Eighty-six percent (86%) of black teens who experience discrimination state they have experienced discrimination based on their hair by the age of 12. H.R. 2116 also known as the the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) passed along party lines in the House with a vote of 235-189 on March 18. Hair discrimination is one step closer to being banned across the country with a vote by Senate.
Be an ally. When discussing different experiences and points of view, expect and accept non-closure. “Hang out in uncertainty” and try not to rush to quick solutions, especially in relation to racial understanding. This can be heavy, confusing, and lead to more questions than answers. Remember that you are engaging in an adaptive process, not implementing technical solutions.
Be an ally. Work on ensuring that Black educators are hired where Black children are being taught. If you want to know more about why and how this makes a difference for Black children, check out this episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast.
Be an ally. Speaking up when witnessing a microaggression at work isn’t necessarily easy because of power dynamics. So, have a couple of stock phrases to pull out when you need them at work, or anywhere. For example: “What makes you say that?” “We don’t do that here.” “I don’t get it. Can you explain the joke to me?” “Wow, that was awkward.” Here is a link to other responses towards microaggressions.
December 3 was International Day of Persons with Disabilities as declared by the UN. Be an ally. Becoming a good ally is a process and a journey. Understand that you will make mistakes but know that it is better to be an imperfect ally, than nothing at all. Start by following these steps at this link and come ready to learn and be corrected if you misstep.
Be an ally. Recognize that there is a difference between ‘safety’ and ‘comfort.’ As adult learners we are each responsible for our own physical and emotional safety. Often, in situations of cross cultural disagreement individuals may assume they are unsafe, when in reality they are simply uncomfortable. Demonstrate bravery and lean into that discomfort so that we can each remain engaged and move forward together.
Be an ally. Practice using “both/and” thinking. This perspective invites us to see that more than one reality or perspective can be true at the same time, rather than seeing reality as strictly either/or, right or wrong, good or bad, this or that. Using “both/and” thinking can be very helpful in reconciling differences and conflicts that do not present easy solutions.
Be an ally. Find out how American history is taught in your local schools and whose voices and perspectives are represented. In A People’s History of the United States, historian and political scientist Howard Zinn aims to write an account of American history from the perspective of persecuted, powerless, marginalized people, instead of the usual “heroes.”
Be an ally. Speak up in your own social circles. You may have access to social circles that others do not. Perhaps you have heard racist, sexist, homophobic or derogatory language used by family members or friends? Take some time at your next family reunion to challenge peoples’ beliefs, and speak up for those who are not there.
Don't wait until October. Write to your city or town government representative to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day like those cities in this article.
Seek out a diverse group of friends for your kids. And, seek out a diverse group of friends for you. Practice real friendship and intimacy by listening when POC talk about their experiences and their perspectives. They’re speaking about their pain.
We recognize the escalation in violence directed at the Asian-American community, and we stand with them in solidarity against it. Non-Asian American friends and colleagues can show support by checking in with Asian American peers, showing they’re aware of the news, demonstrating care for their wellbeing, and offering specific forms of help. However, asking someone an open-ended question like “how are you feeling?” or “is there anything I can do for you?” can create an emotional burden for the recipient in their response. Instead . . .
As a friend or classmate, you might offer your time if they want to talk, or extend a nice gesture like sending over food delivery. Also, draw attention to anti-Asian hate and condemn it. For example, share news on social media and/or reach out to folks you know and have intentional conversations about what is happening to the Asian American community. Make these issues widely known.
As a colleague in the workplace, you can offer to take a meeting off their plate, extend a deadline, or pitch in on a project.
As a faculty member, make your course more inclusive and representative by including at least one course assignment that is relevant to the Asian American experience, history, cultural and/or well-being. For example, require students to read a text addressing Asian American perspectives, invite Asian American guest speakers, etc.
As a member of the NSCC community, acknowledge and address anti-Asian hate incidents in your classes and/or meetings.
Reparations isn’t just monetary.You can share your time, skills, knowledge, connections, etc. Check out the Facebook group “Reparations: Requests & Offerings.”
Silence is support. Don’t be silent about that racist joke.
Voter fraud isn’t statistically a problem in this country. Write to your state representative and senator to ban voter ID laws, ease the voter registration process, implement early voting, and implement voting-by-mail, to ensure access for all registered voters.
In A People’s History of the United States, historian and political scientist Howard Zinn aims to write an account of American history from the perspective of persecuted, powerless, marginalized people, instead of the usual “heroes.” Find out how American history is taught in your local schools and whose voices and perspectives are represented.
The nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with black and brown people. Watch the documentary, 13th, to see how the 13th Amendment to the Constitution is related to this fact. Host a watch party and discuss the topic.