ALTON - There are a number of indicators that tell you it’s time to shake things up in order to make progress. Most people feel intimidated when deciding to take the leap---but it can have an equally significant impact on your life.

And while it’s easy to believe that you’ll tackle it another day, it’s worth your while to evaluate whether the uncertainty you feel actually means this is the perfect moment to get started. Each small choice we make can and should serve our broader aspirations. We sometimes need to re-examine our journey to live according to our values, and to elevate expectations for ourselves and others to positively affect society and our community.

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We need to recognize that unintentional and passive stereotypes and racism are harmful to everyone. We can make our community a more equitable place by having more frequent conversations with people who don’t look like us and develop authentic relationships across race. Living together in harmony while respecting and appreciating differences in others is integral to any community’s strength and future.

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Racism and stereotypes are issues that affect us all, and can rip a community apart. We must not stand still and be numb and continue to allow racism and stereotypes to be generational. If we are just trying to get by and survive, we won’t heal.

Derrick D. Richardson, Author

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