Here’s how we can help chart a path forward to meet this seminal and potentially watershed moment and harness everyone’s capacity to catalyze genuine change.
1. Start with looking in the mirror. Embrace these words from the poet Rumi: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
2. Don’t just fight racism at special events. Make it an everyday effort to notice, unpack, confront, and disrupt it every day, everywhere. Speak up when you hear racist language, whether it is subtle or overt.
3. Become more aware of your own biases and how they shape your perceptions and interactions with others.
4. Take responsibility for your own learning. Don’t turn people of color into your unpaid tutors.
5. Listen to the marginalized. Hear what they are telling you. Respect their perspective even if you don’t yet understand them.
6. Show the courage to have difficult, uncomfortable, painful conversations.
7. Take risks as you speak your truths. Overcome your fear of making mistakes. Make them, apologize, learn—and then teach others.
8. Form diverse coalitions to dismantle unjust systems.
9. Elevate traditionally marginalized voices in decision-making within the organizations that you are a part of.
10. Provide financial support to organizations doing vital work to eliminate racial disparities.
11. Take stock of your own privileges. Notice any that disadvantage others, directly or indirectly. Ask yourself: Am I willing to give up any of my privileges to create a more just society?
12. Bottom line, get out of the comfort of your existing bubbles and open your heart to cultivating meaningful relationships across racial differences. As my favorite sign at the recent march put it, “Love black people as much as you love black culture.”