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Steps to Become Anti-Racist

The four steps of becoming an anti-racist, originally found in Where Change Started, the Anti-Racism Starter Kit

1. Awareness

  • Step one requires you to understand that racial inequality exists in society. Rather than just acknowledge the existence or racial inequality, the anti-racist understand the personal role they have played in perpetuating White supremacy. This act of awakening is not a one time deal. The anti-racist will come to understand the different ways in which they have benefited from White supremacy as different issues arise.

2. Education

  • Step two asks the anti-racist to become more educated about the different issues of racial injustice and how White supremacy has helped create these injustices. Instead of learning about these issues to do better in a debate or "say the right things," this education should help the anti-racist look at society with a critical eye and see just how deep White supremacy runs. This education requires that you listen to the voices of Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples.

3. Self-Interrogation

  • Step three is often difficult and uncomfortable. During a self-interrogation, you look inward to see how the various ways in which you have participated or are currently participating in the perpetuation of White supremacy. After acknowledging your own role in White supremacy you are able to let go of the defensiveness of working in a White supremacist society and begin focusing on ways to hold yourself and others accountable.

4. Community Action

  • Step four is the conclusion of becoming aware of racial injustice, educating yourself about the role of White supremacy in society, and acknowledging your own role in perpetuating White supremacy. It is only after understanding the first three steps that you can safely begin community action, otherwise, you risk harming Black, Brown, and Indigenous people by continuing to perpetuate the very White supremacy that you are attempting to fight against. 

Helpful Charts

From Fatal Force, the Washington Post database of "every fatal shooting by an on-duty police officer in the United States" since Jan. 1, 2015.https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/police-shootings-database/

 

   

Examining your place in a racist society can be overwhelming. The chart below may help you gauge where you might be. This chart was adapted by Andrew M. Ibrahim MD, MSc from “Who Do I Want to Be During COVID-19” chart (original author unknown) and is re-used from Black Life Matters: Anti-Racism Resources for Social Workers and Therapists, June 2020, https://www.socialwork.career/2020/06/anti-racism-resources-for-social-workers-and-therapists.html

chart of antiracist activities