Liz Duda: Perspectives I Have Developed of Racial Equity and Ways Forward
Eat Smart Move More (ESMM) York County’s Liz Duda was nominated and selected as an Eat Smart Move More South Carolina (ESMMSC) Community Leader in 2017. If you don’t know Liz, then you aren’t familiar with her dedication to her community. First, she’s a part-time employee and a full-time mom who spends quality time teaching her kids about leading a healthy lifestyle and the importance of being a compassionate, caring individual. Second, she’s the chair of ESMM York County – a volunteer position and very active coalition – and she volunteers for Impact York County coalition, Bike/Ped Coalition of York County, and Tega Cay Healthy Kids. If all of that doesn’t make her a community leader, then maybe this will…
She recently posted on her LinkedIn page, an editorial expressing her perspectives on race equity and notating her references and suggested reading materials on the topic. At ESMMSC, we value diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we intend to support those values in our work and the work of others. We also value different perspectives on social and public health issues, but we especially value our partners, like Liz, who put themselves out there to express their views:
Perspectives I Have Developed of Racial Equity and Ways Forward
By Liz Duda
From the comfort of my life, I have been watching and respecting the racial equity movement for a few years. Events spotlighted in mainstream and social media as racially motivated, however, recently prompted me to deliberately explore my personal understanding and view of racism and systemic racism. I generally understood racism and my personal biases, but needed to work to understand systemic racism and implications. So I have been reading, listening, joining learning sessions and a peaceful demonstration, and brainstorming with family and friends. I chose to document my findings to help me understand them better. I decided to share them publicly in case my research and thought process could help you on your own journey to explore racism, systemic racism, and how we each can find a way to meaningfully address them. I welcome your feedback to help my thinking evolve and contributions be more effective.
In this writeup, I share why I am writing this; my personal development; how I see myself helping (though my volunteer work, individually, as a parent, and professionally); findings from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force that seem like meaningful, relevant ways for anyone to get involved, and other organizations that I observe doing good work; what leaders of organizations can do to support racial equity; the role of the media and the importance of critical thinking and considering multiple viewpoints; my perception of and desire to support leaders of color; my recognition of the importance of banking and wish to learn more; my expectation that Historically Black Colleges and Universities are important, and my plan to learn more; the police; and violence. I conclude with my takeaways. I warn you that it is 13 pages, but I hope you benefit from my research, thought process and resources shared. As you read what I share, I ask you to assume positive intent.
The views expressed in this article are solely my own and do not represent the views of my employer or any organizations in which I serve as a volunteer.