First things first, I want to be very clear: racism and hate have no place here. Secondly, in an effort to be hyper-sensitive: if anything I have shared is incorrect or offensive to my BIPOC community PLEASE let me know; that is the very last thing I want to do – I am still learning and truly just trying to help. I woke up this morning feeling emotionally and energetically hungover from the events that transpired here in L.A. over the weekend, but following my morning meditation I was hit with a deep knowing that any amount of “discomfort” I experienced over the weekend truly pales in comparison to the stress, unrest, injustices and inhumane treatment the BIPOC community has been experiencing for decades. And it was in that knowing that I felt inspired to shift my energy towards doing what I can to spark change. My intentions with this post is to provide you with some anti-racism resources, as well as offer those of you within my community that look like me some actionable steps that you can take to join me in the fight against racism.
The truth is we should’ve taken action collectively a long time ago. Unfortunately, we can’t undo the past, and while I’m sad that it took us THIS LONG to start to paying attention we have to do our very best to give ourselves permission to feel those heavy feelings of guilt and shame, and then make the conscious choice to direct our energy and efforts towards doing whatever we can to support our BIPOC brothers and sisters on an ongoing basis from here on out.
I really HOPE this does not come across the wrong way to those of you within my community that are BIPOC, but in an effort to be completely honest, up until recently I wasn’t well-informed of just how prevalent racism is in our world today. I am not at all proud to admit that publicly, but I know that I am not alone in that privileged admission. I also now know this is a major part of the anti-racism work that lies ahead for me: acknowledge my white privilege and acknowledge that my silence and ignorance has been part of the problem. If we’re being honest here, part of my naivety stemmed from not watching the news. I don’t watch the news, and haven’t for many years. I am an extremely sensitive and deeply empathetic person who internalizes everything, I have a hard time not obsessing over things in the news and for me, watching the news fed my crippling anxiety; so in my early 20’s I made the decision to tune out of the happenings in the world in an effort to combat my anxiety and depression. It’s since proven to be an incredibly irresponsible choice, because while it did help me dampen my anxiety, it also created an enormous gap between “my reality” or rather, the world I have been living in, and the reality of the world WE (we as in me, you and the BIPOC community) are living in… all of which has resulted in me being regretfully unaware of the extreme prejudices and injustices happening on a daily basis in our world. I feel like I have just now woken up from an ignorant and inexcusably long slumber as I begin to explore what the BIPOC community has been living with all along. I am deeply disappointed in myself for staying silent and unaware of these issues for this long. My nearly life long streak of ignorance on racism is the epitome of privilege; and it’s time for me to hold myself accountable and do the work so that I can intentionally show up differently moving forward.
I was raised in a household where I was taught to treat everyone with respect and as an equal. I never heard racist remarks in my household and I have never engaged in racism, nor have I knowingly been around racist people; but what I have learned over the past 4 days is that simply “not being racist” is not enough. When you ignore evil you become an accomplice to it. My privilege has allowed me to basically ignore the injustices and prejudices that the BIPOC community has had to face day in and day out, and that is not okay. I am not okay with that. I will not allow that to be my truth moving forward, and I hope that you won’t either.
What is happening is WRONG and now is the time to speak up for our BIPOC brothers and sisters who don’t feel safe to do so. If you look like me it’s time for us to use our privilege and SPEAK UP for what is right. This is not an issue of politics, THIS IS AN ISSUE OF HUMANITY. While we can’t undo the damage that has already been done, we can take action now to make a change moving forward.
As I continue to explore what active anti-racism means to me and how that translates into my own life, I am realizing there are many facets and layers to taking action against racism, many of which I am still learning. This conversation of racism is new to me and I’m doing my best to navigate it all. I can already tell you right now that I most likely will say the wrong thing at some point (if I haven’t already – and if that’s the case I’m sorry 😔) but I am trying – and I hope you are too. I also know that I will never truly understand the pain and suffering that has occurred, but I do know that I am committed to doing better from here on out; I am committed to educating myself, learning, unlearning, listening more and doing what I can to be a true ally. There is A LOT that needs to be done and it won’t happen all in one day, but I truly believe by engaging in anti-racism practices in some way each day, coupled with the intention to do better, we CAN make a difference and fight for change.
PS: I plan to continually update this blog post as I learn more, so I urge you to continue to check back for updates. Also, if there are any anti-racism tips I am missing or important resources that I should add please don’t hesitate to let me know.
THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW:
*PLEASE NOTE THIS LIST IS IN NO ORDER OF IMPORTANCE!
✨ SPEAK UP when you witness racism of any kind. This is mega mega important. Call it out when you see it. I know this can be scary but this NEEDS to happen, ignoring it will only perpetuate it.
✨ SIGN A PETITION I have compiled a list of petitions below that you can sign to demand justice and change. If you haven’t already signed, please do, it takes less than a minute to do and it DOES help.
✨ VOTE THIS IS IMPERATIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! If we want to really create long-term change then we need to change the way our current system is running, and who is running it. Your voice matters and your vote matters. Please do your research, educate yourself and prepare to vote on Tuesday November 3rd, 2020.
✨ DONATE If you’re in the position to donate I have compiled a list of reputable causes that support BIPOC below. Any amount helps. If you’re not in the position to give a monetary donation explore ways you can donate your time and energy by volunteering!
✨ STAY IN THE KNOW of what is happening in our world. I know the news can be overwhelming and anxiety inducing but I think it’s incredibly important to find a way you can get news in at least a few times a week. Take it from me – ignorance is NOT bliss. I started following a local news channel on IG and will be carving out time each week to intentionally consume news so I can make sure that I never “sleep” on important issues ever again.
✨ TALK ABOUT RACISM Have conversations with your friends, family and community about racism, privilege and what they can do to grow and learn. I know that talking about racism can feel uncomfortable, but the dialogue needs to happen. Use these conversations as an opportunity to grow and learn together. Let your friends, family and community know that something happened (and HAS been happening for years/continues to happen on an ongoing basis), that it’s wrong, that you aren’t okay with it and want to be part of the solution.. The more people that speak up for BIPOC the more we can inspire others who are scared to speak up too, it’s a domino affect – LEAD BY EXAMPLE! If you are a parent make it your mission to raise anti-racist children – there are some great resources for parents at the top of the google doc.
✨ POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA If you have an online presence and can post, post. But in the same token, simply just posting about this deeply disturbing issue on social media isn’t enough. I hope that you will approach this issue with true and heartfelt INTEGRITY; integrity is what you do when no one is watching. Also, I have received quite a few DM’s on IG about the fear of saying the wrong thing and I want to address that.. I FEEL YOU. It can be nerve racking when you feel passionate about speaking up about sensitive subjects but don’t know what’s okay and what’s not okay to say etc. but the lesson I’m repeatedly learning is that I can’t allow the fear of not having the exact “right words” to say or the fear of “messing up” keep me silent… I truly believe that if you approach speaking out with pure intentions THAT will shine through, if you mess up – it’s okay, we’re all human and humans do that sometimes… it’s better to SPEAK UP than be silent in my opinion.
***** Also, to my friends who feel outraged at those who have not publicly shared: please approach this with compassion and kindness. Everyone moves at their own speed and in their own ways. Another thing to keep in mind is that just because you don’t see someone posting about something doesn’t mean they’re not actively doing the work offline… stay focused on what YOU can do and make it your mission to lead by example!!!
✨ DIVERSIFY YOUR FEED Diversify your social feed so you don’t just see the perspective of people that look like you.
✨ SUPPORT BIPOC OWNED BUSINESSES Check out your surrounding area and make an effort to support any BIPOC owned businesses in your area. If you’re local in Los Angeles, my personal favorite Black-owned business is Coco Luv Cookies they make THE BEST VEGAN TREATS ever!! I discovered them at the farmers market a while ago and have been hooked ever since my first gluten-free vegan cinnamon roll 😉 You can also check out this list that the L.A. Times provided of L.A. Black-owned food businesses on their website, as well as this list of Black-owned restaurants in L.A. shared by my friend Olivia! If you live in New York here is a list of Black-owned food businesses in N.Y. If food isn’t your thing here is a list of Black-owned beauty brands that you can shop to show your support!
✨ EDUCATE YOURSELF on systemic oppression and reflect on your privilege: a good inner dialogue to start with is by asking yourself what have I not had to worry about because I am white?
For a super brief visual guide to better understand what white privilege is check out this post from @courtneyahndesign.
I also really loved this post from @mireillecharper where she shares 10 steps to non-optical allyship.
NETFLIX SHOWS TO WATCH:
✨ Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap
✨ Time: The Kalief Browder Story
✨ When They See Us
✨ Who Killed MalcomX?
BOOKS TO READ:
** These are the books I personally am starting with but I’m sure there are more, so please do leave me a comment below with suggestions!
IG ACCOUNTS TO ADD TO YOUR FEED:
Here are a few Instagram accounts I have added to my feed recently that I have found incredibly helpful as I deepen my knowledge about my own white privilege, educate myself on current events/important topics of discussion within the BIPOC community that demand my attention as an ally, and offer ways that I can continuously take action against racism.
…… if I am missing any please leave me a comment below and let me know so I can add it to this list 💗
✨ NAACP: The NAACP is at the forefront of the movement to build political power and ensure the wellbeing of communities of color. Underscoring the advocacy of our 2,200 local units across the country, we empower our communities to make democracy work for them. Your donation to the NAACP helps further our mission to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.
✨ Black Lives Matter: A global organization whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
✨ Black Visions Collective: A Black, Trans and Queer-led organization that is committed to dismantling systems of oppression and violence, and shifting the public narrative to create transformative, long-term change.
✨ Campaign Zero: An organization that utilizes research based policy solutions to end police brutality in America.
✨ Reclaim The Block: An organization that advocates and invests in community-led safety initiatives in Minneapolis neighborhoods.
✨ Unicorn Riot: A non-profit organization that is dedicated to exposing root causes of dynamic social and environmental issues.
…… if I am missing any please leave me a comment below and let me know so I can add it to this list. Also, like I mentioned above, even if you’re not in the position to give a monetary donation maybe you can explore ways that you can donate your time and energy by volunteering!
SIGN A PETITION:
….. if I am missing any please leave me a comment below and let me know so I can add it to this list. Signing a petition takes seconds and it can make all the difference in demanding justice for those who deserve it.
ANTI-RACISM RESOURCES // articles, videos & actionable steps:
✨ The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Very powerful talk led by Trevor Noah where he shares his thoughts on the killing of George Floyd, the protests in Minneapolis, the dominos of racial injustice and police brutality, and how the contract between society and black Americans has been broken time and time again.
✨ Anti-Racism Resources via Anti-Racism Project
✨ Video from @lightwatkins: “For white people asking what can you do” I have actually been following @lightwatkins for a while now as he is just so damn insightful, but some of his latest posts have been POWERFUL AF for me during this time.
….. if I am missing any please leave me a comment below and let me know so I can add it to this list 💗
To my BIPOC friends: I understand that I will NEVER understand, however, I want you to know that I stand, with you.
To my non-BIPOC friends: I can’t make you do the work, but I really really hope that you do. I believe that we have a responsibility as humans cohabitating this planet to do what we can to join our BIPOC brothers and sisters in the fight for what is right. It’s not political. It’s basic human rights.
Before I go, I wanted to let you all know that in addition to sharing resources on an ongoing basis, I am also working on creating some yoga and meditation content that will (hopefully) support you during these times of unrest. Sending you all love and good energy.