In our statement of solidarity with Black women, we committed to ensuring that our words translate to actions so that within our network, and in all our advocacy work, we are supporting the essential truth that #BlackLivesMatter. COFEM members have put together an introductory list of anti-racism resources for on-going learning, educators to follow and support, virtual trainings, workplace guidance, mental health resources, and donation links. To begin, here are actions COFEM is taking:
Actions COFEM is taking as a network
- Providing learning opportunities for white and non-Black WOC members around race, feminism and intersectionality.
- Supporting opportunities for COFEM members who are Black and non-Black WOC to share their experiences in a private, dedicated forum within COFEM.
- Ensuring that planning for Learning Circles integrate attention to race, intersectionality, and feminism.
- Producing a learning brief on these topics and as well as their relationship to structural violence against women and girls.
- Continuing to prioritize hiring COFEM team members with diverse backgrounds, voices and experiences and rotating in new members of the Coordinating Committee to reflect this diversity as well.
Resources for ongoing learning and support
11 Questions to Ask Yourself (From Black Lives Matter)
- Who taught you about race and culture?
- What can you do to support People of Color in your community?
- What are you committed to doing outside of social media to end racial discrimination and systematic oppression?
- How do you behave when you are confronted by racist behavior?
- What do you want to learn more about?
- What information could you teach people?
- In what ways have you ignored racist behavior in the past?
- Why is it important for everyone to work towards ending injustice?
- How can you use anti-racist knowledge to change and progress classroom culture?
- Do you owe anyone an apology?
- How do you handle conflict?
Anti-Racism Self-Education Resources:
- A Timeline of Events That Led to the 2020 ‘Fed Up’-Rising
- Take the time to learn how systemic racism operates in the US,— here are some suggestions if you’re looking for a starting point
- Anti-Racism Resources for White People, which is a massive list of resources “intended to serve as a resource to white people and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now. Feel free to circulate this document on social media and with your friends, family, and colleagues.” This list includes podcasts, more books, and a robust set of articles!
- Resources for Anti-Racism, compiled by Womens Wire, a newsletter for intersectional feminists. This includes resources on Black health, wellness and self love, anti-racist resources, donation links, protesting how-tos, links to follow anti-racist educators on Instagram and Twitter, books, films, podcasts, and more!
- Anti-racism Resource Guide, another growing resource hub “crafted amidst the anger of the latest Black body turned hashtag #AhmaudArbery. It is consistently being updated to address the current climate of our country and the personal growth needed to sustain this life-long journey.”
- Resources: Supporting Black Lives, Fighting White Supremacy, which is a crowd-sourced document, meant for co-creation. If you would like to add more resources to the list, please email info@continuumcollective for access)
- Black Lives Matter Reading List from The Feminist Press (buy online and support this independent press)
- Do The Work: An Anti-Racist Reading List
- Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice
- Me and White Supremacy
- Hood Feminism
- How to be an Anti-Racist
- So You Want to Talk About Race
- Eloquent Rage
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
- What to do instead of calling the Police
- 10 Habits of Someone Who Doesn’t Know They’re Anti-Black
- Owning my privilege and racism
- #SayHerName: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women, which includes a social media guide and a brief with recommendations for engaging communities in conversation and advocacy around Black women’s experiences of police violence, considering race and gender in policy initiatives to combat state violence, and adopting policies to end sexual abuse and harassment by police officers.
- Showing Up for Racial Justice has tips for calling people into conversations in a manner that doesn’t prompt defensiveness.
- You hear someone griping about the riots and violence at certain protests? Talk to them about the despair, the pain, and the anger at the center, and where that comes from. You hear someone wonder what privilege a broke white person has? Talk to them about what it’s like to not have to worry about your safety while moving through your day: jogging down a residential street, or walking home from a convenience store.
- Educate yourself and others on anti-racism with books, articles, and other resources that give historical context on protests against police brutality and the racist roots of state violence. Share widely and propose discussions about racism with those in your families, communities, and networks. There are specific resources for South Asians, Asian Americans, and Latinx people
Accountability for silence in the face of senseless Black death:
- Rachel Cargle has developed a template found here, this is a “a free template you may find helpful in addressing the need for accountability from the leaders in the places you work and could also be applied to the leaders of the vendors where you spend your money.”
- Fanta Traore has developed a template found here, this is a “template designed to ease the burden for Black colleagues in the workforce in communicating with their respective institutions if they have not taken a stance on issues of police brutality and racism given recent events.”
Virtual Training: In collaboration with diversity, equity and inclusion consultant Cici Battle, Population Works Africa will be hosting a month long e-course intended to help allies identify their personal path towards radical anti-racism everyday. Their first cohort will begin July 1st, kicking off with a Zoom discussion with a very special guest. Space is limited, join the wait list here (information will be sent out for registration this Monday, June 8th.)
- Feminist Leadership: What’s Privilege Got to Do With It?
- Opinion: On Equity in the International Development Sector – We Need More Intravists
- Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay — Chances Are They’re Not
- White Supremacy at the Office describes how white supremacy often plays out at the workplace and what we can do to disrupt it.
Articles on Racism in the Humanitarian Sector:
- Doing good and being racist, by Corinne Gray in The New Humanitarian
- The aid sector must do more to tackle its white supremacy problem, by Anonymous in The Guardian UK
- A World in Which Many Worlds Fit by Aarathi Krishnan & Rahul Chandran in Global Dashboard
- 50 ways your org can take action after posting about BLM, by Vanessa Douyon
- We need to talk about racism in the aid sector, by Tindyebwa Agaba & Anonymous in Open Democracy
- The hustle — white saviors and hashtag activism, by Angela Bruce-Raeburn in Devex
- Aid workers: It’s time to practice what you preach, by Thandie Mwape Villadsen in The New Humanitarian
- Being Black Working In a White Male-dominated Aid Industry, by Rosebell Kagumire in African Feminism
- The dangers of NGO-isation of women’s rights in Africa, Hala Al-Karib
- Why grassroots activists should resist being ‘professionalised’ into an NGO, by Sunil Babu Pant
- The Politics of Funding and Funders: My Personal Experience, Fungai Machirorir
- An open letter to International NGOs who are looking to ‘localise’ their operations, OpenDemocracy (be sure to check out the signatories in the comments)
- Our Silenced Voices: What we lose while working with international “humanitarian” organizations, by Ayah Al-Oballi
- Not fit for this future, by Aarathi Krishnan
- The tyranny of “technical expertise”, by Arbie Baguios
- “Development aid and racism” by Jacob Holdt – an essay from 1981(!)
- Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re Okay — Chances Are They’re Not
- We need to talk about racism — in the development sector
- If we can’t call racism by its name, diversity will remain a meaningless buzzword
- How White People Conquered the Non-Profit Industry
- 8 ways people of color are tokenized in nonprofits.
- White people – this is why it’s vital you speak out against racism, even if you’re scared
- We Need to Talk about Racism in the Aid Sector
South Asian Resources:
- Non-black POCs and white folx need to put in the work to dismantle racism and patriarchy. We need to educate ourselves and the people in our lives. Black Perspectives, read Black authors , support black authors and publishers. Mahogany Books, Black & Asian-American Feminist Solidarities: A Reading List (making my way through this at the moment, great resource)
- Ways the South Asian (and non-Black) community can show support
- More on what South Asians can do (many resources here)
- Learn about South Asian communities and the imperative for building solidarity with Black communities. For a starting point: read Vijay Prashad’s Karma of Brown Folk
- For post 9/11 analysis on solidarity with Black communities: read a chapter from Deepa Iyer’s book, We Too Sing America, called “Ferguson is Everywhere” that provides community stories along with a framework for discussions and political education
- Check out Anirvan Chatterjee’s The Secret History of South Asian and African American Solidarity for historical examples of cross-racial solidarity
- Educate yourself and others on anti-racism with books, articles, and other resources that give historical context on protests against police brutality and the racist roots of state violence. Share widely and propose discussions about racism with those in your families, communities, and networks. There are specific resources for South Asians and Asian Americans
How to talk to your Parents/Family
- How to Talk to South Asian Parents about Systemic Racism and Our Privilege
- Brief guide from South Asian Sexual and Mental Health Alliance provides resources on how to hold these dialogues and sustain them
- Racism and what can be done? Explained in Gujarati
- South Asians committed to ending state violence against Black people must also work to undo anti-Blackness within
- For courageous conversations with family, use this guide with exercises developed by the Queer South Asian National Network (link).
Ensure that South Asian solidarity struggles also include confronting casteism, Hindutva, and Islamophobia.
- Learn more from South Asian groups here and read about caste abolition from Equality Labs here
- Communities advocated for the passage of a city council resolution in St. Paul against the human rights violations in India (link)
Anti-Racism Educators to Follow and Support:
- Ijeoma Oluo @ijeomaoluo
- Layla F. Saad @laylafsaad
- Lettie Shumate @sincerely.lettie
- Louiza Doran @accordingtoweeze
- Monique Melton @moemotivate
- Rachel Cargle @rachel.cargle
- Brittany Packnett Cunningham @MsPackyetti
These are just a few women who are active on Instagram. Find a larger list of educators to follow on Instagram and Twitter here, and support them financially for their work if you are able.
Virtual Mental Health Resources for Black Women:
- Black Mental Wellness
- Decolonizing Therapy
- Loveland Therapy Fund
- Therapy for Black Girls
- The Nap Ministry
- The Safe Place, free app
- Sista Afya
Practice self-care and community care, and build your daily plan for transformative solidarity. Here’s an approach that might be useful: it’s a framework developed by Deepa Iyer to help us figure out our roles in times of crisis through a mapping exercise. You can find the map, the descriptions of roles, and a reflection guide here.
Where to Donate:
Several of the resources in the Action Suggestions section above include details on organizations and funds to support. Black Lives Matter is a Black women-founded movement with chapters across the USA and Canada whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy, build local power to intervene on violence inflicted on Black communities, create space for Black innovation, and center Black joy.
If you are US-based, learning exactly what racial justice organizations in your city are calling for in terms of mutual-aid and community services that benefit minorities can help you prioritize your donations. If you are buying books, here is a list of Black-owned bookstores to support by state, and you can find virtual bookstores here and here.
If you are based outside the United States, you can find a list here of organizations working in the field of racial equity on a variety of issues and topics.
Black Women-Led Organizations and Groups:
- Black Visions Collective
- Law For Black Lives
- MAMAs: Mamas Activating Movements for Abolition and Solidarity
- Black Feminist Future, working on the frontlines in support of Black women and femme organizers nationally
- Emergent Fund, a fund in support of grassroots organizing and power building in communities of color
- Black Mamas Matter, centering Black mamas to advocate, drive research, build power, and shift culture for Black maternal health, rights, and justice
- The Loveland Foundation, providing financial assistance to Black women and girls nationally seeking therapy
- Higher Heights, a political home for Black women and our allies to unleash our collective organizing power from the voting booth to elected office
- Mama Fund, a mutual aid fund to support marginalized communities impacted by COVID-19
- The Nap Ministry, a space for Black people to BREATH, prioritizing rest as an act of resistance for Black bodies
- The Black Doula Project, providing free full spectrum doula services to Black parents in Maryland and DC
- Black Girls Code, developing after school programs to train one million young Black women in the tech field by the year 2040
- The Audre Lorde Project, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color community organizing center in the New York City area
- National Black Women’s Justice Institute, a collective of Black female lawyers empowering Black women and girls in the criminal justice system
- Resources: Black Lives Matter Initiatives + More, a list of bail funds, petitions, and other action oriented resources for those standing in solidarity with Black people and other communities of color
Legal Aid, Training, and Access to Voting:
- The Know Your Rights Camp, an organization founded by Colin Kaepernick that provides education and training in black and brown communities, set up a legal fund for Minneapolis protestors.
- Fair Fight, an organization founded by Stacey Abrams that aims to end voter suppression and equalize voting rights and access for fairer elections.
- The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which supports racial justice through advocacy, litigation, and education.
- Communities United Against Police Brutality, which operates a crisis hotline where people can report abuse; offers legal, medical, and psychological resource referrals; and engages in political action against police brutality.
- Black Visions Collective, a black, trans, and queer-led social justice organization and legal fund based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
- No New Jails NYC aims to keep the city from constructing new jails and to instead divert funds that currently go toward the police and incarceration toward housing, ending homelessness, mental health, and other community support systems.
- Local bail funds and legal help by city for protestors arrested and jailed by the police
- List of bail funds by city
- Local bail funds to help protesters be released (Split a donation between 40 community bail funds)
- The Bail Project, a nonprofit that aims to mitigate incarceration rates through bail reform.