Emily Lampa says all this morning we have been having really great conversations about support and healing in our community after what happened this devastating weekend and this morning we are here for you, we are going to gather together the resources for healing and help you especially with the level of understanding in the wake of this weekend. It’s rattled our community. Joining us on AM Buffalo is Rene Petties-Jones from NFJC of Western New York.
Emily says, let’s talk about what people have been grappling over the past several hours, days, talking about racial healing; this is not new conversation, it’s something that we here in Buffalo have had on our own, not just with the country, but now the country is rallying behind us to have this conversation even more so. What should be doing to garner that feeling? Rene Petties-Jones says, “As a community this is going to be incredibly difficult. We know that we have a lot of healing to do, and healing is not going to happen in the hours or the days or the weeks or the months, it will take time. She says it is going to be a matter of processing together, making sure that we listen to each other and uplift one another. What we have always talked about with the NFJC is that words matter, and they carry consequences both good and bad and what we are feeling now are reactions, emotions but we have to find a way to unify and come together with a message of love which we’ve been starting here, we’ve always had that message and we have to stay strong in that message. She goes on to say we have to understand our stories, understand the trauma that each of us are experiencing in various ways and listen to each other.”
Emily says a lot of folks are feeling very reactionary right now, it’s so easy to see what your seeing, hear what you are hearing as new information comes out because it is almost like the wound is being open again, every time you get a bit of new information, and I think being able to listen is so important.
Rene Petties-Jones says, “One of the things that we try to emphasize is to give ourselves that moment of pause before you speak just take that moment to allow our brain to kind of kick in a way that is not reactionary, because we all want to do this, it’s just a human nature type of thing, you say something, you immediately want to fill up the space with words or you have your own feelings and reactions but you have to stop and think, what will these words impact and how will they resonate with those that are hearing them. And that includes on social media because again social media, you’re anonymous, you’re behind a computer screen, you can do and say things that can be very hurtful and have meaning and consequences and we all need to check that before we speak.”
Rene says the NFJC has been around for quite some time, and we really do want to be here continually for the community, we are definitely looking to mobilize many community leaders to come together to have a concise message. She goes on to say that is important that we all find ways to unify our messages because we all have feelings about this, and we can’t deny those feelings be we have to work together to make some impact and some changes.
Rene says you can reach out to the NFJC on their social media feeds, follow them on their pages, they have a lot of good information and ways people can connect and have these substantive conversations that we are doing today.