Answering YOUR Questions: Part 1

 

In the survey we conducted last year, respondents had the opportunity to ask anything they wanted. We had some silly questions (When are you coming to Zimbabwe? ASAP. Can you croon? Channon – Yes. Michelle – No. What color is the sky? Depends on when you look at it! Why are you so awesome? Born that way 😉 ); we also had some personal questions, questions about Tuesday Justice, and content-related questions. Today, we’re going to tackle the questions about us and about the blog. We hope this sheds some light on who we are and what Tuesday Justice is all about! 

What do you see as your next step with Tuesday Justice? Do you want to move more into activism? Partner with any groups? Gain media coverage? What do you hope for the future of the blog?

Channon: This is a great question! Our short-term goals would be to increase our social media presence on several different platforms, including Instagram and Twitter, and to continue to utilize Facebook. Our main goal at Tuesday Justice is to educate people on social justice issues that they may not fully understand or be aware of, and we just want to continue to pursue that.

How do you feel you’re impacting your audience? Which audiences are most likely to read your blog? What level of expertise and engagement does your audience have with your subject matter?

Michelle: We can only gauge this from the feedback we receive, so this may be a skewed perspective based on who we hear from. From the survey, and from what I hear from readers, it seems that our impact is primarily greater knowledge and understanding of social justice issues. And it’s clear this is leading people to really want to DO SOMETHING. One of the main requests from the survey is that people want more tangible ways they can get involved. So we’re definitely looking to improve in that regard. I think most folks who read Tuesday Justice are interested novices. And I would say that’s our target audience. We want to educate folks who aren’t in circles where they’d normally come across this information.

How do you find the courage to have uncomfortable conversations and/or express unpopular opinions over the internet?

Channon: I find the courage to have uncomfortable conversations and express unpopular opinions over the internet because I am passionate about what I am writing about and just want to bring awareness and knowledge to topics that people may not fully understand or just see one side of the issue. Some conversations about these issues may be uncomfortable, but they are necessary to have in order for a solution to come.

Michelle: I have a very similar answer to Channon. I came across this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. last year that sums up my feelings:  “We are called to be people of conviction, not conformity; of moral nobility, not social respectability.” Bottom line: I need to be more concerned about justice for the oppressed than I am with my own comfort or popularity.

How does being a Christian affect your views on social justice issues?

Channon: Being a Christian affects my views on social justice issues because I understand and see these issues as an integral part of my walk with God. As a follower of Christ, it is my responsibility and privilege to do all I can to help those in need and be a voice and advocate for those whose voice may be silenced.  

Michelle: Yes! There are so many verses in scripture that remind me that it’s my duty as a follower of Jesus to continue His mission of proclaiming good news to the poor, proclaiming freedom for the prisoners, and setting the oppressed free.

What would be your top three political reforms you would implement if you had the power to do so?

Channon: 1) Canadian Black History as mandatory curriculum in all elementary and high schools across Canada, 2) reparations and healing for Indigenous and Black communities in Canada, and 3) tackling the high incarceration rate of Black males in the prison system.

Michelle: 1) Ending the policies that lead to mass incarceration, 2) universal health care, and 3) sensible gun control. (And a 4th would be better maternity leave!)  

How have you found the balance of ushering in change and inviting others with you in an all-inclusive way, rather than guilt-tripping rhetoric that’s short and unsustainable?

Michelle: The wording of this question suggests that we’ve been successful in doing this, and I hope we have! We certainly try. Our model is to present the facts first, then offer up ideas on how to make things better and how our readers can get involved in those solutions. This stems from my own experience: I didn’t become passionate about the Black Lives Matter movement from guilt tripping. It actually happened from one particular friend regularly posting information about the movement and the facts and statistics that demonstrated why it was so important. To be honest, I may have tuned it out if it had been guilt-trippy.

And finally, Our MOST ASKED Question(s) →

What made you want to fight for this cause? // What began your journey of interest in the topics you cover in your blog? // Um, which cause arouse the desire to begin this movement? // What privileges did you grow up with and what was/is your personal journey of developing your own passion to promote social justice? // Why are YOU passionate about this? What’s YOUR story?

Channon: My passion to promote social justice began at a young age when I was about 8 years old. A classmate called me a “black b****” during recess one day and I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “Why did he say ‘black’ so negatively?” That was my first time of experiencing racism and the hate that is in this world. It was around that time that my interest piqued about black people, our history and where we came from, and not just about black history (which is everybody’s history), but history in general! I found myself wanting to learn more about ALL people, who they were and where they came from. Also, when I accepted Christ into my heart at age 13, began to read His word more and consistently got to know Him, I recognized that I had a heart, just like Jesus, for people and the injustice that plagues our world.  As seen in some of the posts that I’ve written, I have an insatiable desire for the Black community, to educate them and tell them who they are! Throughout high school and university, my interest and passion grew to include multiculturalism, immigration, the diaspora, Africa, travel, culture and heritage. All of these interests reached a different level when I went to the UK for my Masters and met Michelle! To get the privilege to meet someone who shares your passions and ideas was so refreshing and beautiful. That’s what makes fighting for social justice and change worthwhile! Being seen as someone who is part of the “visible minority” (not a fan of this term) changed me and gave me more understanding, more grace and the heart, for other people and groups who have historically been oppressed and weighed down. I love what I do, and I love that Michelle and I are in this together. 🙂

Michelle: There are things from my childhood that affected me, but here are the three big things that happened in my adulthood that led me to the Tuesday Justice life:

  • By the time I got to college, I had prayed A LOT about what I was meant to do with my life, but I was really unclear about a career path; all I knew was that I wanted to help people. My senior year, the film Amazing Grace about the life of abolitionist William Wilberforce was released. That film (more specifically, its website and list of partners) introduced me to the modern abolition movement, and I knew from that moment how I wanted to help people. (It’s a long, cool God-story about how I got to WISE! And met Channon!)
  • The next turning point came when I was doing some research for a paper. I had gotten Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices from the university library, I was sitting in a cafe, reading and making notes for the essay, “and suddenly, it was like the blinders were taken off.” The book showed me how, without question, the effects of slavery were still very real and present in 1941. And I could see the reality of its effect on present day circumstances for Black people in America. “My preconceived, sometimes subconscious, ideas about why things are the way they are came crashing down.” (I stole that line from my own post last year.) In studying modern slavery, I learned a lot about the transatlantic slave trade, African history, human rights law, development work, etc. My passion grew, not just for victims of modern day slavery, but for other oppressed groups, because the roots of oppression are so interconnected.     
  • In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting, one of the friends I worked with at WISE, a person I deeply respect, was regularly posting articles and information about racism, Black Lives Matter, why the movement was important, the oppression of black people in the US, etc. and it really helped me to understand the issue. At the time, I was working at TJ Maxx, usually in the fitting rooms, where I had a LOT of time to people-watch and think. I spent a lot of that time analyzing my prejudices and internalized racism. I think understanding my own racism helped me to understand systemic racism and racial inequality a lot better.

 

We hope this Q&A has been helpful in understanding who we are and what Tuesday Justice is all about. If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Comment below or shoot us a message on Facebook

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