Hey, it’s Michael from ArchSmarter,
This is well over the hundredth “Thursday Top 5” email I’ve sent out and it’s definitely the most uncomfortable to write. As a white man living in America, I benefit from a considerable amount of privilege. That’s a hard thing to acknowledge. We like to think we live in a fair and meritocratic society but that’s not the case for everyone. George Floyd’s death was a shock to the system.
As a white man, I’m not worried about my safety when I’m walking around my neighborhood. I’m not worried about my kids when they’re walking to a friend’s house. I don’t even think about being harassed or profiled when I’m going about my day. However, for many black Americans those concerns are front and center. And that’s simply not fair and not acceptable. I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like to live with that fear and stress on a daily basis. I have the privilege to not have to worry about it. What I can do is commit myself to making and supporting change. I’m not sure what that’s going to look like and I’m definitely not going to get it right. But I’m willing to put in the hard work, to look at myself in the mirror and face my own prejudices. Racism has no place in our society.
I stand with the peaceful protesters around the country. I believe change needs to happen. I believe that Black Lives Matter. If you want to join me in this fight for justice and equality, here are five things to check out this week:
#1: Resources for White People Who Want to Become Allies
START HERE – Thoughtfully and thoroughly compiled, this site provides insight on where to go to learn, listen and begin the steps of action. Definitely one to bookmark and refer to frequently.
#2: Anti-Racist Reading Recommendations
LEARN – Loyalty Bookstores presents a comprehensive list of sixty books to help in the anti-racism learning process. Look at racism, civil rights and activism though the lenses of children, poets and storytellers, historical figures and events and more. Add some of these to your summer reading list.
#3: How Organizations Can Support the Mental Health of Black Employees
LISTEN / SUPPORT – Angela Neal-Barnett offers a thoughtful article regarding the emotional, mental and physical trauma of racism. It’s essential for organizations and leaders to listen and support Black employees as well as to create and foster safe spaces and resources in the workplace.
#4: How White Managers Can Respond to Anti-Black Violence
RESPOND / ACT – Social psychologist Michael Kraus, illustrates how this is not the time to be silent and that there is no neutral position when it comes to racism in the workplace. Read on as Kraus offers actionable items for addressing and re-framing behaviors and policy to help combat racism at the organizational level.
#5: The Secret Project that Led to Black Lives Matter Murals Coast to Coast
CREATE – Three words, sixteen letters, each on almost 50 feet wide, “BLACK LIVES MATTER”. Letters so large and painted so bright along the stretch of 16th Street in Washington D.C. that they can be read from space. Read on to learn how this artistic call to remember and to act was brought to life and how it has since inspired further powerful artistic creations around the country.
That’s all from me. Hope you’re having a great week.