We encourage our community members to consider these key principles in fostering antiracist practices (Ivey-Colson and Turner, 2020):
- Education: You cannot acknowledge or change that which you deny or choose not to see. Thus, the first step toward dismantling racism is breaking through that denial, by educating oneself about the history of racism and the impact on the Black/African Americans experience. You will have to confront anti-Black racism! There are other forms of racism and bias to educate yourself on also. This is a learning journey!
- Courage: Facing racism, white privilege, and white supremacy is hard. Reckoning with shame, blame, guilt, and anger takes courage and vulnerability. Courage allows us to be an everyday hero and to inspire collective heroism. To be antiracist, you have to sit with the discomfort and put courage, compassion, and vulnerability over comfort.
- Allyship: To be an ally is to take on this struggle as if it is your own. It means that you do what is uncomfortable. You are committed to taking a risk, sharing any privilege you have to center marginalized people / communities. When you see something, you say something. You imagine and act as if you do not have a choice. You fight to dismantle injustice.
- Individuality: Seeing another person’s individuality means noticing the details and qualities, both positive and negative, that set them apart from the group. To be antiracist, it’s critical to understand and recognize that Black people have historically been assigned a negative group identity, being labeled lazy, irresponsible, dangerous, and angry. Realizing that these stereotypes can prevent us from seeing Black people as individuals is an important awareness because, according to research, when we view people who are “not like us” in terms of their own individual tastes and preferences, we feel less threatened by them.
- Equality to Equity: To be antiracist is to advance equality in the fight for equity. It is to understand that corrective action is needed to create equity in outcomes specifically for communities that have been underrepresented and underserved.
- Intention: Antiracism is a way of life. Like starting any new habit, antiracism requires a conscious decision to pursue it as a goal and way of being. Intention brings mindful presence and awareness to what we say and what we do.