5 ways to fight racism
In recent weeks, the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others have shined a light on racial inequality and its devastating affects on Black Americans and other people of color. In the wake of these deaths, many have taken to the streets to protest against police brutality and other forms of institutionalized racism. Historically, protests are often a catalyst for societal change. However, it is not the only method of fighting racism. In a recent article for NPR, journalist Allison Aubrey covered 5 different strategies for individuals to use to fight racism.
1. Listen to others
As obvious as it may seem, it needs to be stated that communication is key. Aubrey wrote that discussing race and politics at the dinner table is often considered taboo. However, without healthy communication nothing will change. Black Americans already find it necessary to discuss the realities of racism and police brutality with their children. More White Americans must also discuss racism with their children if racial injustice is to be addressed. Additionally, listening and empathizing with others is the key to finding opportunities to educating and enacting change.
2. Use your voice in your community
Aubrey commented that most people do not have the same platform as a professional athlete or celebrity. However, each individual still has a voice. People can join local organizations that advocate for policies that help people of color at the local level. For example, they can support after school programs by making small dollar donations or volunteering their time. They can also be an advocate in the workplace. If they are involved in the hiring process they can give opportunities to people of color. If they are a teacher they can include racial justice in their lesson plans.
3. Volunteer your time
Volunteering as a tutor or mentor is a great way to use your personal influence in a positive way. Aubrey highlighted the groups UnidosUs and Black Lives Matter as two of many excellent organizations related to civil rights that people can support with their time and energy.
4. Use your gift for creativity
Artists often use channel their difficult thoughts and feelings into their creative endeavors. Aubrey pointed out that political art can often be a powerful method of advocating for and enacting change. Additionally, local artists, such as jewelry makers, can give their proceeds to organizations that push for change.
5. Remember to practice selfcare
Fighting for racial justice is stressful and tiring work. It can be easy to burn out. Aubrey noted that fighting for racial justice is ongoing work and it is difficult to help others when someone is not caring for themselves. It is important for people to take time for themselves and practice selfcare in whatever way they prefer.
CBT SoCal believes in and supports racial justice. If you would like to learn more about how CBT can address stress related to fighting racism, schedule a free consultation.
Dr. Jason von Stietz specializes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Sport/Performance Psychology in Torrance, CA. He provides online therapy (telehealth) by way of the Torrance office and is available for a free initial phone consultation. Dr. von Stietz works with individuals from Long Beach, the greater Los Angeles area, and the South Bay including Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo and all over California.