At a time in our society marked by increased awareness of racial inequities, it feels even more important to recognize Black History Month as well as take steps to educate ourselves and work to help bring about change in any way that we can.
We want to work to support and be inclusive of all people of color and other oppressed groups as well and continue to work towards overall diversity and inclusion.
Here are some ideas for this month and for every month of the year:
Support Black Owned Businesses In Your Community
- Here is a directory of local black-owned businesses in Lane Country.
- Here is a directory of local black-owned businesses in Portland.
Participate In Online Educational Programs or Visit a Civil Rights Museum
There is no such thing as too much education. There are several educational articles out there, you can read at your own pace.
Or, you can watch museums in Virtual Tours online.
Engage In Healthy Conversations On Social Media
Social media is an excellent place to engage in conversation with friends, family and those you may not have met in person.
Donate To Organizations That Support And Take Action Towards Racial Equity
There are several organizations out there that support racial equity.
We all have the power to make a difference. Every single dollar donated adds up.
Here are a few organizations we recommend looking into:
NAACP: Is at the forefront of the movement to build political power and ensure the wellbeing of Black communities.
Black Women’s Health Imperative: The mission of the Black Women’s Health Imperative is “to lead the effort to solve the most pressing health issues that affect Black women and girls in the U.S.
Center for Black Equity: Supports Black LGBTQ+ individuals by building a network of community-based organizations that promote health and, economic empowerment, and equal rights while promoting individual and responsibility.
In addition to reading articles online, there are several books out there, we recommend looking into.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander–You will learn how the war on drugs followed a pattern of implementation consistent with slavery and Jim Crow, how financial incentives and legal protection allow selective targeting of black males for drug crimes, and why it’s so difficult for drug convicts to reintegrate into society.
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown.
You can listen to her on Brene Brown’s podcast and then read the book, which is an eye-opening account of the ongoing journey to find self-worth within a culture that claims to value diversity, but often falls short.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.
This book discusses concepts of racism and Kendi’s proposals for anti-racist individual actions and systemic changes. (You can also listen to him on Brene Brown’s podcast )
Listen to Podcasts
We all have our own personal preference for absorbing information. If you prefer podcasts over a paperback book, here are a few we recommend looking into:
Code Switch: This podcast is all about race and identity in America.
1619 (NY Times): This is an audio series about how has transformed America through the oldest form of storytelling.
Nice White Parents: This is a 5 part series all about building a better school system and what gets in the way.
“The ultimate measure of a person is not where one stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where one stands in times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.