ERC Recommends: Action
The first step in anti racist action is education. Please see our main ERC page or our Education page for our many educational resources. Next comes making sure everyone in your life knows you are committed to anti racism: your partner, your children, your extended family, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbors, your legislators. Work to elect lawmakers with an anti racist agenda, support Black led organizations and Black owned businesses. We will offer resources with specifics and encourage you to choose the one(s) that resonate and commit to actions that you can do in a way that you can sustain. This is life long work.
From the end of chapter 16 of My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem:
Confronting white-skin privilege-and sharing that privilege-often involves small, everyday courageous actions. As you’ll discover, these courageous actions will also benefit you.
- When there’s no line in a store and a Black and a white salesperson are both equally available, choose the Black salesperson.
- If you have a retail or service job, and a Black customer and a white customer walk in at the same time, assist the Black customer first.
- When you’re waiting to be served (for example at a bakery or butcher shop), and a Black person arrived at the same time as you, let them be served first. If the person behind the counter offers to help you first, shake your head and say “I believe it’s her (or his) turn.”
- When deciding how much tip to leave for a Black server in a restaurant, imagine they are white. If this inclines you to leave a bigger tip, do so. Also take note of that inclination.
- When you see a Black person in distress or in need of assistance, don’t assume it’s not your problem. Offer help if you can. (Ask yourself, “What would I do if this person were white?”)
- If you can choose between two equally good dentists (or gardeners, guitar teachers, math tutors, personal trainers, and so on) one white and the other Black, select the Black one.
Here are some additional practices to help your body settle in the presence of Black bodies:
- When you get on a bus or train-or enter the waiting area of a train station or airport or doctor’s office-and you can choose between sitting next to a Black body or a white one (or between sitting next to a Black body and standing), sit next to the Black body.
- Join a gym (or church, running club, weight-loss group, etc.) with a clientele of mixed ethnicities.
- If you live in a place where you rarely encounter many Black bodies-for example in many suburbs, Wyoming, Vermont, and so on-visit safe places where Black bodies congregate, such as African and Caribbean restaurants and boutiques, African American churches, concerts by Black musicians, and book readings by Black writers.
Here is a link to an implicit bias quiz. It can be disturbing to discover you biases, but helpful in changing them.
From Lori Tharps series called Don’t Be Racist on her website MyAmericanMeltingPot
Lesson #1: Master Your Mindset to be an Anti-Racism Warrior
Lesson #2: Take Action
Lesson #3: Decolonize You Mind
Lesson #4: Use Your Voice
Lesson #5: You Can’t Say That
21 Day Racial Habit Equity Building Challenge© from Dr. Eddie Moore
4 Things White People Can Do to Be Proactive Anti-Racists The four very basic things that all white people need to be doing.
10 Things White People Can Do to Work for Racial Justice, by Oren Jay Sofer who has led mindfulness retreats at USG.
How White People Can Talk to Each Other About Disrupting Racism from DoSomething.org
Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice This document was posted by PowerShift.org. It offers many, many suggestions for how people can engage in anti racist activity.
Here Come the White People-A New Antiracist Movement Takes Flight opinion from the Boston Globe
This article talks about the possible power of white people have deep canvassing: “These conversations are lengthy — maybe 10 or 15 minutes. They are non-judgmental. And they harness the power of personal narrative, which, psychological research suggests, is more effective than argumentation.”
Ready to do something every day to activate yourself? Racism Book Study is reading Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad, but it’s meant to be an individual journey. There are copies of the book in USG’s name tag foyer for purchase or loan.