How to give people answers that stand out

Dear readers,

I hope you’re feeling good, but at the same time I wish you were a bit concerned with what’s going on in the world. With the excuse of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the white guilt that it’s being highlighted more and more these days, people are sharping acute observations regarding the state of this country. Police brutality has existed since the foundation of this nation, along with colorism, racism, and economic inequality. In addition to that, people are getting educated and they’re trying to find answers to any question raised. Despite the mobilization and the massive spread of news online, people still have jobs to do and take care of. There are people – editors, chiefs, CEOs, presidents, etc. – who need answers that stand out in a neat and polished way, no matter what emotions we’re going through.

If you’re struggling at work or in your personal life – from answering calls to finishing a sudden task, from replying back at a text message to sharing your thoughts to your dear ones- take a look at these templates of scenarios that Refinery 29’s Instagram strategy editor has shared within her audience. Whether you’re in tech or in art , in education or fashion, I’ve found these posts particularly useful. They are raw and relatable, yet informative and mindfully phrased.

These days I found it very hard to answer calls and messages from my friends and acquaintances, especially the Italian ones. I was glad to exchange information, educate them on what is happening here in the US, learn from them how they think about the news, but I would lie if I said my heart didn’t shrink when I talked to some of them. I was speaking on the phone with one of my best friends, who wanted to know more about the protests and my well-being, but he was also making some questions that I found absurd to provide an answer to. Another one laughed at my articles and thoughts. The list goes on, and my feelings are heavy and mixed. Sometimes even disappointed to be surrounded by this kind of negative and narrow minded people.

After these conversations, I realized that being an Italian POC based in the US during these times brings on the plate a lot of experiences and knowledge that you would take them for granted, but in reality you need to explain them carefully what’s going on here. To put it simple: sometimes my mindset is more American than Italian or Brazilian. However, I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m not the only one experiencing this. A lot of Italians (especially those who have lived here longer) do share my same concern.

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she spicy today!!! 🌶

A post shared by Laurise McMillian (@lauriseirl) on

You can’t assume that people consume news and share the same experiences, directly or indirectly, within your space. This week, the week I moved to my first apartment after college, I realized I’m having real adult conversations. My voice matters. My points of view can be a dealbreaker and can upset people. My feelings towards a heated argument need to be calibrated, especially as a journalist. There are no right or wrongs, but there are places a person decides to stand on.

Now more than ever, it is hard to have different kinds of talks with non-black people, especially with those who have never lived in the USA and never had my same skin color or heritage. Basically, I’m living these times as a baby, someone who knows her stuff but needs to mold her space in this world.

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Ur better than that!!

A post shared by Laurise McMillian (@lauriseirl) on

It’s a lot going on. A lot that needs to be balanced and evaluated. I learned that I’m no encyclopedia to anyone, I don’t have all the answers to my white friends, and even if I’m brown I need to get educated on several issues too. This is the time to speak and pick a book UP. Really, time to pull UP for ourselves in our own space. UP!

I know where I stand, but I recognize that I need to work more on how to deliver my passions, especially since I am not from the US. As much as I’d love to work in a Black, Latino or non-white publication, there are some topics that need to be supported by evidences, opinions, and feeling solely from an African American or non-white American perspective. My real journey as a journalist, writer, brown young woman has officially started.

I feel like yes I’ve graduated, but that school has just started: school of life. Just like my peers in the industry, I am expected to engage conversations in a certain way. Sometimes I still feel behind, but I’ve become comfortable with this discomfort of mine, because I’ve trained myself to find any source and material right away as fast as I can.

Thanks you Laurise for these words. Your suggestions taught me new ways to communicate, set my tone in front of the public, and being confident in my own decisions.

Beijos,

the curly flower

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