As we continue to move through 2020, keeping a watchful eye on the world around us as it relates to COVID, anti-racism, an election year, and so many other events that are shaping our daily lives, we think it’s important to take a few moments to reflect on how we are responding to the whirlwind that has become of 2020. One way we are doing this is to put useful resources in the hands of change agents (and we see a LOT of potential resources). One of the supports we provide is to identify what resources are valuable and worth utilizing. As the Operations Coordinator, part of my role is to set up processes for our work to be as relevant and efficient as possible – this includes determining which resources might be worth disseminating.
Our team primarily uses Slack to share (tons) of information and resources with each other – I just checked our latest analytics, and over the past 30 days, 143 resources were shared in our #411 information channel. How do we navigate through all this information and decipher what information we think is worth elevating & sharing?
We have a ‘screening’ process for any resources we share, but we feel it is particularly important to make sure the resources we share pass a quality check when considering anti-racist resources.
So, how do we know if a resource is appropriate and worth sharing? Here are some things we consider before answering that question – feel free to use this list too, or send us recommendations of what else you think might be helpful to consider!
What credentials does the author or organization have to be speaking on the issues that are presented? If the resource is meant to highlight anti-racism work, were the presented materials written by a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color)? Understanding the background and history of the author can help shape the credibility of the source. At Youth MOVE, we hold close the value that we are experts in our own experience, and thus, when talking about racism, the perspective from BIPOC are essential to have at the table. People with lived experience or subject matter experts are going to be your best bet when finding reliable resources. Being able to trust an author is integral before sharing their work, so knowing whether or not there is an agenda (funding, partner organizations & stakeholders, etc.) could influence the way in which information is presented. One way to vet this is to see what other work the organization has done in the field of equity.
Is this a resource you or your peers are familiar with? Youth peers and leaders are sharing resources frequently on social media. Are we seeing this resource being shared and referenced as legit helpful? Peer recommendations go a long way.
The age of the resource will be important to note. There may still be value in the writing, but understanding the cultural context and best practices of anti-racism, especially right now are important to keep up to date. If you are unsure, check-in with coworkers, community members, trusted allies to see what could work well.
Caution! Be intentional about doing the pre-work ahead of time, and not burdening a BIPOC friend for approval on everything you (I love Brandon Kyle Goodman’s IG for a lot of good recommendations on self-reflective questions like “can I google answer this question or do I burden my friend/coworker with this ask?”)
The questions above helps us determine whether a resource is legit and a good one to elevate. HOWEVER, we are well aware that we don’t have all the answers and don’t always do it right. There is a lot of power in sharing resources, and as intentional and careful as we want to be, we know we won’t always be right: do the work, step out of your comfort zone, and be open to feedback (my current favorite mantra is from Brene Brown: “I’m not here to be right, I’m here to get it right” (Brene Brown).
Check out our resources blog for some good places to start in finding anti-racism materials.
Do you have additional vetting methods you use when sharing resources? Let us know in the comments!