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Racial Justice Challenge

Welcome to Day 2 of the Racial Justice Challenge.
Today, we turn to the concept of antiracism. According to Dr. Ibram X Kendi, founding director of Boston University's Center for Antiracist Research, "I want to eliminate the concept of "not racist" from our vocabulary. We're either being racist or antiracist." He goes on to say, "The heartbeat of racism is denial... An antiracist is someone who is willing to admit the times in which they're being racist and who is willing to recognize the inequities and the racial problems of our society and who is willing to challenge those racial inequities by challenging policies."

Let's get started by learning about and sharing ways in which we can practice antiracism.

1. Watch Dr. Ibram X Kendi's TED talk/interview: The difference between being "not racist" and being antiracist. (50 minutes) 

2. Spend time reflecting on ways in which you have acted or thought in a racist way, and on how you may be part of racist systems or institutions. Then, consider ways in which you are or could be antiracist.  (5-10 minutes)

NOTE: This challenge originally took place August 3-7, 2020. Comments are now disabled, but please reflect on the question in the board and scroll through participants' responses.

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3. Actions You Can Do Today

  • Choose two antiracist actions to complete from those shared by participants in the discussion board above. 


    Visit 106 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice, which is a list of things that anyone can do and is focused on combating anti-black racism in particular. Complete 2 of the tasks on that list. Action items are regularly updated, so revisit this site often!
  • Borrow or buy books like Kendi's How to be an Antiracist, and Dr. Anneliese Singh's The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities To Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism & Engage in Collective Healing, and start reading! For those looking to borrow, request these books at your local or university library. For those looking to buy, order from bookstores run by people of color, like these Black-owned bookstores.

4. BONUS Actions

You have completed Day 2 of the Racial Justice Challenge! Remember Kendi's comments about racism when he refers to ‘racist’ as an action, an inaction, or an idea, not a person, and that change is possible. Join us tomorrow when we'll expand our ideas of what people's stories can tell us about who they are and what makes them thrive.

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