A message from the Work/Life Center:
We are getting many requests from employees asking what they can do to challenge racism and to support their Black coworkers. We love that we work for a company with this level of concern.
In our last blog post we shared some thoughts on context as a foundation for understanding before taking action or offering support. In this post we would like to address more things to consider as you further your anti-racist work.
Knowing what to “do” involves self-reflection which will likely include assessing your beliefs about race and ethnicity, identifying your values, and examining if your behaviors are consistent with these values. If they are not all in line, that might guide your thinking in terms of what to do. There isn't a one-size-fits-all call to action because what we "do" is a deeply personal decision. And we put “do” in quotes, because some of our actions might include careful reflection and we want to recognize that is “do”ing something too.
From our perspective, the most important thing is to start somewhere. Decide on an action you can take to make this world more just for Black people and do it.
If you're looking for a place to start, here are three resource-rich documents to propel you on your journey:
- Anti-Racism Resources - credit: Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein
- Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources - credit: Anna Stamborski, Nikki Zimmermann, Bailie Gregory
- Justice in June - credit: Autumn Gupta and Bryanna Wallace
- Make a commitment now to the active pursuit of anti-racism. How will learning and action be an intentional and ongoing part of your life?
- Systemic racism impacts every facet of life, perpetuating inequities. Remember this message from writer/activist Jonathan Kozol -- charity is not a substitute for justice. If you are addressing an issue of inequality through a donation or through volunteering, take time to understand the roots of those inequalities and efforts for reform. If you are including your children it can become a learning opportunity for them as well.
- For example, if you are volunteering with students of color in under-resourced schools, study the history of inequities in education and neighborhood zoning. Or learn about how bias influences discipline, leading Black children to be disciplined at higher rates than white children.
- Consider the impacts of both how you donate and where you spend your money. Can you convert your one-time gift into a reoccurring donation? View the money you give as an investment in your community. Where do you bank? How do you shop online? What businesses do you support? Be mindful of where your dollar goes first, the hands it passes through, and where it ultimately ends up.
- As an ally, now is a great time to speak up as a person of privilege. You can use your social capital to further social justice. At the same time, make sure you are following more than leading, listening more than talking, and amplifying Black voices over your own. This movement requires both the voices of those who have experienced racism and those who are allies.
In Work/Life we are all trained Social Workers, which means we have chosen to be members of a value-laden profession. Our Code of Ethics requires us to stand against injustice and work towards a more equitable and inclusive society.