UPDATED: 22+ Links to Help You Learn About and Act for Racial Justice

Friday, May 29, 2020


Let's get a few things straight, right up front: The first is that you can find much better & much more comprehensive lists of "how to act for racial justice" & "resources for antiracism" elsewhere (& I have linked to some of them below). This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, nor an overall how-to in antiracism/racial justice work.

Because, to be clear, I am not an expert in anti-racism/racial justice work. I am not trained in racial diversity, equity, & inclusion (REDI) principles. I aspire to be both an ally & an activist, but neither of those labels are the sort you can give to yourself; you have to work for them, continually & indefinitely. 

I am nobody. I am a white person who is trying. But I am also a white person with a medium-sized audience that includes many other white people, & I feel that with that comes a responsibility to help others to join me in learning, acting, & continuing to educate both ourselves & others around us.
  
In that spirit, here are some links I have read/found/liked/found helpful; some I've used/read/whatever for a long time, while others I've found only in the last few days. I hope some of it be of use to you, as well.
  1. If you're asking "What can I do?" watch this video from Sonya Renee Taylor, to start. Truthfully, what she explains here is the scariest thing I can imagine doing - but Black people don't get a say in what is happening to them, when it comes to police brutality, & so it shouldn't be a choice, either, for the rest of us to determine how & whether we defend them. 

  2. There's a protest in Cleveland tomorrow, for those who are comfortable attending amid the pandemic. I am still socially distancing because of my asthma, but Black Lives Matter Cleveland is sharing ways to lend support from afar, including donating to them via PayPal. Here are other ways to be an activist when you cannot attend protests
      
  3. Showing up for Racial Justice writes, "We define racism, also referred to as white supremacy, as the pervasive, deep-rooted, and longstanding exploitation, control and violence directed at People of Color, Native Americans, and Immigrants of Color that produce the benefits and entitlements that accrue to white people, particularly to a white male dominated ruling class." Learn more about how race, class, gender and more intersect and contribute to oppression.

  4. Check out sites like Blavity The Root to better understand news stories from a BIPOC perspective. 

  5. From Medium, "75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice" includes everything from book lists to concrete actions on pieces of legislation.

  6. There are a lot of podcasts out there worth listening to, but a brand new one is Higher Learning with Van Lathan & Rachel Lindsay. Their first episode, dropped just last week, scratches the surface of these issues from a Black perspective.
      
  7. Join the NAACP. Yes, white people can be members of the NAACP; I've been a member since 2008. An annual subscription is $30, & you'll also begin receiving their emails, which includes news updates, action items, & more. 
      
  8. For lists of Black-owned businesses to support, check out WeBuyBlack, The Black Wallet, and Official Black Wall Street.

  9. You may not believe that your voice can make a difference when it comes to politics, but that's no reason not to try. Call or write to your elected officials using "action alert" tools from organizations doing racial justice work or by contacting them on your own. Here's how to contact your elected officials. 
      
  10. Write to your local police department urging them to implement the use of body-worn cameras in alignment with recommended standards. If you're in Ohio, you can use this template; if you're in the city of Cleveland, here's how to contact Police Chief Calvin Williams.
      
  11. Oh, & if you're in the Cleveland area, join The Cleveland Resistance Community Against the Trump Administration, a Facebook group where people are sharing so, so many resources to keep this work going.
      
  12. Take an anti-racism training course. I just registered for Patti Digh's "Hard Conversations: Whiteness, Race, and Social Justice," starting at the end of June. 
       
  13. If you're a person of faith, encourage your religious community to engage in this work. Here are ways your congregation can act now for racial justice.   

  14. "Minneapolis is burning. Just like Ferguson burned. Just like Baltimore burned. Just like countless other cities before them, swallowed by the rage of Black protesters fed up seeing the lives of our brothers and sisters robbed by racism." Read "We Are Fed Up with Fighting a Pandemic Amid a Pandemic."
      
  15. To learn what it means to be "antiracist" (hint: It's not just "not racist"), start with Ibram X. Kendi's incredible, helpful, informative book How to Be an Antiracist. (I have not yet finished it but have been making my way through it. Hot tip: If you have trouble reading dense material, try the aidobook version.) 

  16. Learn more from The Antiracist Research & Policy Center, where Kendi is the director. 

  17. In the New York Times, Kendi also shares "An Antiracist Reading List," which he calls "a stepladder to antiracism, each step addressing a different stage of the journey toward destroying racism’s insidious hold on all of us." 

  18. This list of "Anti-Racism Resources for White People" is "intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work." It, too, includes a book list, as well as lists of podcasts, movies & TV shows, advocacy groups & their social media handles, etc. Here it is summarized in an Instagram post, too.

  19. A therapist named Lisa Olivera shared journal prompts & conversation starters to explore white privilege & white supremacy
     
  20. Learn more about "microaggression, the implicit racism that minorities endure," & then, from my coworker Chris Harrison, check out "Microaggressions vs. Microaffirmations." 
       
  21. In case the violence somehow still isn’t enough to convince you of systemic law enforcement racism, let this CNN video sink in: A Black Hispanic reporter, reporting live on air, politely tells officers his crew will move wherever they say to... before he’s arrested without explanation.

  22. Think you're saying the "right" things but actually saying things that make everything worse? And... are racist? Blogger Katie Anthony shares "5 Racist Anti-Racism Responses 'Good' White Women Give to Viral Posts"
That's all I have for now, but I may add to this list as I find additional pieces that I think you might appreciate. I hope you will share with me the resources you've found helpful, as well.

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