Strategies & Tools for Countering Bigotry
- Address your own biases
- Recognize that every human being has biases towards others.
- Challenge your instinctive thoughts and assumptions.
- Take initiative to overcome your biases, including those you may not know that you have.
- Repeat these steps to make them habitual.
- Be open to critical feedback:
- Listen sincerely, apologize, avoid excuses, hold yourself accountable to a higher standard.
- Strive for continuous learning and growth.
- Continuously reflect on your own privilege and power.
- Be an Upstander (not a bystander):
- Call out racism for what it is regardless of the intent.
- Speak up when you hear or witness bigotry.
- Don’t allow the critique that you are being overly sensitive prevent stop you.
- Practice tailoring feedback, keeping in mind different backgrounds
- Allow people time to process what you’ve shared.
- Check in with colleagues who are experiencing bullying/bigotry, whether directly or indirectly (if members of their community are experiencing bigotry or violence, this is also traumatic to them).
- Ask if they need support and in what form, but be careful not to make assumptions
- Intentionally engage with people who are different from yourself.
- Check cultural calendars of different ethnic and religious groups for their holidays or observances; look for public events and attend as many as you can.
- Initiate contact if you don’t already have friends from different groups and work to build community among people across differences.
- Join community spaces to heal from the impact of bigotry if needed.
- Volunteer for community organizations that counter bigotry and join others in working to dismantle systems of oppression in your local area.
- Continue educating yourself about these topics (see below for readings and resources).
Readings and Resources (Developing List)
- “Speak Up!” Learning for Justice: https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/publications/speak-up
- “Test Yourself for Hidden Bias,” Learning for Justice: https://www.learningforjustice.org/professional-development/test-yourself-for-hidden-bias
- “7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism Is Real,” Ben & Jerry’s: https://www.benjerry.com/home/whats-new/2016/systemic-racism-is-real
- “Social Identities and Systems of Oppression,” Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture: Social Identities and Systems of Oppression | National Museum of African American History and Culture
- “The Many Ways Institutional Racism Kills Black People”, Time: https://time.com/5851864/institutional-racism-america/
- “What it means to be anti-racist,” Vox: https://www.vox.com/2020/6/3/21278245/antiracistracism-race-books-resources-antiracism
- “6 ways to be antiracist, because being ‘not racist’ isn’t enough,” Mashable: https://mashable.com/article/how-to-be-antiracist
- “The 1619 Project,” The New York Times Magazine, August 2019: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html
- “Race: The Power of an Illusion,” California Newsreel: https://www.racepowerofanillusion.org/
- “Anti-Racism Resources,” UNC: https://diversity.unc.edu/yourvoicematters/anti-racism-resources/
- “Talking About Race,” Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture: https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race
- Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Penguin, 2010)
- Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility (Beacon, 2018)
- Isabel Wilkerson, Caste, The Origin of Our Discontents (Random House, 2020)
- Beverly Daniel Tatum, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other
- Conversations About Race (Basic Books, 2017)
- Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (Ballantine, 1965)
- James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time, (Dial Press, 1963)
- Edward Said, Orientalism (Vintage, 1979)
- Charles C. Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (Vintage, 2006)
- Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States (Harper, 2015; original publication 1980)
- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous People’s History of the United States (Beacon, 2015)
- “Institutional racism in US explained through a Michael Jackson song”, TRT, 2018: https://youtu.be/MdOCyqPcp2o
- “Who, Me? Biased?” video series, New York Times, 2016:
- “Peanut Butter, Jelly and Racism:” https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000004818663/peanut-butter-jelly-and-racism.html
- “Check Our Bias to Wreck Our Bias”: https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000004818668/check-our-bias-to-wreck-our-bias.htm l
- “The Life-Changing Magic of Hanging Out”: https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000004818671/the-life-changing-magic-of-hangingout.html
- “Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvYzyqUdUfY
- “A Conversation with Richard Rothstein, Author of ‘The Color of Law’”, Silicon Valley at Home, 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NjS-iPM0FM
- 500 Nations: The Story of Native Americans, 1995: https://documentaryheaven.com/500-nationsthe-story-of-native-americans/
- The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, PBS, 2013
- Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation, PBS, 2013
- Exterminate All the Brutes (Raoul Peck), HBO, 2021
- I Am Not Your Negro, (Raoul Peck), 2016
- Selma, (Ava DuVernay), 2014
- 13th (Ava DuVernay), Netflix, 2016
- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton), 2019
- Code Switch: https://www.npr.org/podcasts/510312/codeswitch
- Ibram X. Kendi on the difference between “antiracist” and “not racist,” CBS This Morning: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ibram-kendi-talks-how-to-be-antiracist/
- Islamic Networks Group: https://www.ing.org
- Interfaith America: https://ifyc.org/interfaith-america
- Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org
- Not in Our Town: https://www.niot.org/