Sign at a rally that says "If not Us who? If not Now when?"

Becoming People Who Stand for Equality and Racial Justice

by Jacqueline Jannotta

As evidenced in The Illusion of Progress, one thing that gets me through these ongoing moments of collective stress is to zoom out and view them as history in action. So when I stumbled across the nonprofit Facing History and Ourselves, I did a little dance. This top-rated global organization offers an antidote to bigotry through education. They train teachers, infusing classrooms with critical thinking and social-emotional learning woven into history lessons. Facing History and Ourselves empowers students to see how their choices can make a difference in the world. Educating the next generation is paramount if we intend to overcome racism. But this isn’t enough…

Education is key, but so is policy change, as well as supporting those who are victims of racial injustice in its many forms. While many influential nonprofits tackle this issue, I’m supporting one at the forefront of the current movement fueling change: Black Lives Matter Global Network (aka Black Lives Matter). Although relatively young as an organization, they are continuing important work begun well before the civil rights era. Born out of the senseless murder of Trayvon Martin, Black Lives Matter is a growing collective dedicated to “creating a world free of anti-Blackness, where every Black person has the social, economic, and political power to thrive.” 

Such a pervasive problem in American and global culture requires a comprehensive response in order to heal it, which is why I chose two groups doing broad and complementary work. There are many ways to go about this long overdue change and what matters is that you take meaningful action in whatever way works best for you. As I do with each of these Donation Posts, one essential action is contributing to nonprofits that resonate with you, that inspire you to give. In this case in particular, I also urge you to go one step deeper: Learn more about racism with the simple goal of creating an anti-racist mindset and becoming a better ally. Here are some resources to explore:

  • Justice in June was created by two students of color and offers a well-organized self-guided program based on how many minutes a day you are willing to give.
  • Katie Couric shares a regularly updated list that includes an array of media, with a separate section for kids & teens. 
  • For those curious about the socio-psychological underpinnings of bias, this list from Greater Good Magazine offers insightful anti-racist articles and resources.
  • The Scene On Radio podcast, particularly the “Seeing White” series is brilliant and included in many lists being shared now. I can’t say enough good things about it.

Start somewhere, and keep on going.

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