Let’s Demand a Better Future

By Erin Papworth | 4 June 2020

In honor of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and the other known and unknown victims.

It has taken me a couple days to formulate my reaction to the senseless murder of George Floyd, and so many known and unknown others, and the anger that we see on the streets of our country.  I know I am not alone when I say I fluctuate between anger, devastation, uncontrolled tears and utter frustration.

I look at it from my privileged position as a white woman in this country, acknowledging that I will never understand this reality, and yet I have a role to play to stop incessant injustice. I look at it as a white mother raising my innocent, Caucasian and African child, living his best life between friends, bikes, nerf guns and s’mores and yet knowing it is my responsibility to prepare him for the inevitable day when society will see him at a glance as a threat instead of the beautiful, dynamic, and incredibly witty man that he will become. My heart is not fully resigned to that future, and I push on through my tears to protect and prepare him slowly to navigate a system that inherently judges him without even knowing him.

I try to understand it from the perspective of my black friends, colleagues, and in-laws that have a fundamentally different experience as they move about their lives, sensing danger and living consistently with less ease, not only because of the imminent threat of irresponsible policing, but as they experience all the other microaggressions that permeate their daily lives.  I also listen and care about the first responders, and while these present day examples have shown irreconcilable evil, they equally taint the road for those that are true and in the business to serve and protect with honor. 

Finally, I think of it from the Nav.it perspective, as a financial product that is trying to inspire this generation to reject the fear of finances and embrace money as a form of freedom to choose their own path. Ideally when we are comfortable and confident in our ability to provide for ourselves, we are then able to think about how we can make society more equitable and just. While money is a key to incredible freedom, we have to acknowledge that our individual journeys lead to different challenges and barriers. My black colleague and I can make the same money, save the same amount and yet when she goes out into the world, there are institutional realities that create barriers for her that I will never experience.  I may experience some of my own, but I will never experience hers. By acknowledging that, I can try and do my part to change it.

Nav.it is dedicated to representing the beautiful diversity and reality of our U.S. Millennial generation that have unique and evolving money stories. We are proud that we strive for diversity, and we do our best to create a safe space for people to talk about their finances, to promote their wins and lessons learned, and to celebrate people of all colors who are thriving despite the systemic issues we see on our streets today.  The black, brown, white, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, female, LGBTQI, male realities bring true wealth to our country.

Now, while these insidious systemic issues fester, we have a choice.  The generations that came before us fought to inch the legal system open a sliver so that our generation could pick up the torch and fight to smash it wide open. We can -and must- do better.

Now is our time, and Nav.it will remain dedicated to promoting financial health for all. We will continue to share resources for those that want to act, but are not sure how to.  And most importantly, we will continue to promote the diversity of our stories, to highlight injustice when we see it, and continue to create a safe space where we all can grow our money so we can use it to make society a better place.  

Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Next Steps: Reading, Donating, Voting. 

Digestible Resources:

Medium Post: 75 things White People Can do for Racial Justice

Anti-Racism Resources

NYTimes Newsletter focused on race, identity and culture

Fortune Emma report,  and Black CEOs Review 

Donations:

Reclaim the Block

George Floyd Memorial Fund

Black Visions Collective

ACLU

The Bail Project

#BlackLivesMatter

Brennan Center for Justice

Campaign Zero

Equal Justice Initiative

Know Your Rights Camp

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

National Bail Fund Network

Voting: 

Pay attention to your next local election cycle and see what politicians are proposing. Do they align with Campaign Zero’s recommendations for systemic change? 

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