Taking on Racism
Updated: Jun 10, 2020
Don’t know what is going on in 2020, but it seems the revolution is here and you either show up or get left behind.
In response to my utter annoyance with nationalism/racism/xenophobia/tribalism, Career Safari was created -To uplift and encourage women from different cultures as they pursue fulfilling careers. To open our lens to the beauty of other cultures and perspectives. Because our triumphs and setbacks get muffled. So, yes – Career Safari is going to share information about real actions anyone, in any country, can take to eliminate racism and prejudice. This is just a very small sample of resources - comment if you have more.
Before I continue - Racism is a global problem. Historically, the strength and struggle of African-Americans has led to changes to end racist/hateful policies for ALL groups ACROSS THE WORLD! There is something about seeing a group of people fight for justice and freedom that inspires you to look at how it is displayed in your own life/government/community.
This is about turning rage/sorrow/pain into hope and actions.
1. Self Care
It is always important to check on your mental, physical and spiritual well-being, but especially when you’re confronting deeply traumatic issues. Take care of yourself first. You don’t have to take it all on. There are tens, if not, hundreds of millions of people that care along with you – you can take a break.
Go to @GirlTrek for this wonderful 21-day walking challenge.
There are hundreds of organizations around the world that are focused on ending racism and making communities more inclusive. I want to highlight legal defense funds – funds that are helping to pay for legal expenses (filings, attorneys, etc..) for individuals that are fighting for racial justice yet can’t afford proper legal representation.
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense initiative The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund
3. Get Active Locally
President Obama has been very vocal about this point and, of course, the Forever President is right!
“The elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.”
Direct your voice. Direct your votes to the people with REAL everyday decision-making power. What are their stances on racial justice? Believe me, they will respond to your tweets and emails!!
Direct Hard Questions to Your Local Government Leaders What are your county board members' policies on racial injustice/police brutality? Volunteer & Vote in More Local Elections Run for Office
4. Sign/Write/Share Petitions
There are so. many. active petitions being circulated – you have to wonder, are they really effective!? It depends on what you’re using it for. Throwing a signed petition in a decision maker’s face is highly unlikely to change their position. However, it does bring together the people who care about a cause and provide them with more awareness on how to address it. So yes - sign and share those petitions!
List of incredibly worthy petitions on the issue of race and victims of police brutality
There are overt and microaggressive forms of racism. It is embedded into all functions of society in the United States(and many other countries), which is why we call for the dismantling of institutions. Policing and police brutality is what’s currently taking center stage. People rightly feel overwhelmed by the vastness of the issue – but there are concrete actions that can be taken.
What's gaining national attention is defunding the police. Likely because the notion is controversial. If you look behind the slogan, people are really asking for reinvestment in community, education etc...
But let's stay focused here, it is still one of many actions. You don’t have to believe in each of these strategies (even I don’t) but you CAN identify the matters to address with your local government (see Get Active Locally).
Government actors on all levels must take the crisis of policing seriously and begin implementing strategies... From @colorofchange - List of Strategies to Address Policing
6. Using Your Voice At Work
Once again, there are overt and microaggressive forms of racism in every industry. If you’re working or going to school, take a deep look at the industry you’re in. How does race and bias shape that world? Being vocal about these concerns in the workplace is risky and can be isolating. Only you can decide what’s the best way to use your voice, but use it.
One of our Torchbearers, Maniya Jules-Miller, spoke about this,
“I’m now okay for people to be a little uncomfortable but it takes a bit of time. You can’t just — jump out there. If I invest the time [in our relationship] and you know my heart, and we’re getting along. Then I can say, ‘Why did you say that?’ or ‘Can you help me understand?”
"CEOs are finally talking about racism. Will it change anything?" (Quartz At Work) "How to Talk About Race in the Workplace" (Al Jazeera) "The Dream Giver" (Career Safari) "U.S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism" (Harvard Business Review)
7. Talking to Kids
::sigh:: I know. We want to protect the fragile minds of children from all these hateful and very grown topics. However, that's not properly preparing them to live in the real world. Keeping them away from such topics only teaches them to be silent and complicit.
Hell, I was called a nigger for the first time at the age of 3 by my 5 year-old white neighbor (who is now very actively fighting to end racism. People change).
Kids know what’s up. Talk to them about what they’re feeling and seeing. Set a better example.
"How to Talk to Your Children About Protests and Racism" (CNN) "Resources for Talking About Race, Racism and Radicalized Violence with Kids" (Center For Racial Justice in Education)
Love and prayers to ALL the families that have directly lost a loved one from police brutality. We are with you. ⠀