Anti-racism resources for acupuncturists
I’ve received many questions over the past weeks, from…. I’m scared to share my personal beliefs about Black Lives Matter on my clinic social media platforms, would it be unprofessional? ... to … I’m learning, I’m listening, I want to do better – what can I do??
And so today I want to help you figure that out, as well as I can.
For my Black friends, this is a post you can probably skip since you probably know way more about this than I do, but feel free to leave a comment or send me a message if you like – I’m always listening and learning <3
1. The question of “should you share your support of BLM on social media?”
To be clear, this is not about my support for BLM and rejection of systemic racism. If you want to see that, check out my instagram. This is about trying to help you figure out whether you should post about these issues.
I understand the desire to avoid political issues on social media. But I believe the BLM movement is not *political.* Rather, it’s a *human rights* issue and very tied to health and wellness for so many people. As such, I believe it is absolutely our place to share our support of BLM, and does not make your social media feed an “unsafe space” for people who may have differing views.
While the above is my personal belief, here’s my advice from the perspective of a business teacher… I think that if the Black Lives Matter movement is important to you and in alignment with you, absolutely share your support for it. Almost everything I teach comes back to the core guiding principle of “be yourself.” I know that’s not as easy as it sounds – it’s really hard to figure out how to embody and express what you’re all about, that’s why I give so many exercises and tools and examples in my courses, because it’s not easy to hone in and go deep with that. But all of my business advice always comes back to… be true to yourself.
So if you’re worried about being “off-brand” or “off-putting” to others, by speaking up about your beliefs around BLM… I think you’re missing a huge opportunity to make sure that your business is truly in alignment with YOU. Branding is not about pretty colors and graphic design, it’s about truly, mindfully, conscientiously connecting with others. It should reflect who you are, what you believe, what lights you up, the impact you want to make in the world, how you want to make people feel, how you want to inspire people… That’s what good branding is. So if you’re worried about being “off-brand” by sticking up for what you believe… I think you’re missing the point and getting it wrong. If you care about something, you can’t be “off-brand” by sharing it, especially something like BLM that affects the health and lives of so many people.
Additionally, when it comes to social media (rather than, say, in your treatment room which is purely patient-centric)… social media is a place where people have chosen to connect with you. And they don’t want to just get spammed by run-of-the-mill info about your clinic. People choose to follow you on social media because they want to CONNECT with YOU. They want to know what inspires you, lights you up, fires you up, and helps you deal with the world. You may lose a few followers, but follower count is not the yardstick by which we should measure our success. By being true to yourself and allowing yourself to be seen and to connect, you will gain so much more than any # of followers you may lose, I promise.
To be clear, I’m not saying share about BLM because it’s good for business. That’s not what I’m saying (yuck), and is missing the point. What I’m saying is… if this is important to you and fires you up then absolutely share it. Don’t hide yourself. Don’t be afraid. Your truth is always a gift to the people you’re meant to serve. So please be true to yourself.
Plus, what a gift we have that as small business owners we can be guided by our values, can pivot, can talk about what matters to us. I feel so lucky that I get to do this work and be in charge of the way my business does things and how I and it show up in the world. I think you’re missing a huge opportunity if you hide yourself.
We’re not here to hide or to be afraid. We’re here to serve and shine and be our true, fully expressed selves. And make the world a better, more peaceful, more healthy place for all.
2. What else can you do?
Here are some resources:
- Ivy Lee, L.Ac. from Luminae Wellness, hosted a great workshop on Anti-racism for Acupuncturists. You can access the recording by emailing her: firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.instagram.com/p/CA0qFeyhlSB/
- https://www.blackacupuncturist.com/ – a website that helps potential patients to find acupuncture providers who understand the needs of diverse patient populations
- Anti-Racism crash course by Monique Melton https://www.moniquemelton.com/shop-shine-classes/s9kupb9htnfglryrnfvfpqhpa1ij0v
- Spiritual Activism course by Rachel Ricketts https://www.rachelricketts.com/shop-products
- Anti-Racism classes by Layla Fsaad http://laylafsaad.com/good-ancestor-academy
- Wellness for All Workshop with Robyn Youkilis and Ebony Janice https://www.robynyoukilis.com/wellnessforallthankyou/
- Simone McNish created a workshop that will be coming soon: Inclusion, Diversity and Privilege Workshop for Entrepreneurs + Coaches. https://www.instagram.com/simone.mcnish/
Audit your business... who are you supporting, including, paying, and highlighting?
- Take a look at your website, and the photos you’ve chosen for it… is it a good representation of what the actual world looks like… full of diversity? Does it make everyone feel seen and welcome?
- Take a look at your Intake paperwork… is it inclusive?
- Take a look at who’ve you’ve hired and the companies you’ve chosen to work with… Are they diverse and do they support diversity?
- Take a look at your social media feed… who are you highlighting and featuring?
Follow Black leaders already doing anti-racist work… This will help educate and inform you and keep anti-racist issues top of mind, allowing you to pass the mic and share when you find something helpful and inspiring. A few accounts to follow:
If you’re afraid of messing up and being criticized or offending… remember: showing up imperfectly is better than not showing up at all.
I hope this is helpful to you. Sending you lots of support!
Hi! I'm Katie Altneu
I'm an acupuncturist, herbalist, & business teacher
My acupuncture clinic in Denver, CO makes me so happy. It's full enough to support my life, and simple enough to give me peace of mind. I'm a firm believer that bigger is not always better and that we need to "stop the glorification of busy".
I want your acupuncture clinic to be as full as you'd like it to be. I want acupuncturists to know how to inspire-to-action the people who need us and our medicine. And I believe the best strategies are simple and heartfelt.
Combining my prior education & career in business & finance with my personal experience starting and growing my clinic, I love teaching acupuncturists to master the business side of their clinics. I believe in you and I'm so glad you're here!