(First posted June 2, updated June 11)
“Every time we do not take a risk we prop up this racist system.” Rachel Rodgers
I was introduced to Rachel this morning in a email newsletter from coach Michael Bungay Stanier (MSB). Rachel is a coach, entrepreneur, lawyer, and the founder of her own intellectual property law firm.
Rachel generously posted a 20 minute teaching on Instagram Live that gave me a much-needed metaphorical bucket of ice water wake up call to stop wringing my hands and take action. You can check out her post here.
Here’s what’s true.
I have a lot to learn and unlearn. And there is no time to waste.
And… now on June 11 I have learned “there is not time to waste” is not entirely true. I attended an excellent webinar by the Adaway Group #whitenessatwork and was introduced to the four phases of liberatory consciousness – Dr. Barbara J. Love’s work. Phase one is awareness – which is all about noticing. Phase two is analysis, time for listening, learning, and reflection. Phase three is taking action – aiming for high impact and low risk. And phase four is accountability. Being held accountable for our actions, remembering that we only hold accountable those people that we care about.
It is tempting to move into action swiftly when we identify that something is wrong and as instructors Desiree Adaway and Jessica Fish pointed out, when we move too swiftly into action we run the risk of doing further harm to the very people, objectives, and values we wish to support.
To my fellow white women and men we need to listen deeply, learn fast (see above caveat), and take action (initially, by spending time on learning and analysis and encouraging this in our organizations as we prepare for further action) now and on an ongoing basis for racial equity.
- If you are white, or benefit from white privilege, read this piece on white fragility in The New Yorker and consider deeply how this shows up for you. Then take 2-3 actions today from this list of 75 things white people can do for racial justice.
- The Minnesota Freedom Fund has been flooded with donations and is now encouraging people to donate their money to other Black or BIPOC led organizations. There’s a good list here of bail funds to help support protestors who need bail money.
- Donate to George Floyd’s family’s GoFundMe.
- For Canadians, some great organizations to donate to are: The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Freedom School, Black Lives Matter, The Groundswell Fund.
- Explore this comprehensive list of ways to be an anti-racist and choose a few of the resources to engage with today.
- If you are a white woman, read this guide by Tatiana Mac. If you are a white man, read this one.
AND I am a big supporter of West Coast Leaf for their multi-pronged approach to advocating for equality. If you aren’t familiar with their work, do check them out!
And MSB adds:
I highly recommend you head over to the Adaway Group site to obtain a copy of the webinar recording and to sign up for the continuing series this summer.
Bottom line: Listen. Learn. Read. Write. Share. Protest. Speak up. Make Change.
(Photo credit to Julian Wan – Unsplash)