Reflect

We all carry seeds of racism planted by what we saw on TV, read in books, or heard at the dining table. It's on each one of us to honestly look within, put pen to paper, and pull those roots of racism out.

Do I have delusions that *I* can stop racism?

Reflect on a time you were led by a person of colour in a professional setting.

What was your experience? Did you accept their leadership? Why or why not? In what ways did you support him/her? In what ways did you sabotage him/her? If you were never led by a person of colour in a professional setting, why do you believe that happened?

How did your parents or caregivers talk about skin color?

How did their beliefs and views shape you? How do you feel about the words your parents or caregivers use to refer to people of colour today, now that you’re older?

How do you define an ally?

What is a time in your life when you were an ally to the Black community? In what ways, have you been held back from being an ally? In what ways has your allyship moved the needle for a member of the Black community or the community as a whole? In what ways has your allyship fallen victim to white-savior complex?

What attitudes or beliefs have you had about different skin tones, your own or others?

Why or how did you get those ideas? Have they changed, and if so, why and how?

What does your religion or spirituality teach about people of color?

How has those teachings influence you? Do those teachings align with what you’ve read in the sacred book that guides your religious or spiritual beliefs? Why or why not?

Do I ask people who have darker skin to help me unpack racially loaded news?

Do I speak up around issues of police violence and mass incarceration? Have I used someone else's tone as a reason to invalidate their words, logic, or feelings?

For POCs: At what moments am I most vocal about being a POC?

Have I tried to center how I am a POC, to distance myself from “those racists”? Are there moments I distanced myself from my racial identity for my personal benefit?

What was your earliest memory around skin color?

Where were you? Who were you with? Was it something a family member said? Was it an event you and your friends participated in? How did you feel?

What does power mean to you?

Who holds power in the country you live in? What is their gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, and political stance? In what ways do they reflect you? Do you have the same access to power as those who hold power in your country? Yes or no? If no, what prevents you from gaining access?

How was slavery, civil rights movement, Jim Crow talked about in school or when you were a child?

How have you fleshed out your understanding of these topics as an adult? Do you believe you have a complete picture of the centuries of oppression? Why or why not? What can you do to better understand?

Name your favorite TV shows, films, radio programs, and/or comic books you consumed as a child and teenager.

Were people of colour present? If yes, what roles did they play? What were their characteristics, clothing, and speech? If there were no people of colour present in the materials you consumed, why were they missing? What reasons can you give for their absence? Would this be realistic for the city or town the story took place in? Why or why not?

Name an early experience when a person of color made you feel uneasy.

Why was that? What made them threatening? What was your response? If they were not threatening, how would you describe them? How does that early experience shape how you interact with people of colour today?

Do I stay silent when I see racial injustice out of fear of retaliation, my professional advancement, loss of social capital, etc?

What expectations do I hold around what is considered professional behavior or attire?

How do you approach complex topics with friends, family, or your community?

How can you effectively raise awarness of anti-Blackness in your community? How have you raised awareness in the past? How did you feel in that interaction? How can you support others in calling out their community for ways they participate in anti-Blackness?