How to take action against racism right now
As an organization dedicated to racial justice, YW Boston is grateful for the support we have received during these difficult times. We wish to thank our new and long-time followers for supporting YW Boston’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women. In particular, financial donations are helping to ensure we can continue to offer our programs and sustain our work long into the future.
As you know, we can’t afford to postpone justice any longer. It is time for real change, and we need you to get there.
With your support, YW Boston will continue to provide communities in Boston, and beyond, with tools to build a more equitable future.
What can you do to support racial equity right now?
1. Learn and reflect:
- Are you centering the perspectives of Black people, Black women, and Black LGBTQ+ individuals?
- Are you doing the work yourself without placing emotional labor on Black people to educate you or validate your efforts?
- Are you utilizing your platform, networks, privilege, and access to engage more people in anti-racism work and provide more visibility to organizations dedicated to racial justice?
- Are you critically exploring any feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and discomfort that may arise as you explore how other systems of oppression, such as capitalism and militarism, interact with racism?
Explore this list of resources:
- A collection of resources for talking about race
- Anti-racist reading list from Ibram X. Kendi
- 12 ways to be a White ally to Black people
- 4 ways White people can process their emotions without hijacking the conversation on racial justice
- 7 ways non-Black people of color perpetuate anti-Blackness
- Constructions of gender and race go hand in hand
- At-home learning for girls and teens: Self-esteem and positive identity
- 14 Black women writers to read year-round
- 21-day racial equity habit building challenge
- What you can do to promote racial equity in Boston
- YW Boston’s 2019 Recommended Reading List
- YW Boston’s 2020 Recommended Reading List – Stay tuned! Our 2020 reading list is launching this June 30, 2020. If you haven’t, sign up for our mailing list to receive it.
Sign up for YW Boston’s monthly newsletter to receive new content and invites to events focused on racial and gender equity.
2. Advocate for change within your workplace by asking:
- Is there equitable Black representation within your organization’s leadership?
- Did your workplace, school, university, or institution release a statement condemning racism and anti-Blackness?
- Are they taking steps to address inequitable outcomes for their employees, stakeholders, and community?
- Are they taking steps to support Black employees?
- Do they or have they pledged to partner with Black businesses and suppliers?
- How is your workplace investing in diversity, equity, and inclusion?
- Refer your organization or members of your leadership team to InclusionBoston and LeadBoston.
Explore this list of resources:
- What to do if your company has been silent about George Floyd, protests, and racism in America
- 3 things you should not say to your Black colleagues right now
- Speaking up: Pushing past silence for your Black employees
- Leading inclusively during a crisis: 7 ways to make virtual meetings more inclusive
- Four ways to be a more inclusive leader
- Beyond the DE&I acronym: What are Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?
- How can we advance racial equity through organizational change?
- Leading with empathy: How to hold workplace conversations through stress and trauma
If your organization needs help with this work, get in touch with YW Boston at ywboston.org/contact
3. Take individual action:
- Follow and support the Black Lives Matter global network
- Sign a petition in support of justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and those who have been murdered as a result of police brutality and anti-Blackness
- Justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Dominique Fells, Oluwatoyin Salau, Rayshard Brooks.
- Confirm that you are registered to vote. Get involved and vote in national and local elections.
- Consider joining a public board or commission in Massachusetts to influence policy change in your community
- Complete the Census and support local advocacy efforts to ensure a more equitable distribution of resources in our state
- Support Black-owned businesses
- Donate to national and local Black-led organizations working towards racial justice
We encourage our community to commit to actions that will address the root cause rather than the symptoms of racism and anti-Blackness. Please share these resources with your own networks and consider making a donation to YW Boston. Your generosity will support our mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.
About YW Boston
YW Boston is dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women. As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 150 years. Through our DE&I services—InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as our advocacy work and F.Y.R.E. Initiative, we help individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with a goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed.
As part of that work, we are helping organizations prioritize Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and become socially connected while staying physically distant. During this time, YW Boston is providing organizations with digital workshops and resources to help them better understand the challenges faced by their employees. For more information, please contact Sheera Bornstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.