Social Justice Conversation with April Jefferson - Soul Crafts Woman
My conversation today is with the April Jefferson, the soul crafts women and we are going to discuss growing equity for Black lives in the agile community and beyond. I met April a few years ago at an agile alliance conference. What I can remember is that she walked up to me and a few African American men and called us an endangered species. I believe it was after the death of Travon Martin or one of the other senseless death of black men in the United States. We laughed about it at the time, but it sent a shock to me soul that I could be in that statistic and it could be a reality.
I am super excited for this conversation with April and look forward to the work we will be doing together.
Dr. Dave: So, hey, let's just jump into some questions. I have a few questions, and I know you're going to have great responses. I know you are. I don't have to worry about that. So I know you're leading this Growing Equity in the Agile Community for Black Lives initiative. What has surprised you most about the response and the participation by people?
April: That people have put their guard down and stepped into vulnerability. And something that's quite polarizing, globally, that this is a global conversation, and that what I would I say, that the global Black community, we have been silent for a long time. And that there was no psychological safety to be completely forthright with what's going on within us. I felt that other people had the freedom to do so and that people gave space to listen. To listen to us. That we had a platform. Because oftentimes, that it involves us always listening first and not having the space or not it being reciprocal, right? To listen, and get curious. And that is about us accommodating versus people figuring out that taking time to be uncomfortable, and that's a big thing, is that it's a lot of work to be uncomfortable and say, "I'm going to sit here and figure out some tough things in that uncomfortability." The fact that people did that authentically.