Truth and Advocacy

In a Merriam Webster Dictionary I was reading recently truth is defined as “sincerity in action, character, and utterance” and as “(1) : the state of being the case : fact (2) : the body of real things, events, and facts”.

Advocates, civil rights activists, work for a truth that says all people are created equal, and therefore deserve equal rights, equal treatment under the law. Essentially, all people deserve equal treatment in the world they live in. It is the advocate’s role to shed light on things when equality is being denied, either unwittingly or purposefully. I do not think it is possible to knowingly deny someone their rights, do nothing about it, and then claim your actions aren’t purposeful.

One of the difficult things for me, and other advocates I’m sure,  is when the facts of the matter, the truth as it were, leads down a path we’d rather not travel. A path that is unsettling, scary, heartbreaking, or deeply disappointing. Moments  when we discover people or groups we believed in, and liked, and in some cases still like, were not entirely who they said they were. However, I cannot, nor should any other advocate, spare another their reality, not if that reality denies others their equality.

Recently I was asked why I make audio recording of certain meetings. Before I explain let me say that participants are always aware the meeting is being recorded. There are several answers to why they are recorded and while they will continue to be recorded:

  • the recordings serve as a reasonable accommodation for those of us with certain disabilities.
  • the recordings provide an accurate record of the meeting itself.
  • the recordings contribute to a desperately needed transparency.
  • the recordings help keep the light shined on the truth of what is being said and, for that matter, not said.
  • the recordings keep the fire of accountability well lit.

It was somewhat amusing recently when someone told me that when I write my blog about meetings I am using my interpretation. Well, yes, that’s true, and, when you think about it, rather unavoidable. After all, whose interpretation would I use but my own? However,  this person’s smile-producing observation does have relevance. My blog pieces are my perspective for sure. Which is why recordings of meetings will be made available to other meeting participants upon request. I can’t get fairer than that.

And that’s the truth.


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