standing up for what is morally and ethically right.

I operate in a space intended to be safe and healing. It is critical that I open myself up to these conversations, not only in my personal life, but professionally as well.

Beyond the hands on work or teaching I do one of the most important gifts I can give another person is to hold space for them. To hear and see them as they wish to be known and to respect and honor their existence and their experience.

To ensure that everyone is not only welcome at my table, but that I am actively involved in changing the way the system works as a whole, I am doing what I consider necessary work to understand my place, privilege, and personal actions in changing the narrative for us all. 

At this moment in our nation silence equals complicity and I will not be either.

I am listening, watching, reading, following, asking questions, reflecting, and engaging in my own views in a public space. Not everyone will share my views or think that I should discuss these matters in relation to my business.

I hold that my business is precisely why I need to speak up.

I interact with women impacted by breast cancer and people from all walks of life and states of health. We engage in very intimate and vulnerable experiences and conversations together. 

I need every client of mine to know that they can trust me to not only meet their needs from a skill level but to also be working with empathy and compassion. 

I have to make my stance very clear so that no person who may want to work with me ever wonders what side of the conversation I fall on.

I am absolutely opposed to the systemic racism that is inherent in America and more than this I am actively committed to learning what it means and requires to be anti-racist. 

Beyond my personal one on one interactions with clients, the group programs and online community I run must be maintained as safe spaces in this same light. 

I will not tolerate racist or oppressive actions or language towards anyone involved in any of these activities or efforts whether in the form of macro or micro-agressions. 

I am also working to make my community and my own relationships more diverse and inclusive to represent the full spectrum of beauty in human life.

I admit that I am just beginning this journey and that I will not always “get it right”. I will make mistakes and possibly cause hurt myself but I can promise that any errors in my own judgment will come with willingness to accept feedback, offer sincere apology, and intent to learn and do better. I am grateful to those that I know (and those I don’t) who are participating in my education and doing so with love.

I currently, and will continue to, maintain a professional demeanor when engaging with clients regardless of personally held beliefs and generally try to refrain from conversation that includes politics, religion, or other topics of deep-seated emotion. That said…

If being vocal and taking a stance means I lose your trust or business because we do not see things the same way I am ok with that. 

My beliefs on this particular subject go beyond just personal opinion. They are a moral obligation to make this world better for all humans.

In order to make this world better for all humans we HAVE to make it better for Black people and other People of Color.

If you read this far, I hope that you received it with the love and respect I intend no matter where we each fall and I hope that you will join me in my efforts to speak out against oppression and racism even in minute forms.

It is time to stand up for those who have, for so long, been dying in order to be seen and heard by the world at large.

I am open to conversation or questions if they feel necessary to maintain or advance our relationship and I thank you for your time and attention.

Love, Amy

Beautiful Proud Black Woman
I chose this picture when starting my branding because of her beauty and seeming sense of confidence and harmony with her place in the Universe. This should be a statement that represents all Black people and POC not just one captured in a stock photo.

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