So I delivered a presentation at a regional leadership conference a bit ago with some colleagues. Well, actually there were two workshops. One was entitled Being a Person of Color in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter, and one was Being a White Ally in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter.
This was a refreshing conversation to be able to have with students and colleagues. My supervisor, being a woman of color, led the caucus regarding being a Person of Color in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter along with one of our graduate assistants, himself a man of color; while myself and and two colleagues (one professional staff, one graduate student) being white, led the caucus on being a white ally.
Reams and reams have been written about being an ally; and I am not one to profess knowledge on being a POC in contemporary society. There are better and more well-qualified people to talk on that than I for certain; but what I can do is lend some insight into some of the points and resources that we shared in our conversation regarding being a White Ally in the Era of #BlackLivesMatter.
Here are some articles we referred in our work:
- What We Need From White Allies in the Fight
- Dear White Folks
- The Pitfalls of Becoming a Complacent Ally
- Things I Don’t Mean when I say #BlackLivesMatter
- 5 Ways Marginalized People can Recognize their Privilege in Other Areas
- White Women, Please Don’t Expect Me to Wipe Away Your Tears
- 6 Things I Wish Non-Black People would stop Saying
- What’s Wrong with ‘All Lives Matter’?
We also curated a list of YouTube Videos that could be of use to further educate yourself on racial justice matters.
One of our key themes is that as white allies, we must do some work on ourselves to fully understand how history contextualizes everything that we do; and that we cannot rely on our colleagues of color (and other targeted groups) to educate us as agents of power. It is up to us to come to a place of solidarity with good intention, and some base of knowledge. Targeted groups cannot continue the fight and make progress if they are consistently and constantly spending time educating new white allies.
Educate yourself. We live in a world where this is easier than ever. Read blogs. The ones I posted above are good starts, especially in thinking about #BlackLivesMatter. I’ve talked about Paul Kivel’s Uprooting Racism before. Read it. Another great book is White Reign: Deploying Whiteness in America by
What have you found to be useful in educating yourself to be a better white ally?