This article appeared in the June 22, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

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The personal acts of love that counter racism

Jeff Haldiman/The Jefferson City News-Tribune/AP
WNBA star Maya Moore calls Jonathan Irons from Jefferson City, Missouri, in March 2020 after a judge overturned Mr. Irons’ convictions in a 1997 burglary and assault case. Ms. Moore, a family friend, had made Mr. Irons’ story known nationally. She left the WNBA, at least temporarily, to focus on the injustice.
Clayton Collins
Director, editorial innovation

It’s another week in which the national conversation will swivel between public health and social justice, against a backdrop of political drama.

What have been some personal approaches to fighting racism? 

Some go all in. Last week, when NBA players were working through how to balance their careers with social justice advocacy, a few observers suggested that attention might also be paid to Maya Moore, a star who decided, pre-pandemic, to sit out the WNBA season to pursue criminal justice reform

Some assist others’ growth. Jeremiah Swift and Ryun King, tattoo artists in Murray, Kentucky, recently began offering a free body-art modification service to patrons who wore inked expressions – symbols, slogans – that no longer reflected who they were. 

“Having anything hate related is completely unacceptable,” Mr. King told CNN. “We just want to make sure everybody has a chance to change.”

Conversations about race are useful, and are now more frequent. But all of us can do more than just talk, says Rhonda Magee, a law professor trained in sociology. In her 2019 book “The Inner Work of Racial Justice,” she prescribes “[staying] in our discomfort long enough to deepen insight,” to bring transformation and healing. 

“We can do better,” she tells Daily Good. “The invitation to mindfully turn toward those things we’ve been trained to think we can’t handle, with confidence and compassion, is how we’ll get there.”

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This article appeared in the June 22, 2020 edition of the Monitor Daily.

Read 06/22 edition
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