It’s 2020, and we are somehow still fighting racism.
I say “we”, but I am new to this anti-racism game, and I know I have a lot to learn.
So as difficult as it has been for the last few weeks, I can only imagine how hard it has been for everyone doing the work over the last few years/decades, particularly now with an avalanche of support that they know from experience will soon begin to dwindle away, if it hasn’t already.
But, if you are like me, ready and willing to do the anti-racism work, determined to not go back to how things were, let’s find ways to build anti-racism into our lives in a sustainable way, to keep moving forwards toward meaningful change.
Here are just a few ways we can do this, that I’ll add to as the journey unfolds:
- Changing our social media feed to follow activists and prominent members of the black community as well as the many people who follow them (there are lots of suggestions in the Anti-Racism resources list). This will allow us to create a new normal to talk about anti-racism, learn about racial issues, and to also simply enjoy the perspectives of lots of different people, rather than a default white-washed world.
- Setting up affordable recurring donations to causes that further racial justice & equality, so that they’re automated and don’t require us to think of them. Here are some examples of organisations you can support both here in the UK and abroad:
- Black Lives Matter (the global movement)
- Show Racism the Red Card – largest anti-racism educator in the UK
- Refugee Action – support refugees going through the asylum process in the UK
- Choose Love – buy real products for refugees displaced in camps
- Drive Forward – to support young people leaving the foster care system (disproportionately from black and minority ethnic backgrounds).
- End Direct Provision in Ireland – a cruel method of confining refugees in camps
- For more UK based charities, go to We Create Change
- For more US based charities go to BlackLivesMatter.carrd.co
- Buying books from anti-racism reading lists (there are suggestions in the Anti-Racism resources list to help you with this) – but particularly Me and White Supremacy as this is not a book you read, it is a book you DO and learn from. I have already learned so much in just 7 days out of the 28 prescribed – this book is changing the way I see the world, and it’s not pretty but it is necessary. There’s no going back after this!
- Subscribing to services that support books by black authors (such as Books That Matter where you can discuss the book in the private Facebook group afterwards), and/or joining book clubs/groups that are discussing anti-racism books with other people sharing the journey.
- Creating a checklist for ourselves to review our progress on the commitments we have made to take action (here’s a sample template to help you get started), and to help you to keep populating it, here are 20 Ways to Fight for a Fairer World.
- Creating accountability and support groups, to check in with each other, to make sure we’re doing ok while we’re doing the work, reminding each other we’re not alone, and that even though this won’t happen overnight, everything we’re doing is making a difference. Not just for us, but for the generations after us.
And when times get tough, remember these beautiful words from Danielle Coke: