“Going back to normal” is unacceptable to us, many people of color, and marginalized and underrepresented communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has globally exposed the systemic and historical failures and oppression that many communities, especially the black community, in the U.S. have been experiencing and battling for decades.

Due to regional and local “lockdowns” and stay-at-home orders, our individual and societal lives have been ground to a halt and this “involuntary” pause has caused much reflection on an individual level but also as communally about how we as individuals and communities live, work, learn, do business, and civically engage. In addition to that, our country has seen an uprising and demand for justice and liberation in the most recent wake of the killings of black bodies and souls like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Many have been calling for a “reboot” or “reset” to break down racist, oppressive systems, to shift the status quo, to rectify the past, and set our communities, cities, and country onto a better and equitable path. Speak Truth believes that this  universal “time out” that this pandemic and recent events should function as a “reset,” restructuring, or rebuilding of current systems and norms.

I would like to convene community leaders and subject matter experts to concretely identify and articulate what steps we as individuals should take in our personal, communal, and professional lives and what calls to actions should be issued to all levels of government as well as the public and private sectors for equitable and just outcomes for all.  Those recommendations will form Speak Truth’s agenda, the “Speak Truth Reset” Agenda.

The topics may include but are not limited to:

  • City/State/Federal Government’s Response to COVID-19 (including testing, contract tracing, and provision of social support services)
  • Pay Equity 
  • Education systems (K-12, higher education)
  • Economic Rebuilding, Resilience & Growth for Black Owned Businesses 
  • Health Care
  • Housing
  • Corporate Support of and Participation in Oppressive Systems 
  • Professional Sports Inequities & Disparate Outcomes
  • The Political Landscape/System and Lack of Representation  
  • Community-Based Policing/Police Accountability 
  • Criminal justice system 
  • Systemic Violence Against Black Bodies
  • Institutional Religions and their Participation in Oppressive Government Actions and Systems
  • Holistic Self-Preservation and Care for Black Women
  • Personal Wealth Growth & Management 
  • Career Reset & Emerging Ahead Post-COVID for Black Women 

The cycle of all forms of violence against people of color, and specifically black people, must stop now. The disenfranchisement of black people and other communities of color can no longer be accepted by any of us. We cannot “return to normal” but must create a better “now.”

We intend to have working groups “in the background” formulating recommendations while having public-facing panels. We hope to start programming late July/early August and carry through the rest of the year and running up to our Summit on March 20, 2021. 

If you are open to joining this collaborative effort and take part in the “Reset” Agenda initiative as a working group member for any of these topics or would like to join us as a panelist (or both), please let us know by end of business Friday, June 26, 2020. If you could help us spread the word and invite others in your networks who may be interested in this initiative, we would be greatly appreciate it. You (or anybody interested) can contact us at info@speaktruthsummit.com.  

Be safe and well! 

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