Friday, February 17, 2012

Thank you, Audre Lorde.

Today, we have another guest blogger joining us in honor of Black/African American History Month: Tiane Mitchell Gordon.  Ms. Mitchell Gordon is the founder of Square One Consulting and serves as an advisory partner, consultant, executive coach and speaker for organizations on human resources, diversity, and inclusion issues. Ms. Mitchell Gordon was Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at AOL, LLC, and has been identified by the Society of Human Resource Management as one of its 100 Global Thought Leaders in Diversity & Inclusion. 
We are honored to not only have Tiane as our guest blogger, but also her support for PFLAG National. As former co-chair of our S4E Gala this year she will continue to demonstrate her commitment by joining us on our gala host committee

Each year I look to my bookshelves for words of inspiration as I prepare for Black History and Women’s History month celebrations.  And though there are many bold and fierce Black and female poets, essayist and authors –Sonia Sanchez, Alice Walker, June Jordan, Beah Richards, Maya Angelou--from whom I can chose, it is the work and life of Audre Lorde that catches my attention time and time again.  Because she refused to be ‘circumscribed by any simple identity”, her messages speak to the need for a breadth and depth of true inclusion.  Writing as a Black woman, a mother, a daughter, a Lesbian, a feminist and a visionary, she speaks to the importance of claiming and celebrating all of our selves in order that others can find their own voices.  Thank you, Audre Lorde.

Black History and Women’s History months, as well as every diversity celebration provide us opportunities to find, claim and celebrate our selves…all of our selves…without apology.  Especially when, as she reminded us “I find I am constantly being encouraged to pluck out some aspect of myself and present this as the meaningful whole, eclipsing or denying the other parts of self.  Her words require and demand that, instead of denying any aspect of all of who we are, we embrace them wholeheartedly.  Thank you, Audre Lorde.

Audre Lorde,  I suspect, would have been an advocate for the work of PFLAG and its mission and its goals.  She would have loved the holistic approach to moving equality forward. She would have understood the courage, bravery, strength and love that are required for PFLAG’s undertakings. The parents, families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons would understand applaud her sentiment “There is no such thing as a single issue struggle because we do not live single issue lives”.  Thank you, Audre Lorde.

1 comment:

Leslie Neiss said...

Thank you, Tiane Mitchell Gordon, for always giving the rest of us food for thought.