Knowledge of the history and present of enacted white supremacy is important. Many of us white folks neither learned this in our formal education nor recognized it as a part of our lived reality.
That reading circles and task groups and Sunday School classes are studying White Fragility and How to Be an Anti-Racist and I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness is a really good thing. The COVID era’s surge in online webinars and panels has also created new accessible forums for learning and engagement – and those are amazing spaces for hearing new perspectives.
This knowledge changes us, right?
Then comes the process of really making that knowledge our own – integrating it into our understanding of the world – by putting it to use.
We put it to use in our own thinking, in our conversations with others, and when we show up to protests.
But we also must put it to use by engaging with applied, structurally embedded inequalities to help create change.
This is the long haul of dismantling white supremacy – and it’s a great blessing to be able to do that work.
I am a big fan of engaging with that work through grassroots efforts, so I’m going to name some groups working on those issues in Alabama. If you are not in Alabama and need help finding local efforts in your area, give me a holler.
This is long-term, necessary structural change work.
None of us can do it all. All of us can do something.
Death Penalty – Project Hope to Abolish the Death Penalty
Environmental Justice – GASP, PANIC, Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice, Alabama Interfaith Power & Light
Medicaid Expansion for Increased Healthcare Access- Alabama Arise
Arise is also a great source of information about and advocacy space for tax reform, public transit, and other significant statewide policy issues.
Land Tenure – Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community Land Trust
Immigrant Detention – Shut Down Etowah
Payday Lending – Alliance for Responsible Lending in Alabama
Restorative Justice & Prison Abolition – When We Fight
Voter Engagement/Voting Rights – Woke Vote, League of Women Voters of Alabama (and its local chapters)
While we’re here, check out the policy platforms at the Movement for Black Lives. If you are relatively new to anti-racist work, this may feel like a lot to take in. Take a deep breath and ease your way through it with an open mind. This is what meaningful anti-racist structural change looks like. This is what a more just world looks like.
Let’s make it happen – together.