We have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
This is something I have said as a fitness instructor many many times. And today, it takes on an even deeper meaning. The only way to any kind of change is through the discomfort. If we really want to battle racism, we have to come to terms with the subconscious racism all around us (like the beige crayon being named "flesh toned"). We also have to be a part of the conversations, especially the uncomfortable ones.
For those that are wanting to make a true change, we must commit to doing the work long after the protests stop. Because as much as we want to think there will not be, there will be another Ahmaud Arbery or George Floyd unless we get uncomfortable and have the conversations of what we can do in order to create the change and steps toward true equality, understanding and peace. As non-black people, we need to have an honest and uncomfortable look inside ourselves and see where we experience white privilege and white fragility in order to be a part of positive change.
It's hard to know sometimes in times of struggle to know how to help. I wanted to put together a list of resources (and there are certainly more than are on my list here so keep researching!) so we can learn, get educated, and most importantly be a part of creating positive change.
As a Mom, I believe in having age appropriate conversations with our children. Racism is not something we are born with, but it is learned.
So is anti-racism and the bravery to speak up. Talking to your kids and having the hard conversations while giving them hope and solutions can be hard. But it is necessary now more than ever. Additionally, I believe that our education system can do more to teach from a young age that racism did not end with segregation. I will be doing more to talk to my kids' schools about how to keep the conversation of what racism is and true equality so we can do better for all of our kids.
Here are some resources for you to start:
Some of these resources were shared with me, and some I researched on my own. There are obviously way more, so use the powers of Google and Social Media for good!
A very comprehensive list of resources created by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein in May 2020
Additionally, one of my favorite suggestions from my African American friends is to look up clubs at your alma matter. Most colleges have clubs for POC, and they need money to operate. You can donate to the clubs directly!
Here are some additional resources by category:
How to talk to children
Bias isn't just a police problem, it's a preschool problem NPR article
Tips for talking race with small children
New York Times - Books about racism for kids
For the adults or older kids, here are some other ways we can help.
SDSU – list of resources diversity.sdsu.edu
San Quentin Prison Project
- Support African American owned businesses
- Listen to podcasts and read books to educate ourselves further
- Donate to known and trusted organizations like the NAACP (side note - Beachbody just donated $1 million to the NAACP. Yet another reason I am proud to be partnered with them!)
- Follow African American activists on social media for education, conversation and resources (Barak Obama did an amazing post yesterday on Instagram. Find it here)
- VOTE! For everything. Not just presidential elections, but primaries and the smaller things you may not normally vote for, or ignore on a ballot (if you have done that in the past) and do your research on exactly what it is and who it affects and how.
- Find the grassroots organizations doing the work and volunteer or donate to them.
- Know your History - it's time to revisit history books, biographies, learning about systemic oppression, the role we play in upholding systems of white supremacy.
- Listen. Talk to your black friends. Call them and ask to have an honest conversation about their experiences.
- Stay updated. Follow hashtags like #blacklivesmatter #justiceforgeorge #irunwithmaud
Here are some websites with additional information and resources
(there are obviously more, use this list to start and do your own research as well)
Black Podcasts to listen to
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
* Virtual TownHall meeting Wednesday June 3 at 5pm PST, 8pm EST*
Rachel Cargle's video Public Access on Revolution
Lisa Nichols on the Mama Truth Show
Rachel Cargle TEDx talk on Racial Inertia and Ancestral Accountability
Megan Ming Francis TEDx talk on getting to the root of racial injustice
David Ikard TEDx talk - The dangers of Whitewashing Black History
Follow on Social Media
I hope you use these resources, allow yourself to get uncomfortable and most importantly, educate yourself, as I am doing, take action, and be part of the conversation to facilitate change. We have a long way to go. I have to believe we can make progress, but we have to do the work.
Sharla Mandere is an Empowerment Coach helping busy people live empowered lives through healthy living. An empowered life is one that is rooted in fun and fabulousness, where you call your own shots, and choose wisely and confidently for yourself and your family.