Why are we doing this?
No document – this or any other – is going to fix racism. We are not an authority and we’re not trying to be. We are a group of writers and designers who set out to encourage conversation and action that feels approachable to us. The steps we have outlined are an opinionated collection of things other people have already said; they’re an attempt to help ourselves, and others, continue on a journey that is inherently personal. And it’s so, so personal. You have to go down your own rabbit hole. You have to educate yourself; it is not the responsibility of people of color to educate you. You have to open your own eyes, and use your own power, in your own way. We can’t tell you to get angry, but you might get angry from what you read in some of these links. Our hope for ourselves, and for you, is really that when you feel like doing something, you chase that feeling, via an avenue that feels attainable to you. Then keep chasing further.
This is a living document—we want your feedback because there are so many people more educated than we are on what actions and resources are effective in combatting racism in different situations and communities. There are so many experiences we have never had and many stories we have yet to hear. We started, knowing that we would not get things “right” and, quite frankly, we were pretty afraid of getting everything “wrong.” But we started.
What’s the incentive for white people to challenge racism?
Inequality doesn’t just hurt the oppressed; it creates fundamental instability that threatens the people at the top, the bottom, and in between. As a small collection of people in a room in New York, our goal is to create action items for ourselves that can, hopefully, chip away at a problem that white people created many generations ago and have continued to uphold ever since. We didn’t choose to be born into this system, but we did inherit the problem, and we have the obligation to fix it together. The effects of our inaction alone are powerful and horrifying when we start to dive into them. One way we are attempting change is to create work with people who have similar goals, and who we trust to push us further and remind us that change takes work—and some discomfort. Making change will look different for other people and we hope to see, and be inspired by, what this process looks like for you.
If you want to send us a suggestion, a link to add, a correction on something we got wrong or simply ask questions, please write to us. Please stick to constructive criticism and refrain from violent language or trolling. Nobody needs that!
Denize Maaløe, Edward Ubiera,
Charis Shafer, Erika Strong, Evan Clary, Genevieve Ernst