Since the death of George Floyd, there has been a surge in anti-racism protests across the world. In the United States, there have been protests in every state involving the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Black people and other people of color are fighting systemic racism and police brutality. If you are white, you may be wondering what you can do to help. Well, here are some small things you can do to make a big impact in fighting racism.
1. Join your local Black Lives Matter chapter online.
Find the BLM chapter in your area and follow what they are doing online. Go to a few events if you are willing and able or even just being aware is a start in your journey to becoming anti-racist.
2. Contact your local representatives.
An organization called Campaign Zero has a project called 8CantWait, which advocates eight policies that every city should be working towards to fight police brutality.
3. Fight to ban no-knock warrants in your town.
The town where Breonna Taylor was killed, Louisville, Kentucky, has enacted a ban on no-knock warrants. This policy led to Taylor being shot and killed in her own home. Fight to ban no-knock warrants in your city.
4. Understand and share what “defund the police” really means.
Here is a good resource. It’s about demilitarizing police and refocusing our efforts on public safety.
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Us: DEFUND THE POLICE! Denver’s Public Safety Director: “NAH.” In fact, the 2021 proposed budget actually INCREASES for DPD alone by more than 4.5 MILLION (with an M) American dollars! It’s time for Murphy Robinson (the one who REALLY controls the public safety division) to be accountable to the people. HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP: Click the link in our bio! It will populate an email that goes to ALL of City Council AND MURPH that demands public comment at the next Public Safety committee meeting and the defunding of the MF police. **Big thanks to @foxandnug for the graphics + in affiliation with the @antiracistclubco!
5. Share and report on stories of black people encountering racism.
More and more stories of black people encountering racism are showing up on social media. Share them.
6. Help your teacher friends.
Buy them classroom books that feature people of color as protagonists or Black history flashcards for their classroom.
7. Share this video of Neil DeGrasse Tyson talking about his experiences as a black scientist and student.
8. Help recruit black teachers where black students are being taught.
9. Support black businesses.
10. Don’t buy from companies that support prison labor.
Many companies out there exploit prison labor to drive down prices.
11. Educate yourself on mandatory minimum sentences in prisons.
Check out Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM’s) website.
12. Take advantage of “white spaces.”
Find out about your biases and work on them.
13. Decolonize your bookshelf.
Remove problematic books if possible.
14. Speak up about racist jokes. Silence is agreement.
15. Read opinion pieces from black authors.
16. Find out how Black history is being taught in schools.
Fight to get rid of white-washed versions of history that we were taught in school. Advocate that many voices be used when teaching history.
17. If you have kids, seek out a diverse friend group for them.
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As a mental health counselor and yoga therapist, my intention is to create an inclusive space where clients feel seen and safe. Of course, as we now know, intention doesn’t necessarily translate into right action. In graduate school we were encouraged to treat all clients equally, mitigate power differential, and be aware of multicultural considerations. But just a couple grad school classes isn’t enough to cover the amount of work and insight needed to unpack our own biases and baggage. The journey towards allyship and support of marginalized populations, particularly BIPOC and LGBTQ+, is an ongoing process. Throughout this process I have made many mistakes and continue to learn. As the owner of Elevate Yoga, it was brought to my attention that our classes were not diverse, and thus the BIPOC community would not feel welcome, despite community offerings and non-profit partnerships throughout the years. It became more apparent that elements of the studio and greater yoga community constituted spiritual bypassing and cultural appropriation. Although I worked with consultants and brought social justice programming into the studio for staff and trainees over the last few years, it simply wasn’t enough. And for that, I am sorry. I hope some groundwork was laid, and that Alicia can continue to build and expand this work. As I continue to listen, learn, and try to do better, my hope is that a diverse array of clients will feel comfortable seeking support. You are welcome here. As a cis-gender white woman, I am committed to the ongoing investigation of my own privilege, and to using that privilege to support and create a more equal and just world. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and I promise to continue to try. Link in my IG bio for more details and resources. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤🤍🤎 #mentalhealthawareness #bipocmentalhealth #lgbtqmentalhealth #diversityandinclusion #parentalmentalhealth #eatingdisorderrecovery
18. Seek out a diverse group of friends for you as well.
19. Write to your local college/university to encourage diversity.
20. Know your American history.
Watch Roots, Selma, and other documentaries. Read books about real American history.
21. Know that police do in fact kill more black people.
It’s statistically proven.
22. Correct people when they say BLM is violent.
The violence and looting are being caused by fringe groups being lumped in with BLM.
23. Write to end cash bail.
Innocent people are put in jail because they can’t afford bail.
24. Attend town halls and other events for local candidates to talk about these issues.
25. Visit the sites of American internment camps and other memorials to POC history.
26. Write to your representatives to ban racist voter ID laws and ease the voting process for people without transportation or other means.
27. Don’t just be “not racist.” Be anti-racist.
Don’t just say “Oh, I’m not racist.” Practice what you preach. Help our BIPOC citizens to help end systemic racism one step at a time.
28. Check out this anti-racist YouTube playlist.
Click here to learn more about racism and black history.
29. Don’t gentrify neighborhoods.
30. Check out this toolkit.
Here is the White Ally Toolkit.
31. Work on this anti-racist workbook.
Check out this scaffolded anti-racist workbook online.