Racism. Death. Protests. Black Lives Matter.
“Times are scary” is what I’ve heard over and over. Yet, this was not my sentiment. How beautiful and inspiring to be alive at this moment in time. To see people coming together in order to make a better and brighter future and secure equal rights for all. What a wonderful opportunity to show our children, our future, that when our voices are heard change occurs!
Although America still likes to think that racism ended with the Civil Rights Movement we are still so far from “Land of the Free.” Discrimination and prejudice still runs rampant in these 50 states. This is because our very nation was founded on institutional racism.
Due to current events such as the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and George FLoyd, many people are starting to ask how can we fix this?
While protesting and being an activist through social media is one way, there are many other ways you can actively end racism. One of the biggest ways is looking inside and becoming anti-racist yourself.
How is this done? Simply, educate yourself.
Educate yourself on why racism is so deeply rooted within our country. Learn of ways you can be an ally. Listen to the experiences of People of Color. But most importantly, make a conscious effort to become anti-racist through your actions.
Yes, changing one’s belief systems and ideologies is difficult. No, it will not happen over night. But if we all just try harder to embrace our differences and be kind human beings, imagine the future we can create for our children?
So with that being said, and as a mother trying to better the future for her own children, here are a few ways which you can help end racism and create a better tomorrow for all:
Thanks to social media and technology, signing petitions is one of the easiest ways you can contribute in making a difference.
Listed below are some of the petitions I have personally signed on change.org. One great thing about this site is the wide variety of causes on all topics. Another is once you have signed one petition, Change will also suggests other similar causes you may also want to petition for. As with anything, do your research and make sure you you know what you’re signing for.
UPDATE: Right before I published this post I was made aware that change.org is FOR-PROFIT company rather than an organization. The money they ask you to donate at the end of signing each petition DOES NOT go to furthering the cause. Because they are for-profit they will allow any type of petition on their site, including those that and against People of Color (POC). As we navigate our journey of becoming allies, remember to always do your research, seek the truth, and don’t be afraid to change your opinion when new facts are presented.
That being said, I will still leave these links to the various petitions on change.org. But if you do want to donate, please send you money to organizations (like the ones listed below) that will use it to truly make a difference.
- #JusticeforFloyd (petition by Color of Change)
- Reopen Linda Fairstein’s Cases (sponsored by Color of Change)
- Justice for 1-year-old Katera Jenkins Barker
- Hands Up Act
- Abolish ICE
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Seeking Julius Jones’ Innocence
- Justice for Emerald Black
- Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
- Children Don’t Belong in Cages
- Stop Separating Families at the U.S. Border
- Police Training Reform
**If you find any petitions that are being lead by non-profit organizations for any of the above cause, please let me know and I will swap out the links.**
Whether you chose to join, support, or even donate, here are a few organizations that support causes surrounding People of Color:
- Black Lives Matter
- NCAAP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
- Color of Change
- Movement for Black Lives
- United We Dream
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Black Futures Lab
For more organizations that aid and support POC, visit racialequalityresourceguide.org.
EDUCATIONAL TOOLS TO END RACISM
Knowledge is power.
While signing petitions and joining organizations is a wonderful way to promote change, actively educating yourself on the impact and issues of racism is one of the best ways to create a difference.
Disclaimer: By no means is this a comprehensive list of educational tools. Racism affects all aspects of every day life for POC. These are just the few that I chose to highlight because of the current climate. Please take these tools and build upon them. Use this as a starting point on your path of re-education.
Racism and Health
Racism and Health?
With the recent pandemic, we have seen communities that are comprised of POC disproportionately affected more so than white ones.
Why? Well because racism, dictates many factors (education, housing, employment) thus denying some people access to high-quality healthcare.
Learn more on how racism and health are intertwined and access more resources by clicking here.
But racism runs so much deeper than that.
Redlining, the practice of “systematic denial of various services by federal government agencies, local governments as well as the private sector, to residents of specific neighborhoods or communities, either directly or through the selective raising of prices,” has an adverse affect on communities of color in regards to health as well.
In layman’s terms: this research article is study on how institutional racism, specifically the process of redlining and mortgage discrimination, and how these factors can attribute to the health disparities we see in communities of color.
Can be a little wordy but it’s a great look at how institutional racism affects the lives of people of color in every aspect, including health.
Pregnancy and Birth
Continuing with racism and health, learn more how POC have a disadvantage when it comes to pregnancy and birth by following Justine Nazario-Johnson on instagram. Currently seeking her Bachelors of Science in Midwifery, Justine is an ally when it comes to educating and promoting a more inclusive and safe birthing experience for all mothers-to-be.
Please also visit her website, http://www.jaimabirth.com/, to see how she can assist or enhance your own birthing experience.
VIDEOS, PODCAST, MOVIES THAT EXPLORE SYSTEMATIC RACSIM
- “A Conversation on Race and Privilege” with Angela Davis and Jane Elliot
- “The Radical Divide: Woman of Color and White Women“- Red Table Talk
- ‘When They See Us’ (on Netflix)
- ’13th’ (Netflix)
- ‘Dear White People’ (Netflix)
- ‘Let it Fall’ (on Netflix)
- ‘What Happened to Miss Simone’ (Netflix)
- ‘LA 92’ (on Netflix)
- ‘Becoming’ (Netflix)
- ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ (Hulu)
- ‘Whose Streets?’ (Hulu)
- ‘Detroit’ (Hulu)
- ‘Black Stories Presents: Your Attention Please’ (Hulu)
- Floodlines from The Atlantic
- 1619 from The New York Times
- Throughline from NPR
- Intersectionality Matters! from The African American Policy Forum
I was recently introduced to Cheyney McKnight of @notyourmommashistory and immediately was intrigued. A public historian, performance artist, and historical interpreter, Cheyney’s insight on popular/public history fascinating. History, unbeknownst to most, is extremely one-sided and written by the “winners” (aka white people.) So often we are taught only a small often inaccurate portrayal of past events. Cheyney does a wonderful job at retelling history from a Black perspective as well as sharing untold African American history.
The “Other” History
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen
1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus by Charles C. Mann
Creating Black Americans: African-American History and its Meanings, 1619 to the Present by Nell Irvin Painter
500 Nations: An Illustrated History of North American Indians by Alvin M. Josephy Jr.
Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong by James W. Loewen
Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo F. Acuna
Journey to Topaz: A Story of Japanese-American Evacuation by Yoshiko Uchida
Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008 by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
A few books that highlight and give insight to the topics currently being discussed:
When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black lives matter memoir by Patrisse Khan- Cullors and Asha Bandela
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
CONTINUING TO ACTIVELY END RACISM
The process to end racism seems daunting, but it CAN BE DONE.
Even when the protests are done and life seems like it’s going back to “normal,” keep fighting and learning. Continue to support POC by listening and supporting their causes and businesses. Remember, racism can end with YOU. Consciously and actively promote anti-racism through your conversations and actions.
Let us be the generation and abolishes racism!