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Utah County sisters use their voices to promote change

(Instagram, @letstalk_sis)


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Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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PROVO — Protests that have swept the country since George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis have heightened the awareness of racism in our country, and many are looking for resources and voices to learn from and become better anti-racism allies.

Two Utah sisters are using their voices to promote change.

“Hi, and welcome to, ‘Let’s Talk Sis,’” said sisters Chante Stutznegger and Alexis Bradley into their iPhones, as they recorded a video for Instagram. They said in Utah County, they have always stood out.

“Since George Floyd, we’ve seen conversation open up that really wasn’t open prior to that,” Bradley said.

Two weeks, ago they started a new Instagram account, @letstalk_sis, to talk about race in positive ways.

“In 48 hours, we shot up to 6,000 followers,” Stutznegger said.

She added they’re getting questions like, “We’re teaching our kids to be kind and loving; isn’t that enough?” and “We want to be an active part of making a change, but where do we start?”

Where to start may be different for each person. The sisters said for everyone though, an exploration of what it means to be black and what it means to be white starts with an understanding that racism is rooted in American society.

People need to consider new perspectives. And dialogue is always important.

“We sometimes want to dig deeper but we’re finding that keeping it simple is why we’re having such good response,” Bradley said.

They aren’t the only ones using social media to bridge the racial divide. Meikel Reece is an active voice on her Instagram page, @MixedWomxn. Her page has been flooded with questions, mostly from white women, she said, who want change.

“Some of them are a little bit more like, ‘I don’t want to be called a white person, you know? I don’t like the tone. I don’t like what’s being inferred,'” said Reece, who lives in Provo.

Meikel Reece of Provo works to bridge the racial divide on her Instagram page @mixedwomxn. (Photo: Instagram, @mixedwomxn)
Meikel Reece of Provo works to bridge the racial divide on her Instagram page @mixedwomxn. (Photo: Instagram, @mixedwomxn)

Reece uses these questions to explain that judging people based on race has been happening to people of color for centuries.

“When you can ask shameful questions, the shame falls away from it and you can learn,” she said. “Because it is work that you have to do alone, right? You gotta go into those dark places inside of you and be willing to look at them.”

Stutznegger agreed and said they’re also encouraging people to go a step further.

“In their communities,” she said. Bradley added, “Schools.”

Stutznegger continued, “Nationwide, just any connections you have, use it for good right now.”

They said their online activism has been therapeutic, too.

“This 6,000 strong army of people,” Bradley said. “To do good,” Stutznegger added. “And teach their children. And just that ripple effect — we feel like it’s bigger than we realize.”

Doing what they can to create a more racially aware and harmonious future, one post at a time.

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Utah
Heather Simonsen

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