The work is offline. The work is online. The work is presence. The work is strategic absence. The work is virtual. The work is in the streets. The work is in legislative halls. The work is in art. The work is in policies. The work is at the polls. The work is where we are.
I am unequivocally committed to building an anti-racist community, and doing the work to dismantle white supremacy, violence against the black community, and systemic racism and anti-blackness in all of its complex forms.
And: these words mean nothing without sustained action to support them.
It has always been my intention to do the work of unlearning and dismantling oppressive structures of power in order to create a brave new world not as any kind of expert, teacher or authority (because I am certainly not), but alongside all of you, my clients, and members of The Collective, as transparently as possible.
My mantra continues to be to do the next brave thing. Now, more than ever, channeling our energy through effective and aligned action (while building in necessary time for rest and renewal) feels paramount to sustaining the discomfort and prolonged uncertainty that will be necessary for our building of the new world.
To that end, I am sharing seven resources and actions that I have been engaging with to support the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism movement. My intention is in no way to prove or demonstrate allyship (I identify as an aspiring ally, and believe this is a term that is earned and not claimed), but to share in case something on this list proves helpful in your own process of learning, unlearning, understanding, and action-taking.
- Watching this one-hour free training on Whiteness at Work from The Adaway group.
- Listening to Krista Tippet’s interview with Resmaa Menakem (author of My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies) on dismantling racism on a cellular level. I am also working through the free racialized trauma course that he offers through the Cultural Somatics Institute.
3. Taking the Anti-racist Small Business Pledge and working to incorporate these five commitments in my life and work:
- Naming white supremacy and the impact of racism on both my personal and professional life.
- Engaging in anti-racist education
- Committing to open-conflict and allowing discomfort
- Working toward investing 30% of all of my expenses on black and BIPOC owned business, and donating portions of any money earned to organizations working to dismantle systemic oppression
- Committing longterm to becoming an anti-racist community
- Waking up to the ways white supremacy shows up in so many of our patterns around work, productivity, creativity, and communication. This article from Showing up for Racial Justice was an excellent starting point in this understanding and research.
- Learning from brilliant and thoughtful black and BIPOC racial justice educators, activists, and thought leaders, including Adrienne Marie Brown, Tanya O. Williams, Erica Hines, Milagros Phillips and Desiree Adaway.
- Virtual Protesting through calling, signing petitions, writing emails, and holding elected officials accountable. My Instagram stories and bio contain as many updated resources and links as possible. Omkari Williams sends a great weekly ten-minute micro action via email, for anyone looking for a way to stay accountable to taking specific action on a weekly basis.
- Deepening my commitment to free, safe, and fair elections (Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight is an excellent resource) and researching and specifying which candidates’ campaigns I will be focusing on in our upcoming election here in the US. Organizations I follow and utilize to learn about candidates include Emily’s List (focused on pro-choice women), Flip the Senate, and Higher Heights for America (political home for black women candidates).
Of course this list is just a starting point. I know resources abound these days, but if you are looking for more, this google doc of antiracism resources for white people is robust and comprehensive.
Thanks for reading—and please let me know if any of these are helpful for you.
If you haven’t heard about it already, please join me, The Collective for Women+ Creators, and an incredible group of speakers and teachers this Sunday, June 28th, 2020 for Radical Courage: a free virtual gathering for reflection and renewal as we approach the second half of the year.
Sending big love, endless support, and radical courage to all of you in these times of great reckoning and awakening.
The dancers are in the above image are Kennedy George and Ava Holloway from Central Virginia Dance Academy. At the Robert E. Ell Statue slated for removal. Photo credit = Julie Rendelman.