Finding Allyship to Become More Anti-Racist: Resources

Check out Part 1 of this blog on Finding Allyship to Become More Anti-Racist: Perspective.

We’ve talked about the perspective of allyship with Black voices in systems and in culture. Now we want to share resources that we have found that can help create allyship with Black people and people of color. If you are doing this work, please share your resources as well. Know that there is no shortage of work happening at the moment, so continue your own research and find a variety of avenues to become an ally. 

Educate Yourself

If you are white, remember the burden is on YOU to do the research, reading, and discussion. Our Black friends have left many suggestions for us and have more important work to lead the movement rather than to answer questions.  Many people are coming to the realization that being nice to everyone, regardless of their experience is no longer enough and that being non-racist is no longer enough. Some are struggling with white guilt or feeling defensive coming face to face with the discomfort that there is a call to action to end silence and to recognize our place in systemic racism. Through that discomfort, it is important to educate ourselves, about current events and also about how racism is rooted in our society. A great way is to follow Black voices on social media to hear directly from them (Pro Tip: Don’t follow in the intention of sharing how much you are learning, but rather to be an active listener of the experience they are sharing), read texts and articles that dig deep into historic and contemporary racism, and examine your own work and life in these contexts. Additionally, understanding your own white privilege is a good place to start. 

Books

Educating ourselves requires us to understand the perspectives of Black voices, but also understand the history and systems that have allowed racism to persist long after slavery was abolished.

When possible, try to Purchase from Black-owned bookstores

Podcasts / YouTube

Pod Save the People – On Pod Save the People, organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with fellow activists Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Sam Sinyangwe, and writer Dr. Clint Smith. They offer a unique take on the news, with a special focus on overlooked stories and topics that often impact people of color.

Code Switch – “Remember when folks used to talk about being “post-racial”? Well, we’re definitely not that. We’re a multi-racial, multi-generational team of journalists fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity, and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.”

Social Media Messages & Accounts 

Giselle Buchanan [@gisellebuchanan]- “I want to be an Ally, but I don’t know what to do” – Resource guide of actions to take to become an ally. 

Bradon K. Good [@brandonkgood] – “To my white friends” – Video sharing what white people can do with their guilt, shame, and embarrassment at this moment (do not offload onto your Black friends), and thoughts on how to move forward. 

Tabitha Brown [@iamtabathabrown] – “To my non-Black friends posting Black squares…” – A list of action items we can take beyond saying that we support #BlackLivesMatter. 

Elevate Black Voices

Above all else, we need to find opportunities to elevate Black voices within our work. Youth MOVE is about Motivating Others through Voices of Experience and that means sharing the voices of Black experience in systems. One of the best things we can do right now is to listen, fully, to the experience of Black voices of their current situation and historic experiences with racism. 

Take Action

We all have a role in moving forward.. Once we’ve found ways to understand the context of racism, direct action is needed:

Sign Petitions/Advocate to your government – As a collective voice, putting your name to these efforts is important. Furthermore, share these petitions in your network!

  • Campaign Zero – Pushing for the #8CantWait, which highlights 8 police tactics that should be banned. You can see where your city/state falls in here, and use this as an advocacy tool in your community. Furthermore, Campaign Zero provides data and statistics surrounding police violence. 
  • State of Emergency – “As Black people all across the country grapple with the aftermath of an unprecedented global pandemic, somehow Black people also have to figure how to stay alive while jogging, buying groceries, and yes — even while sleeping.” – This organization is dedicated to finding ways to invest in education, healthcare, jobs, and housing for communities who are hit by crime, police violence, and over-incarceration

Donate – If you are in a position to donate, here are a few organizations that are doing great work. Note: A few of the larger organizations have asked for donations to be carried on to other organizations due to the influx of dollars at this moment. Do research before putting your money to work. Here is a master list of organizations you can support. 

Support Anti-Racist Organizations – If protesting in’t an option for you, there are many ways to organize. Find opportunities to volunteer for community events. What skills can you provide to organizations that would be a benefit as an advocacy tool? This can include, building websites, inputting data, research, polling, running errands, and cooking. 

Examine Your Organization – Look at your policies, procedures, and programs to make sure they are fully inclusive and honor voices of color. If you have an advisory council, is it representative? Take time to look at your organizational goals and find ways to insert opportunities for Black voices. 

Use Your own Platform – Whether you are a Youth MOVE Chapter, a partner organization, or a member in the System of Care, you likely have a platform and voice on which to advocate. As an extreme example of using your platform, Cut (known for viral videos and social experiments), altered their entire website, only highlighting resources for BLM. 

Try to use your voice for the value of education as well. We will see many voices in this space, and creating space to draw people into the work and not giving up on sharing is important. Otherwise, we will continue to only educate those who already value this work.

Being an ally is challenging work – it requires us to examine ourselves in the context of race. Understand and validate your own experience. Be sure to create time and space for self-care because systemic racism is not something we can solve alone, and the task can feel insurmountable. The important thing is to take breaks and call upon each other to continue this work, so we do not lose momentum. 

I assume many of those reading this blog are advocates for equitable values in systems, which can make it even more difficult for us to examine our own place in perpetuating racism in our culture. We’re already doing the work, right? We may be further along than some of our peers, but we can always do more to create space and equity for people of color. 

We are being called to action at this moment to make serious changes across our nation. 

To those who continue to support anti-racism, we ask you to join us in standing even taller in the face of injustice to change the systems that continue to uphold the roots of racism.

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