gapmuse quarterly roundup: staying positive during COVID19, black allyship, inspiring poetry & more

Collage of mother cradling daughter, fashion model, Misty Copeland, two children with arms around each other, teen looking at the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, and beautiful flowers

COVID19, Black Lives Matter protests, unemployment, mask-wearing controversies (or stupidity if we’re to be honest), more COVID, rising unemployment, school year disruptions… the second quarter of 2020 has been a test in resilience, patience, tolerance, and survival.

It’s not surprising the level of stress has been exponentially growing as the months have gone by. It’s been tough for everyone, including our children.

“I’m I ever going to see my friends?” my little one asks. In the beginning, I would have answered this question with a lot of effortless enthusiasm and optimism. Today, I would be lying to you if I told you it doesn’t take much effort to answer it with as much optimism. It’s even harder for her now, especially after the news her 5th-grade year will start at home!

With all these disruptions happening in our lives, we had to find a way to manage our stress, and most importantly, to survive and thrive.

In case you missed it, here is how we survived the second quarter of the year. From tips on how to stay positive and motivated during COVID19, to resources to help us become better allies to the black community, and inspiring poetry to help us do better for each other, we hope you will find something that will boost your resilience, keep you positive, and push you through the second half of the year.

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How to stay positive & motivated during Covid-19

Collage of beautiful pink flower, woman dancing West African Dance in her living room, woman doing the side crow yoga pose, baked banana bread, amazing drawing of an eye, beautiful sunset, Maya Angelou photo with quote, and skyline with lemon tree in the forefront

The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted our lives in 2020. One minute we’re going about life wondering if we will accomplish our goals for the year; the next minute we’re wondering when and if we’ll ever be able to leave our homes and interact with others freely! Heck, it didn’t even give those of us who had slipped up a bit time to get back on track!

Yet, here we are, wondering what in the heck happened and when it’s all going to get better. With the media preaching doom and gloom and politicians seemingly confused on how to handle this crisis, it’s easy to feel helpless. But we must not allow that to happen. We can either allow this virus to defeat us or we can choose to fight. We choose the latter! Read on…

6 things to make mother’s day special for mom during covid-19 [+video]

Image of mom cradling her baby

“But I’m always with you.” That’s what my mom always says to me when I tell her I miss her and wish she could be with me. They are the same words she used to comfort my brother on the phone 18 years ago when he was terminally ill, confined in a hospital thousands of miles away, and worried he would not be able to be with her. I remember vividly hearing her tell him that if he closed his eyes and visualized her presence, he would realize she was right there with him. Though an extremely sad moment for me to witness, I couldn’t help but notice he became calm and less fearful

It wasn’t until many years later when I become a mom myself I realized the full power of those words and what she meant. There is not a moment that goes by without me thinking about my two young daughters. I carry them with me wherever I go and in whatever I do. So sometimes when my girls say they miss me or “don’t know what they would do without me,” I repeat, “But I’m always with you.” Sure enough, my words have the same calming and soothing effect they had on my brother and me. Read on…

How to be an ally to the black community [to help us breath]

“Did you watch the video?” No, I said to my friend. It’s the same answer I give for any video released this year of innocent black men being brutally murdered in the hands of police or white men.

Why? You might ask? Because as a black woman who is a mother, sister, auntie, cousin, and friend to black boys and men, I want to honor their memory by remembering them as they were when they were alive – healthy and treated with dignity. I don’t want the last image imprinted in my mind to be one of them suffering. I want to honor them the same way I celebrate my family members who have passed. Wouldn’t you? I don’t memorialize my dad, sister, or three brothers who have died the way they were while they were ravaged by disease. I think of them and see images of them as they were healthy and vibrant. Read on…

We will not shed our skin [a beautiful poem by my teen daughter]

Image of African American Girl looking out into the beautiful sunset over the pacific ocean
My life matters.

This beautiful poem, written by my 16-year-old daughter, is dedicated to all the black girls, young women, and women who throughout their lives have been made to feel less than.

She wrote it following the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests happening in the U.S. and across the world. Read on…

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With COVID19 still raging on and systematic racism still impacting the black community, we hope you will find something in our quarterly round up to inspire you to stay motivated and positive, and to keep being an ally to the black community. Together, we can survive these crises and make our world a much better place.

How are you staying positive and being an ally to the black community? Please share to help us cope and boost our allyship.

Also, please take a moment to sign the petition here to help us get justice for Breonna Taylor.

Help us get justice for Breonna Taylor. Sign the petition today and make her life matter.

Stay safe. Be inspired.

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