6 Steps That White People Can Take To Be An Active Advocate for Racial Justice.
This blog post offers steps to shift from being a silent ally to an active advocate for racial justice. It is very much possible to be an ally in private, which serves no one but you. An active advocate is a person who publicly shows their support through action. I invite you to evaluate the ways in which you have shown up for people of color and the causes you care about.
6 Beginning Steps That White People Can Take To Be An Active Advocate For Racial Justice.
- Acknowledge racism, and commit to educating yourself on how racism shows up in our country and how it impacts white people and people of color. Racism is bad for white people too! Share what you're learning with friends, family, associates, and on your platforms of influence. You just might be able to reach a person in your network that I don't have access to.
- Call out systems, practices, and beliefs that perpetuate white dominance and disproportionate racial outcomes. Even yours! This is why continuing to educate yourself on racism is so important. You can’t fix what you aren’t willing to face. You can't speak on anything that you don't understand. And you most certainly can't call out what you don’t even see.
- Recognize your power and privilege, and use it for good. Don't allow guilt or shame to paralyze you and halt your contribution for racial justice.
- Create and hold space to center the voices and leadership of people of color. Look for who’s voice is missing at the table where decisions are made. Give up your seat if needed.
- Ask a person of color how you can support them and become a better advocate. Don't assume what a person or community needs. My answers are relative to my experiences and priorities, so don’t take this list as the end all be all. I must add; it’s not the job of a POC to educate and help you in this space. If you find yourself saying anything close to “can I pick your brain?”, then also be willing to compensate the said person for their knowledge and time spent with you. The racial wealth divide is large enough, and we won’t come close to closing the gap if we don’t value or compensate POC for their intellectual property.
- Do your work. What does that mean? Essentially this means being mindful about focusing so much on the world outside of yourself and dedicating just as much time for your own self-analysis. Acknowledge your own racial bias and origin of those beliefs. What's at stake for you if we never reach a just and equitable society for people of color?
I would love to hear what you would add to this list. Thanks for reading!