This is what I think about…the power of Latinx co-conspirator.
It took me a minute to realize what was going on when a situation happened. My my my. I will bet you are wondering where this blog came from. It came from my experiences with two different LatinX women and the need to highlight why co-conspirators inside and outside workspaces are applauded. For context, I grew up with Hispanic neighbors and classmates who were the coolest people. Yes, they identified as Hispanic. And were from Mexico. Parents, children, grandparents were nice, loving and kind to my family and I. What I can say is that I just enjoyed the joy they exuded with the lifestyle, music and dancing. For the record, my family was just as cool. Side bar: When you expose yourself to other ethnicities, it removes opportunity for judgment, bias or racism.
That was high school so now let’s move to my adult years. I met a wonderful friend on LinkedIn, who happened to be Latinx. She took me on as a volunteer mentor. She showed me the ropes on consulting, gave me information about a coaching group, answered my questions and encouraged me. She even invited me on to apply with her for a RFP with her business. How often does that happen? One day she said that she appreciated my posts and she was in a position to speak up for #BlackLivesMatter and the Black community. Not only did I admire her, but getting to know her was a good thing.
Well, not everyone can be a co-conspirator and here is one example. I had a different experience with a LatinX cisgender female when I did antiracist work. Some comments she made to me were, “You are not here to make change” and “Don’t talk about race.” She attempted to prevent me and other folx from meeting, tried to exclude me from meetings directly aligned to my job and failed to give me credit to work I had done. By the way, those were just a few items on the list. I did not have to think twice about what she was doing, but I did have to call out anti-blackness and microaggressions towards me. I had a meeting face to face to address it, followed up with an email and added it as written feedback and addressed it with higher ups. Change did happen. In hindsight, I remember calling my LatinX friend (and my Black female tribe), sharing about the situation and my response. She listened, agreed it was anti-Blackness, gave some background on Hispanic/Latino/LatinX community (i.e. passing for being White and colorism), advice and supported my stance. She even apologized for the behavior. It should be important to note that I had other women and men (Black, White and Latino) who were ready to come to my aid as well.
Ultimately, there are three points in this blog. First, there are Hispanic, Latina and LatinX allies who are co-conspirators for Black women and I have one. I also have White and Asian women and men who have moved beyond allies to co-conspirators with me and for me. Second, employers need to understand the problem with racism, microaggressions, microinvalidations and microinsults toward Black people. It is a real thing and has real impact. Thirdly, you can use your voice like I did to speak up to any microaggressor and those above them in order to create change just as I did. This is why I do DEIB.
I am LaTonya Davis, Brown girl founder of TonyaDavis.com. I speak, train and shift people from good intent to exceptional impact. Reach out for speaking, coaching or training at calendly.com/k12TonyaDavis. Thank you to those who have done so.