A challenge to White folks…
The events in NYC and Minnesota over the weekend are additional examples of how our communities of Color are under constant attack in the United States. As White woman who continues to struggle with my own privilege and role in a society that attacks people of Color, I want to use this space to acknowledge how I dealt with the recent tragedies – I buried myself in work as a leader of an organization that attempts to support educators to deal with the oppressive structures in our educational system. I didn’t take time to process my pain nor did I reach out to care for my team – particularly my colleagues of Color. Don’t make the mistake I did. Begin taking action now.
I call on our White community to reach out and acknowledge the pain folks are feeling.
I challenge you to do at least one of the following:
- Reach out to your Black and Brown colleagues. Ask how they are doing. Give them space to grieve. LISTEN!
- Stand in solidarity with folks of Color by using your place of privilege to offer the opportunity for people to be angry and free from judgment. Don’t allow other White folks to judge their grieving process.
- Create a space in your school, community, or organization for folks to grieve, show anger, cry, admit that they don’t have the answers.
- Give teammates of Color grace on their work deliverables – they are grieving their history (distant and recent) and making time to have yet another conversation with their children about what it is like to be a Black person in America.
- Challenge White colleagues who place judgment on how communities are reacting to these tragedies. Challenge folks that have despairing comments about black organizers and organizations. Don’t stand silent!
- Make a phone call or write an email to speak out against police brutality and the unjust treatment of Black and Brown folks!
- True allies support the Black community through action and resources. Support at least one black-owned business – religiously! Start today.
- Read Just Mercy, The New Jim Crow, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Talk about it.
- Vote! And make sure everyone in your immediate circle is voting.
- If you are so moved, pray…for those who are lost and those they leave behind. Pray for folks in power to act in bravery, not cowardice.
My challenge to my White colleagues is to use your voice. Boundaries are drawn in your silence. Your silence makes you a part of the problem. Your voice and action makes you part of the solution.
Looking forward to folks adding to this post with additional actions White allies and co-conspirators can take to stand in solidarity with communities of Color. We can’t let our “not knowing what to do” be an excuse for our inability to act.
Yours in this work,
Kristyn Klei Borrero, CT3’s CEO and Co-Founder
CT3 transforms the quality and culture of education for youth, especially those in traditionally disenfranchised communities.