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Anti-Racism Resources: 10 Ways to Take Action as an Ally for Black Lives

Updated: 16 hours ago

We are all complicit. America’s system of institutionalized racism has left no one untouched. We all hold internal biases, which feed into this oppressive system. Of course, it is incredibly important to take action now, but what truly matters is continuous action even when no one is watching or when the spotlight is not shining on this issue. It should not have to take the brutal murdering of more Black people to encourage us to be a part of the Black Lives Matter movement and participate in anti-racism work. Follow some of these steps or others to continuously take action and fight for justice for Black lives! Because George Floyd's life mattered! Breonna Taylor's life mattered! Tony McDade's life mattered! All Black Lives Matter!


This resource list is a joint effort and is open to corrections and additions to ensure that it can be as impactful and helpful as possible. Please make your suggestion here.


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1. EDUCATION


Learn about racism, anti-racism, police brutality, Black culture and experience, white privilege, Black activism and activists, hate crimes, and American history through articles, books, podcasts, music, videos, artwork, and more. Being informed is the first step towards taking action.


Check out this anti-racism resource list by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein and this resource list by I'm not Racist...Am I? for great literature, podcast, video, film, and article recommendations.


We tried to ensure that our list did not overlap with these resource lists above, so check out the aforementioned lists for important recommendations we did not include.


Podcasts:

Articles:


Books:

  • Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  • This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on how to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Fredrick Douglass

  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone

  • All American Boys by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds


Artworks (Online art galleries/articles):


Check out some amazing Black Lives Matter playlists by Black artists online and on Spotify


2. CONVERSATIONS


Conversations and discussions are a great way to identify and challenge our prejudices and blindspots while getting informed and building respect and empathy with others.


  • Have conversations with people of the Black community and LISTEN

  • Ask questions

  • Have discussions with your friends, family, teachers, and more and keep the conversation going

  • Respectfully educate others

  • Lean into discomfort, meaning participate in discussions that might challenge your beliefs and internal biases

  • Many schools and organizations are having discussions on current events and topics related to Black lives matter and police brutality

  • Ensure that the Black people who were killed by police brutality and hate crimes are not forgotten


3. REFLECTION


It is also crucial to look inward and take the time to think, removing and identifying our prejudices, misconceptions, and blindspots.


Some questions to reflect upon:

  • If all lives matter, why highlight and focus on Black lives?

  • Why is the Black Lives Matter movement important?

  • Why is it important for me to seek education and take action if I am not Black?

  • What does it mean to be an ally?

  • How do you contribute to the problem?

  • How do you define racism?

  • Definition of Racism: “‘A system of social structures that provide or deny access, safety, resources, and power based on specious (exterior/fake made as true) categories of ‘race’ and produce and reproduce inequalities. This system provides power to people in the dominant group who are seen as ‘white’ and deny people power to those in the non-dominant groups, who are not seen as ‘not white.’” If this is one definition of racism, can people of color be racist? Are people of color complicit, and how?

  • Do you feel uncomfortable talking about police brutality and hate crimes? Why?

  • Am I doing enough?

  • What does your silence and inaction mean?

  • How do people, like policemen, end up murdering innocent Black individuals? What happens to empathy and humanity in these situations?

  • Am I a bystander?

  • Why should we continue to take action?

  • How can I learn and honor the memories of the Black people who were killed?

  • What more do I have to learn?


4. RAISE YOUR VOICE


Talk about and advocate for justice for Black lives and against racism in any platform you possess (it does not matter how big your platform is) and to the people around you.

  • Speak up on social media

  • Write articles

  • Advocate through ART

  • Correct and point out any forms of racism, bigotry, and prejudice

  • Create platforms for advocacy, like clubs, organizations, and campaigns

  • Participate in the solidarity movements, such as Black Out Tuesday

  • Share resources

  • Amplify Black voices


5. PROTEST


Protests are a great way to advocate and raise your voice! “At least 3,099 Black Lives Matter protests and other demonstrations have been held in the past 2,145 days”(Elephrame). Check out this list to find protests nearby and this resource toolkit by Generation Ratify for steps a non-Black ally should follow during protest. Please stay safe, read “What to Know Before Heading to a Protest” for some tips to keep in mind while protesting, and maintain COVID-19 etiquette!


6. SIGN PETITIONS


Demand change through petitions!


7. SUPPORT AND GET INVOLVED IN ORGANIZATIONS


Follow, support, and get involved, such as becoming a member/volunteer or starting a chapter, with organizations, which promote and create racial equity and justice.



8. CONTACT


Make calls and email the police department, governor, and attorney general in Minnesota, Kentucky, and Florida to demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade. Check out this resource list by students and organizations at Harvard University for contact information and scripts.


Contact your local policymakers and congresspeople to encourage them to propose more anti-racist policies, like bills that require the police department to participate in racial equity training and justice reform bills. Check out this resource toolkit by Generation Ratify for bills/legislation your local policymakers and congresspeople should sign and support!


Contact your police department to express your concerns with racial equity in the department, advocate for police accountability, and implement civilian review boards.


Check out "Promoting accountability” for policy proposals that hold the police accountable!


9. DONATE & FUNDRAISE


Financially support anti-racist organizations and donate to victim funds (check out this list of victim funds) and bail funds for arrested protesters and activists ("Black Lives Matter: 16 Organizations That Are Bailing Out Protestors" and Bail Funds for cities across the country)!


10. SUPPORT BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES


Support Black communities by supporting Black-owned businesses, which are especially in danger due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Check out this list of tips on how to support and help black-owned small businesses by Sarah Davis Finimpact!


Check out this list of Black-owned bookstores around the country! The list is from LIBRO.FM by Claire Handscombe.


Check out this list of 49 Black-owned bookstores, where you can shop online from! The list is from Conde Nast Traveler by Madison Flager.


Check out this list of Black-owned restaurants in Los Angeles by Kat Hong!


Check out restaurants in New York City:


Use EatOkra to find Black-owned restaurants near you!


OTHER RESOURCES:





Image Credit: NPR The names of black people who were killed by policemen since July 2014.



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