Social justice gets ‘made easy’

Submitted photo Aaron Grier

Aaron Grier is a Minnesota-based author who recently wrote and published two books about race, “Allyship made Easy”and “Social Justice Made Easy.” Though Grier has not always regarded himself as an author, in 2020 alone he has published four books in total that cover everything from diversity training to veganism and healthy living.

Having lived in Minnesota for 20 years, including in Burnsville, Rochester, and most recently Duluth, Grier, who is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, considers Minnesota home. He leans on his experiences from living here as a launching pad for much of his content.

“Ever since I left Charlotte and moved to the suburbs in Minnesota, I’ve never felt 10-out-of-10, comfortable,” he shared.

Prior to 2020,Grier was working as a diversity trainer for the Diversity Council in Rochester. When social unrest was rising following the police killing of George Floyd in late spring of 2020, Grier was inspired to write books that would inform the public about the dialogue that was occurring around racial and social justice. “’Allyship Made Easy’ is essentially a lot of the training I was doing at the Diversity Council,” he said.

Grier explains how he took basic concepts that he used while he was training, and from there, formulated his own unique training methods and content that give his books a fresh approach. “[‘Social Justice Made Easy’]talks about African American struggles but it also talks about struggles for women, the LGBTQ+ community, the environment,” Grier said, emphasizing the intersectionality of many of the issues we face today.

Submitted photo

Because of Grier’s experience in diversity training, he is very familiar with the confusion and awkwardness that can occur when explaining topics surrounding race, which can ultimately create barriers in communication.

“A lot of times when we do diversity trainings, I had noticed personally, sometimes there is like a counter-aggression that trainers have,” he explained. Because of this, Grier leads with an empathetic tone in his books that he hopes will lead readers to have “light-bulb” moments, rather than being turned off by what some might find offensive or difficult to grasp.

“Everything that you say to somebody, you have to wrap it in peanut butter, you know, use some sandpaper and put some paint on it,” he said. In this way he believes he can be more effective in bridging the gap when communicating about diversity issues.

With four books under his belt, Grier is far from done. He is already working on two more books that will be part of his diversity training series, entitled “Colorism Made Easy” and “Microaggressions Made Easy.” All of this in an effort to promote a genuine and universal understanding of race-related issues from a unique and relevant perspective.

To view Aaron Grier’s publications, go to bit.ly/AaronGrier.

About Tiffany Johnson

Tiffany Johnson is a contributing writer at the MN Spokesman-Recorder. She can be reached at tjohnson@spokesman-recorder.com.

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