This post is part of our Social Impact Summer Series. Initiated by The Institute for Social Justice Inquiry and Praxis and the Faculty Blog editorial team, the Series is meant to facilitate timely reflections and commentaries on unfolding events and to provide space for our faculty colleagues to strategize and coordinate efforts as we work toward freedom for ourselves, our students, and our communities.
For several days now I've wanted to write this letter, and I haven't been able to find the words to express what is in my heart. The truth is, I haven't been ok. The complex mix of emotions - pain, sadness, anger, and frustration - took over my mind and physical body in a way that I have never experienced. I completely shut down. I felt like my whole body was being swallowed and pulled by a strong current.
As someone who is solution-oriented, I felt lost and didn't know what to do to help. I questioned my role. As a mother, I felt the collective call to all mothers as George Floyd called out for his mother during some of his last moments; I wept for my son. As a wife, I wept for my husband. As a sister, I wept for my brothers and sisters. As an aunt, I wept for my nephews and nieces. And as a black woman, I wept for my community. I wept for me.
This is not just about Amy Cooper's call to the police on a black man in Central Park, Ahmaud Arbery's shooting death while jogging in Georgia, Breonna Taylor's assassination inside her Louisville, Kentucky home, or the Minneapolis Police's murder of George Floyd, not to mention all of the other black lives that have been lost at the hands of law enforcement in this country. I understand the myriad of emotions being expressed by protest. This is not only a fight for social justice but a fight for economic justice against historical institutional racism. Black Lives Matter!
No matter how helpless I feel, I know I have to keep going. No matter how bad things are right now, I have to keep pushing and believe that together goodness will triumph and that things will not be this way forever. No matter the circumstances, the work we do here at Morehouse is today even more relevant.
Yesterday, I finally felt ok enough to go back to work and reconnect with my team. I reflected on my role and the work we do at the Center to crack the code of income equality through entrepreneurship. I am the director of the Morehouse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (MIEC). This role is deeply connected to who I am as a person and my passion to serve the underserved. Every day as we partner with you, we're doing the work to fight economic injustice and systemic racism.
We have to focus on the work we do to help foster and grow Black businesses. We must provide our students with the tools and skills to not only build and scale businesses but to leave Morehouse with a clear understanding of an entrepreneurial mindset to create organizations to solve these societal problems.
The protests across our countries are the people's call for profound change. Their passion, heart, and desire to live in a more just world has brought them to the streets. The more difficult work is harnessing that energy to not only capture the moment but to sustain the movement; to create new systems that enable us to live empowered lives and lift up the entire community.
I believe that every single one of us is part of the solution and can support the movement to ensure the end of racial discrimination. If you are looking for ways you can support these efforts, below are some links to organizations and activities to get involved.
Support MIEC: Our center is a small team supporting the critical work of cracking the code of income equality through entrepreneurship. We work tirelessly to secure funding and business partners to foster and scale the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem for Morehouse students and underrepresented small business in the Atlanta metro area and beyond. CLICK HERE TO JOIN MIEC IN SOLIDARITY!
Tiffany Bussey, Ph.D., is the Founding Director of the Morehouse Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center.