Inside Ureeka

A note on the Thanksgiving holiday


By Melissa Bradley

November 23rd, 2020


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By Melissa Bradley

November 23rd, 2020

With one of the biggest U.S. holidays happening this week, we wanted to take time to share a few thoughts.

With one of the biggest U.S. holidays happening this week, we wanted to take time to share a few thoughts.

First and foremost, we acknowledge that our entrepreneurs and their families and communities have a range of experiences, thoughts and feelings around Thanksgiving.

For some, the holiday brings up positive memories. Sharing a meal with family and friends, watching sports or a parade on TV, and celebrating kindness, generosity, peace and prosperity.

In many cases this is accompanied by an origin story about early colonial families enjoying a meal with their Native American neighbors.

Of course, we now know that this story isn’t accurate. Early European settlers committed individual acts of violence as well as mass genocide against their Indigenous neighbors from coast to coast using legal, religious, economic, and political means to erase both lives and culture.

For most of our Indigenous entrepreneurs and their families, Thanksgiving is not a holiday at all. Instead it is a painful reminder of the violence and injustice their ancestors and families faced and in many cases still face.

That truth may not be easy to acknowledge, but we must still say it out loud.

We also recognize that even for our entrepreneurs who are not Indigenous it is a holiday that can bring up complicated feelings.

For those of us who are Black and African-American, Hispanic/Chicano/Latinx, Asian and South Asian, or who come from multi-ethnic and multi-racial families and communities, the holiday can directly and indirectly bring up painful memories based on our own experiences with oppression.

Yet, there are opportunities to reflect on and learn from Thanksgiving, as with many holidays.

We can honor the reminder to stand with, reinforce, and invest in our Native and Indigenous community members. We can be grateful for the opportunity that comes from acknowledging and not trying to hide the history behind Thanksgiving.

We can also honor each other and our families and communities, and be thankful for the value of hard work, while still working through complex feelings and experiences. We can examine those inner currents in ourselves, even and perhaps especially when they contrast, when we do it together.

We can also make changes. We can let go of the traditions that are based in oppression and create new ones that offer value, empathy, and justice to ourselves and the people around us.

This is a key part of our mission at Ureeka – we serve business owners who are already doing this work within their own families and communities

From the start we have been here by and for entrepreneurs, and in the midst of one of the most challenging years that any of us have ever seen, we are strengthened in our resolve.

However you experience Thanksgiving and whatever traditions you choose during the holidays, we are with you.

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