“In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” – Angela Davis
This blog post is being written after a week of global demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism, but we would be remiss to ignore the legacy of labor put forth by communities of color that has led us to the crux of change we now find ourselves in. Many of us are just starting a journey toward action; for white folks, we’ve often been able to donate occasionally, show up when convenient, and assume the power was out of our control. Now, we’re being asked by our Black friends, family coworkers and community to authentically and purposefully stand alongside the work they’ve been doing; there is no turning back to absolve our guilt, there is only charging forward to strengthen the cause. The guide below is intended to address all of those joining the fight against oppression from whatever place we might find ourselves in; not all of us will be on the front line but each and every one of us can contribute to the eradication of systemic racism every single day.
For those who aren’t sure where to start:
There is no official guide to allyship — it’s something we learn and adapt to every day. The journey starts when you make a commitment to change. Things to remember:
You will mess up. You will be uncomfortable. So many of us are afraid of saying the wrong thing when it comes to topics like racism. What you need to learn in the moment is when to listen and when to be vocal — it won’t always be clear, but learning is half the battle. Here’s a document from the Racial Equity Library on how to be a strong ally, featuring basic principles people of color have asked white allies to consider.
It is your job to educate yourself. Take initiative. There are thousands of books, articles, podcasts, and documentaries waiting for you to learn from. A great start might be setting up a book club with friends + family who want to learn as well. Here are 10 books about race non-Black people should read as well as a list of Black-owned bookstores to order them from.
Find a space from which to contribute. We all have unique privileges, gifts, and energy to give to the cause. Here’s a helpful guide from Solidarity Is and Building Movement Project on mapping our roles in a social change ecosystem. Find the space where your strength lies and leverage it to empower others.
Challenge your perspective. Systemic oppression isn’t just police brutality. Systemic oppression permeates every part of our society and every way in which we view and experience the world. If you are able to tune out, if you move in exclusively white spaces, if the authors and producers of your favorite content are exclusively white, you’ve been moving through the world with blinders on. It’s time to broaden your horizons. If you want to interrogate your own implicit bias, check out this test from Harvard.
Listen to Black people. Amplify Black voices. Do the work of finding the voices who are actively organizing right now and respond with action when they call for your support. Order from Black-owned restaurants in your community, shop from companies owned by Black people. Check-in with yourself as you make these changes. What emotional walls go up? What limitations have you been inadvertently putting on yourself?
Find support. You don’t have to do this work alone. There are countless organizations on the local, national, and global scale working to dismantle oppression from a myriad of perspectives and angles. Find the one that is right for you and be an active participant in the work they do. SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) is a good place to start.
Resources + Actions (being updated daily):
We can’t express just how many resources are being shared right now but we know it is not always easy to find them. We’ll be compiling links and resources below and invite you to send anything that you’d like to share as well. Together, we have the tools and energy to uplift and empower each and every member of our community and to be better allies. We believe in the collective will to change and commit to seeing it through, together.
Voices and Organizations to follow and support:
- Visit the official Black Lives Matter website and check out their global calls for action.
- Fill your social feed with Black voices to listen and learn from. Here are some Black women actively discussing race, feminism, and tactics for moving forward:
- Academic, Writer and Lecturer Rachel Cargle (Instagram: @rachel.cargle) as well as her non-profit, The Loveland Foundation, which supports mental health and healing resources for communities of color.
- CEO of Reclamation Ventures Nicole Cardoza (Instagram: @nicoleacardoza) and her Anti-Racism Daily newsletter.
- NYT Bestselling Author of the book, “Me and White Supremacy” Layla F. Saad (Instagram: @laylafsaad).
- Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) is a North American organization with numerous local chapters and is a good resource for finding a community of support to learn and organize with.
- The Racial Equity Institute (REI) works with groups and organizations to inform inclusion and diversity dynamics.
For those who can’t donate but want to help (From the National Resource List):
On Twitter, someone created a twitter thread of alternative actions people without the means to donate can take. Here is that thread.
This document was written a number of years ago for people who cannot protest, whatever the reason may be.
YouTuber Zoe Amira is donating 100% of her ad revenue from this video to bail funds and memorial funds. You cannot skip the ads for this to work properly!
A non-official Black Lives Matter “Ways you can help” page.
A Twitter thread that has compiled petitions to sign.
Amplify Movement for Black Lives and their mutual aid work.
A Master List of Companies’ Support for BLM.
For those who can donate:
Learn more about and donate to The Movement for Black Lives.
- Support Black Visions Collective — a Minnesota-based organization fostering Black leadership.
- Support the NAACP, an organization that has been on the frontlines of the civil rights movement since 1909, and their Legal Defense Fund.
For those outside of the US who want to lend their support:
- The Black Lives Matter movement is an increasingly global one and we’re actively seeking international resources to serve our community. Here’s a helpful article specifically on how those in Europe can lend their support.
For companies and managers:
Share this piece on how you can be a better coworker to your black colleague right now with your organization.
Bring an argument for bereavement pay for Black employees to leadership.
For continued learning:
Check out this free Anti-Racism packet, compiled by Jasmine Mitchell.
Here’s a master doc of reading on race and anti-blackness specifically with white allies in mind.
For parents, teachers, and shapers of young minds:
Check out this guide: “Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup” and start an open dialogue with your children about what’s going on, why it’s happening, and how you intend to help.
- Check out The Conscious Kid (Instagram: @theconsciouskid) for parenting and education resources with a Critical Race lens.
Links toward Healing (and how to support):
- The Loveland Foundation is a continued effort to support the mental health and well being of Black women and girls offering free and affordable therapy, residencies, workshops, and more. Apply to receive support or start a giving circle within your community by visiting their website.
- Queer and Trans Black people and people of Color are especially impacted by racial violence. In response to the overwhelming need for great support in this area, Trans Lifeline has set up the first, Transgender suicide hotline. You can connect via 1-877-565-8860.