Dear Warrior - Your Voice Matters
The world is big, but you are powerful.
Early in my collegiate career, I was given the opportunity to hold a leadership position on my team. Though I was honored to fill that role, I often felt out of place when attempting to lead my team, especially with my voice. I worried that my thoughts and opinions would not be well received by my older teammates and that others would view me as naive or immature when I tried to speak out.
Some told me that I was too young to be a leader and that I simply “could not understand”. But I am grateful to have had others who encouraged me to keep using my voice while also showing me how to have meaningful conversations with those who brought a different perspective.
Over time, I learned to have rich conversations with teammates who brought a different perspective to the situation based on their own experiences. These conversations empowered us all to share our stories with each other and create meaningful solutions that would propel our team forward with love and understanding, rather than division.
Right now, if you are a young white person, you might be hearing for the first time vastly different perspectives on the role of race in our country. If you are a young person of color, you might be trying to communicate how your experience with race has always been, in some way or another, different and more difficult from that of your white peers. In the wake of police brutality, a sad reality about America is coming to the surface. Our history isn’t as gleaming and triumphant as we’d like to believe. Instead, woven throughout it is the oppression of minority groups.
Right now, Black Lives Matter is turning our eyes towards the oppression of Black people and we are finally looking, however overdue the attention may be. It’s painful and troubling to recognize, but would be incomparably more painful to experience firsthand.
As a member of the white community, I’m coming to terms with the fact that I haven’t been aware of the struggles that many others around me have been facing simply because of the color of their skin. I’ve thought back to my experiences as a newly appointed leader on my softball team and have once again, found myself feeling small, overwhelmed, and intimidated by the problems that our world is facing. Maybe you have felt the same…
The world is a big place, Warrior. But the truth is that you have been put here on purpose and for a purpose. Your voice is a powerful thing. Though you may not feel strong or fearless, you hold the power to stand up for what is right and speak the truth in love. No matter how big or small your audience, you can lead others and inspire change.
I’ve learned that standing up for what is right has a sort of domino effect. Maybe that one conversation you have with a friend sparks them to have another. The next person is inspired to do the same and before you know it, that one little conversation has sparked hundreds more like it!
If you don’t know what to say, listen. It’s okay to not have all the answers. There is power in taking the time to learn and broaden our understanding. Before we can speak the truth, we must learn what the truth is. Because our world is so big, there are a lot of different voices coming at us from all directions. It can be hard to uncover what is really true and right. This is why it's so important to ask good questions and take the time to hear people’s stories from their lived experiences. The most impactful leaders are the ones who can also follow by asking for help and guidance.
Do not let the world look down on you because you are young, Warrior. Your voice is a powerful thing. Your thoughts deserve a space to be shared and your questions deserve to be answered. Keep seeking the truth and allow yourself the freedom to not have all the answers. Keep learning, growing, and leaning into what is right.
We Grow Together,
Team Fearless is committed to growing in our understanding of social injustice in America and using our platform to speak out and be an ally for our brothers and sisters in the black community through conversations and continued education on social justice issues. In solidarity with those demanding justice, Team Fearless has donated to the Equal Justice Initiative.
"No matter how big or small your audience, you can lead others and inspire change."