Being anti-racist isn't something to check off a list. It's a lifelong practice of learning, examining my own privilege and bias, doing better, showing up, and modeling and teaching anti-racism to my kids. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
In thinking about how to continue practicing anti-racism I thought about what I can do at different effort levels. Because even at this time while I have little bandwidth and am at home I can still be actively anti-racist. What I've come up with for now is not an exhaustive list by any means but these are the practices I want to incorporate in my life.
Small-effort actions I can take:
+ Set up a recurring monthly donation to an organization dedicated to anti-racism or supporting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color).
+ Educate myself by reading or watching something recommended on the 21-day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge. Thank you to Sara for sharing this resource and for being a person who has been sharing resources and thoughts about anti-racism and equity for years. To make this resource easy to access I bookmarked it and other resources in the browser on my phone.
+ Take a moment to reflect on the people I see as I move about my day (when I'm out and about) and in the media I consume. If I don't seen any BIPOC ask myself why and how can I change that. This includes my social media feed.
+ Listen to a podcast by and/or featuring voices of BIPOC. Two that I enjoy are Still Processing and The Nod. Other specific episodes that I have seen recommended: On Being, Scene On Radio, Call Your Girlfriend, 1619, Another Round, and The Mom Hour.
+ Notice any racist or bias thoughts that I have and take them as a cue to reflect and learn more.
Medium-effort actions I can take:
+ Read a book about anti-racism. There are so many. My immediate list includes White Fragility (for book club), Me and My White Supremacy (would like to read this with a couple of close friends and work through it), So You Want To Talk About Race, and Eloquent Rage.
+ Make sure I am including BIPOC authors in the books that I read (not just when I am reading about anti-racism). Here's a great list.
+ Initiate or follow up on a conversation about anti-racism with a friend or family member.
+ Research anti-racism school curriculum and programming. So that I can can help implement them in the boys' school (more on this below). I am just beginning my research on this so I welcome resources and will share when I have accumulated some.
+ Speak up if a friend or family member makes a racist remark or joke (even if unintentionally). Here are a few responses to some common phrases.
+ Shop Black-owned businesses when purchasing a gift or something for myself. Sherry of the DIY blog Young House Love put together this mega-list of over 200 Black-owned businesses broken down by category. I've bookmarked it for easy reference. You can also search for Black-owned businesses and restaurants in your area by googling "Black-owned businesses CITY" or "Black-owned restaurants CITY." I'd also like to do this when we travel.
Longer-term actions I can take:
+ Use my podcast voice and platform to encourage anti-racism conversations and practices. Erica and I have long had discussion off the air about anti-racism but we have only recently brought those topics to the podcast. I regret not doing it sooner. We are committed to continuing this conversation on the podcast. We have an audience of ~4,500+ people which is an incredible platform that we can use to speak out, admit to our own journeys in practicing anti-racism, and amplify Black voices by sharing resources.
+ Work with school and district administrators to implement anti-racism curriculum or programming. During the first year the boys were at our neighborhood school I decided I wanted to make a positive difference in two areas by the time the boys leave the school (after sixth grade): in nutrition and in diversity/anti-racism (although I have only recently learned the term anti-racism it captures what I had in mind). I've brought up these issues with the principal and recently replied to an email from the district superintendent and asked to volunteer to help implement anti-racism curriculum and programming. There is also now a Black Lives Matter Gilbert Facebook group where I'm thinking I could find others who would want to work on this with me.
+ Advocate for policing regulations in our town that will prevent BIPOC people from being killed by police.
+ Volunteer time with an organization dedicated to anti-racism. I joined the local NAACP chapter in our area so that will be one source of potential volunteer opportunities.
+ Structure our life so that we regularly encounter a more diverse group of people. Our town is not very racially diverse. The most recent census data shows our town population being 82% white, 17% Hispanic or Latino, 6% Asian, and 3% Black (there are a couple other categories such as "two or more races" that I am not listing here). This means that the boys' school is not very racially diverse and we don't have as much opportunity to meet and make friends who are not white. I don't seek to make friends with people simply because they are BIPOC but I would like the opportunity to make acquaintances and deeper friendships among a more diverse group of people. Volunteering could be a good way to meet new people. We could also go to cultural events in different parts of the Phoenix Valley where the population is more diverse. Even going to the public pool is an opportunity to be around people from our town that we are not normally around and I have noticed that there seems to more diversity among families when we visit the public pool versus that we encounter in our friend circle.
This is a starting place in my effort to make anti-racism a lifelong habit. What are anti-racism practices that you can incorporate into your life? If you are just starting this journey that's okay! Just admitting that you have a lot to learn and proceeding with an open mind is a great place to start.