By Arlene Pace Green
If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking about what you can do about the racial injustice this week has exposed. Here are my top 10 – what are you doing and what would you add?
1. Give $ to support equal justice. Two of many to consider are:
· Innocence Project - helping to free the innocent
· Equal Justice Initiative - working to end mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality
2. Write a letter or make a phone call to public officials demanding equal justice, an end to police violence, and an end to mass incarceration. See the organizations above for ideas and contacts. Find out if your city has implemented the 8 actions that dramatically reduce police violence; ask them to implement if they haven't.
3. If you’re a leader, visibly acknowledge what’s happening, share your values, tell your position as a team and organization; take action by ensuring equal representation and fairness on your teams at all levels - including the senior team and board. Leadership and presence make a difference.
4. Don't assume the problem is with "them". It's likely all of us. Increase your understanding of systematic injustice and racism to gain a deeper understanding of how it works in overt and covert ways. Two books to consider are How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. A short and helpful video on the topic can be found here. There are also numerous articles, TEDTalks, and podcasts on the topic. Melody Hobson has a great TEDTalk on being Color Brave and Peggy McIntosh wrote an article on identifying white privilege. A broader curated list can be found here.
5. Attend an Equal Justice Protest.
6. Raise humble, kind, anti-racist children who advocate for others. Sesame Street's Town Hall for younger kids and Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? for older youth are great places to start.
7. Be a humble, kind, anti-racist person and advocate for others.
8. Vote for equal justice candidates in every election, starting with your local election.
9. Avoid the sin of silence and interrupt racism any time you see it. Start your next work meeting or conversation asking how people are doing; Interrupt racist remarks and conversations within your circle of friends and family; Use your social media voice for positive change.
10. Use your dollars to shop and patron companies that support equal justice. Not always easy to find, but Google and apps like Goods Unite Us can help.
And Always: Take care of you. Take a mental health day, go on a walk, call someone you love, give someone a hug. Re-energize for the fight ahead.