Apologies and Juneteenth
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Share Like 6 Share Click to view this email in a browser MIRACLE MOMENT® “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.” Martin Luther King Jr.
MESSAGE FROM CYNTHIA BRIAN, Founder/Executive Director Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, marks the end of slavery in the South on June 19, 1865. As PBS proclaims, “in this sixth month of the non-stop stunner that is 2020, the country finds itself in a period of education and reckoning of the racism embedded in its birth.” I write this message to apologize for using the “color blind” analogy in our previous newsletter. After sending out the newsletter to share solidarity, a few of our dedicated BTSYA volunteers politely emailed to inform me that the use of the words “color blind” is offensive in todays vernacular. (You may read excerpts below) I thank these brave individuals for their courage to stand up, express themselves, and educate all of us, specifically me. One of my mottos has always been “Failure is fertilizer. Throw your mistakes on the compost pile and grow a new garden.” I made a mistake and from that I learned so much. I am sorry. We are living in unprecedented times and the world is in chaos with Covid-19 and the largest wave of civil unrest since the 1960s, spurred by outrage over police brutality and racism. Here at Be the Star You Are!® we are INCLUSIVE. We don’t tolerate bigotry, racism, or any other negative attitude towards any race, religion, gender, culture, or viewpoint. We stand together as a colorful united family of brothers and sisters from many different countries and backgrounds. Take a peek at our website,https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org or our teen radio show athttp://www.expressyourselfteenradio.com and you’ll see that our volunteers represent the nations of the world. We are very proud to stand for freedom and equality for all. My acting union, SAG-AFTRA released the following statement from President Gabrielle Carteris and National Executive Director David P. White on the murder of George Floyd. It states more eloquently what we at Be the Star You Are!® believe so I share this with you. “The murder of George Floyd is deeply emblematic of a corrosive inequality and injustice at the heart of America. As protests spread across the country it is not enough to condemn injustice. It’s not enough to demand change. We must recognize that racism lives in our culture and only we can change that. We must speak up in the face of injustice and fight back against the indignities our fellow citizens face every day. We must be defenders and allies. We must be better than this.The ugly truth is that Mr. Floyd's killing was one among many murders of black people over many years. Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Jr., Marsha P. Johnson, Emmett Till, and the list goes painfully on and on stretching back for centuries. It must end. Black lives do matter.” Again, I apologize if the newsletter offended, Please forgive me. It was never my intention to be offensive in any way. There is no room for bigotry, brutality, or racism in our world. We are all on a learning curve and open to all feedback. Although we are all sailing together in this time of pandemic, I recognize that we are not in the same boat. This is a time to be kind. To help one another. To be inclusive. We will not tolerate injustice. When we embrace diversity we increase peacefulness. Let’s remember that love always wins when kindness prevails. Smiles will keep us happy. Juneteenth is not currently recognized as a Federal holiday but by celebrating it, we take one step forward towards reconciliation and the fight for freedom for all. We want to hear from you. How do you demonstrate that Black Lives Matter? We’re interested in your thoughts and actions. Send your comments (less than 50 words) to our Kindness Coordinator, Karen Kitchel at firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30. We will include a variety of responses (first name only) in our July newsletter. I know I'm going to make many more mistakes. We all will. But let's learn and grow from them. We are COLOR BRAVE! Be strong, be brave, be safe. And don’t forget to also celebrate Father’s Day on June 21. A salute to all the great dads of every color and creed. In solidarity, Cynthia Brian Founder/Executive Director Be the Star You Are!® PO Box 376 Moraga, California 94556 Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org http://www.BTSYA.org DONATE: https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504 EXCERPTS FROM TWO POWERFUL EMAILS WITH RESOURCE LINKS "I'm emailing you now about the newsletter I recently received that was titled Become Color Blind. I understand the need to be in unity in this fight against institutional racism and police brutality, so I do appreciate your response on this. But I feel that asking everyone to "become color blind" is counterproductive and incredibly tone deaf in light of recent events. Saying you are color blind says that you ignore the fact that oppression/racism exists for people of color like me. As recent events have shown, we are all not treated equally, unfortunately. I in no way mean to attack you, but this was something I found to be offensive. Put short, I feel there are better ways voicing your support. Here is a video that might help explain some of what I said better. https://www.ted.com/talks/mellody_hobson_color_blind_or_color_brave Sincerely, Anika " "I admire all of the work you do in order to enrich the lives of young people. I received your email earlier this week regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and in it you stated that your organization is ‘Color Blind’, I know this statement is not meant to have malice or be hurtful. So I felt obligated to explain why this popular statement is damaging and can make people of color feel uncomfortable. I am Latina and for me this statement, while well intentioned, can feel as if my unique experiences with being Mexican are overlooked. We can no longer be colorblind, we must recognize people’s experiences and understand that someone who is Black has had a different experience than someone who is Asian. To say that your organization is ‘Color Blind’ diminishes the experiences of POC. While we all bleed the same blood we are all experiencing a different reality, while some of us may never struggle because of the color of our skin others will have to live in fear because of theirs. And these differences need to be acknowledged. What you must strive for instead is to not be color blind, but to be actively Anti-Racist. Being anti-racist means that you are actively acknowledging other experiences while educating yourself on how to be a better ally. We must realize and digest how Black people in our country carry the weight of hundreds of years of systematic oppression and learn how to fight for a system that values Black lives. Color blind and anti-racist are not interchangeable and while one diminishes the existence of oppression and experience the other acknowledges oppression and actively tries to counteract it. I wanted to contact you to explain this because I know that your email had the best intentions and did not mean to diminish any experiences. I am very happy to see your organization be so accepting and so against discrimination. I wanted to mention that I mean no disrespect in sending this email to you and solely wanted to let you know how this term has changed and evolved. I understand that the words I use today when it comes to fighting against discrimination will be replaced in the future with other terms better suited for the fight against racism. I am very happy that I worked with a group that has taken a firm stance on this issue and I wish you all the best. If my definition was not very clear here are some resources that may explain it better than I could: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/10/05/white-parents-teach-their-children-be- colorblind-heres-why-thats-bad-everyone/ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/culturally-speaking/201112/colorblind-ideology- is-form-racism Thank you for reading this and hearing my perspective in this issue. Best, Olivia" FREE WOMEN'S SUMMIT Don't live your life by default, live by design. REGISTER for FREE Passions into Profits Women's Summit Hosted by Jane Applegath at http://JaneApplegath.com. Summit begins on June 20th, 2020 with a special guest featured each day .Be the heroine of your own epic life. Watch and learn from a league of leaders and trailblazers to help you to lead a life you love. Your dreams can be your reality! Cynthia Brian is the featured guest on June 25th. FREE registration. http://www.janeapplegath.com. WRITER WEDNESDAYS and SUPER SMART SUNDAYS As part of our Be the Star You Are! Disaster Relief Outreach program (https://www.bethestaryouare.org/copy-of- operation-hurricane-disaste), Be the Star You Are!® has collaborated with the Authors Guild to showcase the new books launched by many authors from around the country in a variety of genres. We will also be showcasing artists, actors, and musicians, all of whom had had their gigs canceled and are out of work. We believe in supporting creativity and believe that books, art, music, and film provide escape and joy, especially during tough times. For the next few months, make sure you are tuned in to both StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® on Wednesdays at 4pm PT for “Writers Wednesdays” LIVE http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are as well as our teen program, Express Yourself!TM airing on Sundays at 3pm PT for “Super Smart Sundays”, https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/2014/express-yourself Both programs broadcast on the Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel and will be archived on that site as well as iTunes, Stitcher, etc. It’s a giant artistic festival! CHECK OUT BOOK REVIEWS Our Star Teen Book Review Team is busy reading and writing reviews for you to enjoy this summer. Reviews are honest and the personal experience of each writer. Check them out at our website, http://www.btsya.com/book_reviews.html, and at our partner, The Reading Tub, https://thereadingtub.org/books/be-the-star- you-are/. Many thanks to our Book Review Coordinator, Stephanie Cogeos, for keeping us on track. 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Celebrate Freedom Day!
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi Be the Star You Are!® PO Box 376 Moraga, California 94556 Cynthia@BetheStarYouAre.org https://www.BetheStarYouAre.org
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO EVERY AMAZING DADDY!