BEING AN ALLY

TO BIPOC

READ BOOK CLUB

We’re in the final weeks of our Read- Live book club session for Me and White Supremacy. This book has been a challenging read for all of us with some important learnings. We’ve shared stories, frustrations, revelations, and research and learned to unlearn ingrained habits or ideas along the way.

During our Read- Live Book Club we meet we share online coursework and resources (which will be available to Mindful Living HQ members when our site goes live later in the year). Some of the resources we’ve collected are way too valuable to not share with others so we’ve rounded them up for you to access now.

Hope these resources are helpful for your learning journey! 

Katie

WHAT DOES BIPOC MEAN?

You may have seen the acronym BIPOC (pronounced By-Pock) on social media and been curious about what it means. The letters stand for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour and it’s used to discuss race, racism, and environmental racism.

Traditionally, media has favoured the acronym POC to discuss race issues related to systemic exclusion, suppression of, and/or violence towards People of Colour. Traction with the Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted the social, political, and statistical significance of systemic racism with a specific focus on Black (who may be people from African, Caribbean, or African American descent or otherwise self-identified), and Indigenous peoples, leading to the addition of the BI to the POC acronym.

 

ALLYSHIP STARTS INSIDE

There is no easy guide that shares how to be an Ally to BIPOC. We are all from different geographical locations and each of us has differing lived experiences. Where and how we are raised have a substantial impact on our worldviews and how we treat others.

The premise of Layla F Saad’s, Me and White Supremacy reflective journalling mission is to highlight that those of us who identify as White or pass as White are offered systemic advantages due to history and systems that favour White people over BIPOC.  If you are White or pass as White. It is important to use reflection to deep dive into your brand of White privilege to better understand what conscious or subconscious bias you might hold. We’ve rounded up some resources on our latest post that might aid your journey towards being an Ally for BIPOC as they provide a good jumping-off point for investigation and reflection.

 

White Feminism

Through your reading, scrolling, and listening, you might have come across ‘Intersectionality’, an approach founded in feminism and social advocacy. Intersectional feminism is shared in our book club read Me and White Supremacy, as the new-wave approach to discussing race and rights. The following video provides you with a straightforward lecture-style explanation that outlines the details of Intersectionality as a psychological theory and as an approach to take action, it also gives an overview of research in the area of race, gender and sexuality.

WHITE LEADERS

Given that many of us live in democracies, we can vote for inclusivity through our democratic systems. If there are no options to vote for, BIPOC may want to be an ally to those running for BIPOC contenders running for positions of power by offering time, social capital, or money to their campaigns. Carrying inclusion past the simple act of voting, we may also choose to participate in ongoing reflection, advocacy, and action towards meaningful changes online and offline. The following video (which is a long one) provides an insight into how the UN plans to tackle participation and human rights in the challenge of the future of inclusive governance. It offers thought-provoking discussion, options for action, and key points you might want to consider as an Ally to inclusive governance.

What about diversity of inclusion in business? This presentation from Damien Hooper-Campbell gives a creative overview of how eBay is tackling diversity from a humanistic perspective. It shares what’s happening, what it means to you, and some of the things you might be able to do about it in your workplace. It’s focused on technology (it is based on tech-giant eBay) but you can apply to other businesses.

FRIENDS

We’ve all been there. Your mid-way through a conversation with friends, and they suddenly blurt out an unexpected racially insensitive comment. Perhaps you live (and I know some of us do, or have done) with someone who knowingly and openly says racist things, what we want to know if what we can do about this. The answer isn’t easy, and your approach will be tailored on a case-by-case basis because we’re are all humans with our own lived experience that led to our sub-conscious bias and opinions. Hopefully, the video above (Humanize Diversity and Inclusion) gave you a few ideas as to why we need to take a humanistic approach and create opportunities for ‘circle of trust’ discussions. We now build on this to provide frameworks for discussion.

In week one of out bookclub we offered a framework for having challenging discussions with those around us.

It asked us to consider:

  • Establishing how the person likes to receive feedback?
  • Being specific when offering feedback (share the issue- state it clearly, and talk about impact).
  • Framing the feedback with view to future outcomes- what are the goals of the communication?
  • Finally, before giving feedback make it a conversation where you allow the other person to share their perspective (what’s their ‘WHY’)

The following video is presented to further share the humanistic approach to starting these conversations. It doesn’t provide a simple solution to this discussion, but it does share how the feelings of exclusion are founded in lived experience. As you watch it consider the humanistic approach shared by Hooper-Campbell. We unpack this a little more in the activities.

FAMILY

We all know that friends are the family we choose, and family are given! While we don’t get to choose our family, we do get to build family cultural norms. Much of the information shared in the ‘friends’ section applies to discussions with family. However, with the closeness of family, we aren’t always as tactful and pleasant when giving or receiving feedback. We’ve rounded up some practical tools that will help you navigate family discussions on race with this in mind.

REFLECTION

This TED talk from Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo that explores racial literacy via the heart and mind gap. When we look at our values, listen, use empathy, and work through our lived experience, the history that made us who we are and the entitlements we have received from the past, we can start to map out our approach to the future. We are beginning to understand the impact that exploitation, biases, systematic racism (to name just a few) have on our collective racial reality. To date, our Book Club group has explored what prejudices hide in the corners of our minds and reflected on heart-based feelings. This video shares the importance of stories- drilling to the nature of what it means to be seen, heard, and accepted as an included individual. The suggestion is to start locally; this could mean making a commitment to self, family, friends, work, and/or local governance combined with a promise to continually work on yourself, your biases, and commiting to a journey of self-awareness

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