So, Now You Ready for Anti-Racist Work? Consider these 4 Points First

This is a special special message to Institutional/Non-Profit/Government/Philanthropic Leaders currently searching for Anti-Racism workshops as bandaids to the current movement. Before you reach out to me or any other consultant/facilitator requesting proposals for one-hour or one day workshops to make your organization “an anti-racist” organization, consider the following:

  1. Define RACISM.

What is your analysis as to what is racism, how it began, and how is it maintained? Some of us think that racism is discrimination, others think that it’s institutional. Either way, we need clear, shared language. We can’t move in any direction if we are not speaking about the same thing. If you don’t already have an analysis, consider attending an Undoing Racism workshop with The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond–before you even reach out to a consultant.

2. What is your urgency to do this work now?

Some of y’all are having knee-jerk reactions and are running to anyone hoping to look like you are standing in solidarity. How about you unpack why it has taken you this long to even call this out? Unless you’re prepared  to, not just examine racism from a looking glass perspective, dive deep and examine how your organization’s policies, practices, staffing and leadership perpetuate racism and/or oppression against the community you serve including your employees, don’t waste the time nor money.

3. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

It’s going to take time for us to change ourselves let alone our organizations. Stop asking consultants to be miracle workers and give you a couple of hours of training as a save all to what is happening outside your window and in your organization. You have to be invested in changing for the long run. So please don’t approach the work as a one off. There are organizations and community organizing groups that have imbedded this approach into their lives taking anywhere between 5-10 years to accomplish and sustain.

4. ANTI- RACISM is a VERB not a NOUN.

Anti-racism is a daily practice of self reflection, humility, and accountability. This work is about bringing humanity back into the fold. It can’t be done superficially nor can it be done in a vacuum. It’s done in community and requires us to go beyond our comfort zones. It’s beautifully messy work that has the power to liberate minds and open hearts. The challenge is in the conflict resolution and grace that we all have to practice and model.

*Bonus note: this work is not meant for one person to carry. It requires all hands on deck. Develop your people to keep this with work going past your tenure.

I hope this gives you direction.

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