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It's Time to Be Uncomfortable, Use Your Voice & Take Action


It’s been about almost ten weeks now of quarantine and honestly, it’s still an adjustment. I'm not going to lie and say it's rainbows and sunshine, because it's not. Some days have been good but others have been not so great. I guess you can say that I have been coasting and slowly adapting to our new normal. I've been more tired than the past few weeks and I can't really put my finger on it.

It's not just an off day but in this present moment, I feel exhausted. I'm exhausted with the stress and fear of COVID-19. But now I wake up with such a heavy heart with recent events of social and racial injustices, the murder of George Floyd and racism in our world. Yet this is not the first time.

I'm slowly finding my words to articulate my thoughts. I struggled to find the right ones for the unfairness that has occurred. I'm not one to usually be outspoken. I've been tuned into Twitter non-stop, keeping up with what's happening and processing everything but also my emotions are of anger, sadness and despair. I'd rather take the risk of speaking out than staying silent and saying nothing.

Straight up, I’m uncomfortable even speaking to this. I feel pressured and that if I don’t speak out (especially being a content creator/influencer), that there’s a target that we don’t care. Yes. It feels awkward. It’s uncomfortable. BUT, discomfort leads to bigger things. Our growth is where discomfort is. We need to spread our wings aka we need to unleash our potential to educate others and ourselves as part of the path of change for our community.  This goes far beyond me and you.

If we want change, we need to do our part. It's an ongoing process. We need to do better. We need to listen. We need to do our research. We need to start advocating for change in politics. We can't just plainly ignore what is happening. We need to have the willingness to learn. We need to open our hearts and our minds. If you have the capacity to speak out, respect boundaries and please do so. Have a conversation to "call-in" others rather than "calling out." We don’t need to knock down others. Have compassion for those navigating their thoughts. Give others like influencers, friends and family time to gather their thoughts as well, to speak, to voice their opinions and take action on their own. Encourage them and accept feedback.

 It's a matter of speaking up with words that are impactful. The impact will happen when individuals use their true voices to guide others in the right direction. From fighters, peacemakers to changemakers, everyone will have a part to create impact. People like myself will use the language of passion for community building to spread the message of unity in our city and encourage others to promote anti-racism. But refusing to have a conversation about race will not resolve the issues we are facing, it will only perpetuate them. Our community has flaws and it needs to be addressed.

 Education is necessary. Conversations along with awareness are key. But it has to go beyond this. Don't let your actions be limited to the next 24 hours. Honestly, seeing others including myself speak out now for the first time has been great but we need to do better. We need to be uncomfortable. We need to be unified. Simply posting on social media isn't enough.

 Your voice needs to go beyond just the now of current events or an Instagram post. Our voices are powerful. We are a strong community that can make a difference. Reflect on your own privilege. Your own bias. It starts in our households, your daily life, our friends and family, raising our children, supporting businesses owned by people of colour, signing petitions and donating to organizations but also writing to our local politicians, creating public forums or round table discussions and speaking up to our community leaders to activate real change.

This is a collective fight. The Black community needs our support.

I'll admit, I'm still learning and always open to conversations.

It's Time to Be Uncomfortable, Use Your Voice & Take Action - Rosalyn Gambhir - Black Lives Matter
I am a person of colour. I am a minority. I am South Asian and Indo-Canadian.
This is important to say because we're raised to be a "model minority". This was a term I wasn't actually aware of until this weekend. It's individuals like Deepica Mutyala of Live Tinted and as of recent Jenny Jay who allowed myself to be proud of my Indian heritage over the past few years. As a first-generation Canadian Indian, we have been raised to stay quiet and keep our heads down. To not disturb or speak out.

This is not fair to our peers or our black community.

 We need to move past this as it goes beyond just us. Let's recognize our privilege, use our voice and take action.

Here are some actionable things you can do to educate yourself further thanks to Komal Minhas:

Click Here to View Resource

Resources to support Black communities in Canada:

Click Here to View Resource

How to Take Action in Canada

⁣Kingston Vigil: Black Lives Matter

Click Here to View Event
Happening on Tuesday, June 2 at 4:30PM

⁣Kingston: Let's Talk Race 

Click Here to Attend Virtual Event
Happening on Friday, June 5th at 2PM

To end, I wanted to share these words thanks to @justaskjenny around privilege right now that she shared on Instagram:

....these conversations around understanding how to get to equality and navigating our privilege is a lot like the stages of grief.

First comes the denial. We don’t want to admit that there is work to be done because it’s painful to see, so we deny it. Eventually, we hear it enough times, one anecdote hits too close to home, and suddenly we’re ANGRY. WE SEE IT. And we’re FURIOUS and we want to do something about it.

And so we start to try, but without always knowing the place to start, it can end up being frustrating.

Eventually, between bargaining and sadness, we finally get to acceptance.

And so here we are.

If you’ve been navigating these feelings for the first time — I’m glad you've gotten here.
When it comes to seeing your privilege there is inevitably guilt and shame around never realizing it before. And that’s valid too — because it can feel like an entire part of society that just wasn’t apparent to you.

But in conversations around privilege, the important thing really isn’t for you to feel shitty as a person, or wrong for having the privileges you have.

Instead, it’s about finding the ways you can use that to empower those around you. It’s about learning how we can do our individual parts to make a difference. It’s about #passingthemic when you can, creating healthy spaces for conversation, listening, and about learning how we can collectively be better.

Privilege doesn’t mean you didn’t navigate hard things. It doesn’t mean parts of your life weren’t unfair.

It just means some things weren’t HARDER for you because of factors that often have to do with race, ability, gender, sexual orientation, or socio-economic class.

And I know it’s a lot sometimes.

But we’re here.

And so, I’d love to welcome you to what I call stage six of this process — Action: where the work begins, and continues. 

-  Jenny Jay

Rosalyn Gambhir
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[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=https://i.imgur.com/9rNiMGU.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether it's exploring the local food scene with her foodie partner-in-crime or taking in the view from her favourite cafe, Rosalyn is always a tourist, looking for the next exciting adventure within Kingston, Ontario and beyond. The Staycationer allows you to rediscover hidden gems in your very own backyard.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thestaycationer) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rosalyngambhir) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/rosalyngambhir/)

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