“It’s up to all of us – Black, white, everyone – no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets.” – Michelle Obama
Atheneum Collective stands in solidarity with ALL Black lives.
Black Lives Matter is not a trend. It’s meaning shouldn’t be used as a marketing tactic or advertising strategy. Black Lives Matter is a fact and mission that we need to keep working towards every day. It’s the first step in acknowledging and supporting each other to dismantle white supremacy. We want to acknowledge that Black folks should not shoulder this burden alone. It is up to White people and non-Black people of color to put in the work that we should have been doing for the last 400 years.
With that being said, many people don’t know what they don’t know. During this time we can’t afford to keep our eyes closed; not being racist simply isn’t enough. It is essential that we are anti-racist. There is hope. Change are happening, but there is so much more work to be done.
WHERE DO I START?
If you’re feeling lost in this journey to equity and enlightenment, a good place to start is checking out your own implicit biases with the Harvard Implicit Bias Test. Be honest with yourself. Remember it is okay to evolve and change your mind.
There are a lot of resources out there for further learning. Below are some that we’ve found helpful:
What If I Say the Wrong Thing? – Vernā Myers
So You Wanna Talk About Race… – Ijeoma Oluo
White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo
The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander
The Color of Law – Richard Rothstein
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
If Beale Street Could Talk – James Baldwin
Sister Outsider – Audre Lorde
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neal Hurston
Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
*We highly suggest purchasing these books from Black-owned book shops*
How Social Platforms are Responding to the #BlackLivesMatter Protests Across the US
Activism As Self-Care: How to Energize the Most Important Work of Your Life
Now’s time to plot, plan, mobilize, strategize
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
HOW CAN I SUPPORT?
SIGN. Signing petitions are a productive way to gain awareness and change racist laws without even leaving your couch.
*Note: change.org will show you other suggested petitions to sign based on your values*
DONATE. Donating to antiracist organizations is a great way to support the ongoing mission of Black Lives Matter. If you can, make small monthly donations to help keep the momentum going.
PROTEST. If you’re in LA check out In This Together LA for daily postings. Be sure to wear dark clothing, stay hydrated, and bring an inspiring sign.
VOTE. Voter suppression is real. Many Black folks have lost their rights to vote or have had their votes discounted. A great way to change the system is to vote, so use your right to elect politicians that actively fight for justice.
BUY BLACK. If you are unable to donate or protest, pay close attention to where you are spending your money. Supporting Black-owned businesses is a great way to uplift the community. This browser extension will help you identify brands that align with your values. Unsure of what businesses are Black owned in your area? Check out this database.
HOW CAN I BE A BETTER ALLY?
The simple answer to this is listen. Listen to Black people. Listen to Black women. Listen to Black trans folks. Be open to changing your mind and lean into discomfort. Avoid asking Black people for the answers. Seek out your own and confide in another ally for support. The road to equity is a long one but if we stick together, we can make genuine long-lasting change.