Before I continue though, I want to thank my amazing friend Dr. Valerie Thompson (learn more about her here) because she is the one who pushed me to write this after we had talked about a piece she has coming out from NASPA, which I'll be posting here as soon as its live. Coming to you soon; check it out!
The other thing I want to caveat and note, is that ultimately, checking-in is about centering the person with whom you have a relationship: it is a signal of care and love. What that also means then, is if you know that your friend, colleague, neighbor does not want a check-in in the ways I am describing below, then don't, because that is not honoring or centering them. AND, for those who might appreciate a check-in, here are some things to note:
In all of these things, the bottom line is still about care and love. Reasons like feeling guilty of soothing one's conscience align closely with centering yourself (see point 1), not the friend or colleague or neighbor. And, as my last caveat: this is not a script or an end-all-be-all. These observations and suggestions are based on how to authentically care in ways that for me, have felt rooted in love. In sharing these, I hope you are able to hold your communities and yourselves in the ways you need. Hope they resonate and if you have additional suggestions, please add in the comments.
In the tragedy that has been this week, which has encompassed the continued tragedies of the pandemic and manifestatations of anti-Blackness, I have been grateful for my communities and friends that see me, hold me, and love me early.
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