As the author of this website, I ask you to join me in saying “enough is enough” and “I am ready and willing to commit to being anti-racist.” What does that mean? It means we need to change the path we are on and start a new and better journey—for the sake of oppressed and mistreated people of color and for the sake of America. Along this new path, we have many tasks to accomplish.
In our personal life, we need to examine our mind, heart, and soul. We need to—
- Acknowledge our white privilege.
- Read about and come to understand white privilege in the United States. Read about systemic racism in the United States.
- Disengage from the white privilege in our life—free ourselves to become anti-racist. (Note: We can choose to be either racist or anti-racist. Being non-racist is not an option.)
- Read about Black Lives Matter until we understand the phrase and the importance of the phrase and until we recognize and apologize for the centuries of suffering that black people have endured in this country.
- As we walk farther down the new path, begin to talk with our family members about what we have learned, how we have changed, and the actions we are taking. Talk with our children about racism.
- Vote for candidates who advocate for racial justice and contact our elected officials to express our concerns about racial injustice.
- If we are part of a faith community, talk with the leaders in that community about spiritual resources in that tradition.
- Create a group with white people who are also embarking on this anti-racist journey. Grieve. Pour out outrage. Express sadness. Give and receive emotional support.
In our community, build trust by getting to know people of color and by taking action. Here are some ways—
- Join a black organization, such as Black Lives Matter or the NAACP. Donate. Volunteer.
- Attend a place of worship that is predominately black.
- Take a class at a historically black college or university.
- Get to know people of color at our work or in our school—sit next to a stranger during a meeting or at lunch. Be a listener. Demonstrate our interest and empathy by becoming part of a diversity group. Mentor a younger person of color. Promote diversity on leadership teams.
- Use and promote black-owned businesses.
- Attend an anti-racism march or demonstration. Stand next to or walk with a person of color. Strike up a conversation. Be a listener.
- Talk with black friends about racism and how it affects their lives. Be a listener.
- Speak up publicly. Use “I” terms—I am against racism and racist language, I think your statement is wrong, I know that information is factually incorrect, I will not participate in hateful conversation.
- Listen to black people. We white people do not have all the answers—remember, our white privilege has been part of the problem.
On this website, learn, connect, and build. This part of the journey is very personal—it is about your connection to people of African descent.
- Go to the Names tab. Find your name. Read about the meaning and origin. Know that every name on the website is the name of person of African descent. You are now connected by name with a person of African descent. When people share a name, they find common ground. When people find common ground, they see the humanity in the other. Sharing names and the stories of names helps people find common ground, shared humanity, and the quest for justice.
- Go to the People tab. Search on a topic that relates to your life—music, sports, education, and so on. Find the people who share that topic with you. Search on the state in which you live or have lived. Find the people who have also lived in your state. Search for a favorite historical or famous person and read the mini-bio. If you do not find that person’s bio, submit their name to be added to the website. (See #4 below.)
- Go to the RIP tab. Read about black people who have lost their lives because of racial profiling, police brutality, prejudice, and hate. Think about their families and their communities. Invite their pain into your life.
- Become an Advocate for Racial Justice. Pledge to make a positive difference in your own life and within your community—not just for now, but for a lifetime. As an Advocate for Racial Justice, you will also become a partner in building this website. You will submit names of people for mini-bios, submit suggested titles for the resources section, and communicate with the author about issues of racial justice and with ideas for improving the website. (Note: The small pledge amount for becoming an Advocate funds the research for the website and helps keep the site free of advertisements.)