It’s been incredible to see the wave of content this past week across the internet supporting Anti-Racism, and while I fully believe social media can be an agent for change, I also know that almost every movement shared on social media is fleeting. In two weeks will we all be posting three, four, five times a day sharing resources, experiences, hashtags? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean our support should or can stop.
One of the main things that continues to hit me on social media is the post that says “it’s a privilege to educate yourself about racism instead of experiencing it”. As a white woman I have never and likely will never be personally affected by racism, but that doesn’t mean it is not my job to fight against it. This past week has once again brought to light the horrific injustice BIPOC people in this country experience and it cannot just be another trend that we forget about. Black Lives Matter.
In the past, while I’ve often educated myself by watching documentaries or reading about systematic racism, I’ve never taken a truly active role in fighting racism. That is going to change.
Today I wanted to share a few ways I’ll be continuing to support the Anti-Racism fight personally and through this blog as I continue to learn how to be a better ally.
1. Continuing Learning on a Weekly Basis
There have been so many incredible resources shared this past week including books, documentaries, podcasts, and more. It’s been an overwhelming amount to be honest and I think that’s the point. There are an endless amount of resources and it takes time to learn, so we can’t stop. It is not the responsibility of the Black community to teach us about racism; we need to continue educating ourselves on the history of racism in this country on our own. I will never truly understand what experiencing racism is like, so the least I and others like me can do is know the facts and the history.
I found this compiled list of a number of great resources and I’m committing to reading, watching, or listening to at least one per week. I’ll be starting this week listening to the podcast 1619 by the New York Times and will continue to share the resources I learn from in later posts and on Instagram Stories.
Additionally, this week and in the coming weeks 6 black creators I follow on Instagram will also be sharing educational IGTV videos on various topics. You can view this week’s topics and follow all the women HERE. In case the link disappears (it’s a IG Story) the creators are @sequinsandsales, @ayanagabriellelage @whatnicolewore, @lotsofsassblog, @goodtomicha, and @thelifewithnicole. Following along is a great way to continue learning while also filling your feed with their amazing fashion and lifestyle content!
2. 30 Day Bias Training
Part of education around racism is asking hard questions and challenging things you may have thought in the past. I recently downloaded a 30 Day Bias Training created by Charmaine Utz, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, as a way to start asking myself some of the harder questions. The training is an incredible resource that puts the onus on you to address your biases in a manageable way. Throughout the 30 days you’ll take time each day to think about one smaller question and then write in your journal addressing a larger prompt at the end of the week.
I’ll be starting today, June 8th. They also recommend having an accountability partner, so if you decide to start let me know and we can keep each other accountable.
Reassessing our internalized ideas by asking ourselves hard questions is the first step, but we must also put thoughts into actions. The goal isn’t just to change yourself but to end systematic racism in this country.
3. Monthly Donations to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
As I continue to educate myself on what I can do to support anti-racism I will be supporting organizations that are fighting for change in this country by making a monthly donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In short, the Legal Defense Fund seeks to eliminate disparities and achieve racial justice through litigation, advocacy, and public education.
With donations I want to call out that any amount helps. I know most of you (myself included) are likely not in a place where you can make large donations, but even if you can give up a few coffees per month and instead use that money to support the cause it helps so much.
If you’re looking for organizations to support I always recommend checking Charity Navigator, which looks at the effectiveness of an organization. They also shared a list of organizations focused on civil rights and racial justice that you can support here.
4. Being More Conscious of the Brands I Support and Share
I, like many, usually shop first and think about the consequences later. This week I learned about so many businesses who I’ve either personally shopped or have added to wish lists that do not support black lives. One example is Reformation, which often only allows black employees to work in the stockrooms so white employees are on the floor (see here). This is despicable and something I will not support by spending my money on their products.
Moving forward, I commit to doing more research on the businesses and brands I support. This also includes being more conscious of supporting black owned businesses. I know I will not be perfect, but I believe being more conscious of how we spend our money can make a huge change.
There have been many incredible Black owned businesses shared across Instagram this week including this list and this list. Here are a few of my favorite new brands I’ve discovered:
The Tiny Tassel: Based in Charleston, The Tiny Tassel carries the cutest earrings you’ll ever find as well as other accessories. They’re also a great price point! A lot of items are sold out right now (yay!), but I added myself to the waitlist for these earrings because I need them…
Bole Road Textiles: This shop is full of gorgeous pillows, linens, and more including so many striped pieces I want to add to my apartment! The pillows are a bit of a splurge for me, but I can’t get over them.
Oma The Label: If you love simple everyday gold jewelry like me than this is your shop, plus almost all of their pieces are under $100. The knot bracelet and ile hoop have been added to my wishlist!
If you’re still reading – thank you. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I hope it has been helpful as a place where you can start. We should all find ways to fight racism where we can affect the most change, whether that is through conversations at home, protesting in the streets, or helping to educate our communities online or in person.
If you’d like to have a conversation or join me in one of the commitments I’ve shared please reach out via DM on Instagram or email me!