Black History Month is over, but racism is unfortunately still very present. It needs to be a lifelong decision to actively combat racism in our everyday lives. As a white woman, I have to remember that if I don’t seek out education and challenge myself to fight for change for my BIPOC brothers and sisters, I can easily become a bystander. Our privilege allows us to ignore an issue if it doesn’t happen to us directly. I want my daughter to be raised in a world and in a way that is BETTER than when she got here. It’s long past time to do better, and it’s always better together – so let’s do this!
1. Listen & learn
We don’t want to just ignorantly speak to things we haven’t experienced or don’t understand, right? It’s so important to read, follow BIPOC educators and listen to their experiences, listen to educational podcasts, and be willing to challenge what we have always understood to be true. Here’s a post with a few resources to start with. There’s so much humility for us to gain in just being willing to listen and learn empathy for experiences other than our own.
2. Be intentional.
Like I said above, if you don’t hold yourself accountable, no one else will either. Every one of us has to do the work for ourselves. There are so many ways to do this, but a couple ways I think are really cool active steps are:
- Make a daily reminder in your phone. Have it say something like “how can I be an ally for the black community today?” or “how am I fighting racism today?” I know some friends who do this and I think it’s such a good idea to have that pop up everyday just to stay intentional and active, especially if social media isn’t reminding you enough.
- Use an anti racism journal! I just saw this today and got so excited! It’s such a good idea and so kind of Faith to share her insights in a way that will help us grow and progress.
- Support black shops. In general, this is a relatively easy way to support the black community. It does require a bit more intentionality, but it’s often as easy as a quick Google search. If we’ll spend hours reading reviews before buying a swimsuit, I think we can spend a minute to see if we can find a black-owned alternative to whatever big box store we typically gravitate towards! It’s also okay to take this one little step at a time – eventually, you may have a black-owned resource for a lot of things!
3. Speak up.
Even when it’s uncomfortable – even when it’s controversial. You don’t have to be mean or try to take anyone down. Just remember that most of us (who are white) are unaware of what some of our words or actions may imply, and we need to be kindly educated. Go the route of educating rather than cancelling. Cancelling doesn’t really allow anyone to grow – but educating does. the Bible says to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) – it’s a skill we’ll keep growing in our whole lives!
4. Be consistent
Not just when it’s “trending” and not just online. Honestly, if everyone’s allyship was more evident offline than online, wouldn’t that be amazing? If it was just actively happening in real life all the time – what a changed world we would see. We can all start to be that change a little bit everyday! So keep going – it’s okay if there’s an ebb and flow, but don’t stop. We’re in this together!
I know this isn’t everything but I wanted to leave us with a little guide I’ve personally been trying to follow as we head into March. What would you add?