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You said WHAT?!?


Most of us know what calling out is -- to verbally hold someone accountable for their words or actions (thanks Urban Dictionary). For example, someone says something that doesn't sit right with you, you think it is wrong, and you may want them held accountable. In this situation, most of us choose to take one of two approaches:

  • We stay silent because we aren't really sure where to begin, and in today's climate, we might even be afraid of becoming the next target. We may inadvertently send the message that we agree with the comment by saying nothing. And, by hiding our true selves in silence, we may feel ashamed.


  • We call out, saying something like, "I cannot believe you just said that," and by blaming and shaming, we shut down the conversation. Calling out may invite a fight and worsen the situation because the other person feels humiliated.

Neither approach leads to widespread community engagement or more profound understanding. In fact, both approaches result in missed opportunities to learn, grow, and connect.

Raise Your Hand is committed to practicing a third option - "calling in".

A call-in is done with curiosity, kindness, and, sometimes, love. When someone says something (online or in-person) that doesn't sit right, a call in calmly invites conversation and demonstrates a commitment to compassion and empathy. Examples of call-ins:

  • "That's an interesting viewpoint; tell me more."

  • "I'd like to better understand where you are coming from; tell me more."

  • "I may not agree, but I would like to learn what you think."

Everyone deserves to be heard and respected. You don't have to agree with someone to admit that they are as complicated as you are!


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