As protests over the murder of George Floyd and systemic racial injustice continue throughout the United States, interest in being an “ally” to the Black community is at an all-time high. Like many other white Americans, I’ve come to realize that being “not racist” is not enough. I’m learning what it means to be anti-racist and learning how I can take a more active role in advocating for social justice reform.
Showing my support on Instagram and Facebook is a convenient start. But I wondered, how can I go beyond optical allyship? I quickly found with simple internet searches that there are already many long lists of recommended actions. In fact, there are so many ideas available I was overwhelmed.
It occurred to me that the “Start, Stop, Continue” framework, which is a time-tested model for personal and team development, might be helpful. By design, its purpose is to create a shorter list of action items that can be executed right away; it’s an iterative process that never really ends. Hopefully, my own list below will inspire you to choose specific actions for the months ahead.
3 Things To Start Doing
- Start donating to the Equal Justice Initiative and other organizations that are fighting racial injustice (Resource: 115 Ways to Donate In Support of Communities of Color)
- Start learning more about racial inequality:
- Diversify who I follow on Twitter: @deray, @colorlines, @goldietaylor, @Blklivesmatter, @marclamonthill, @eji_org, @blavity
3 Things To Stop Doing
- Stop being a bystander when I hear an inappropriate joke, a stereotype, or pejorative term
- Stop being afraid to speak up because I’m afraid I’ll get the words wrong (better to be part of the conversation and to be corrected)
- Stop thinking it’s hopeless and my actions won’t make a difference
3 Things To Continue Doing
- Continue to acknowledge my privilege, and use it to advocate for racial equality
- Continue to talk to my children and extended family members about social justice in a constructive manner
- Continue the momentum into the voting booth (consider candidates’ positions on social justice)
Being an effective white ally to the Black community will be a continuous process. This start-stop-continue list is just the beginning.
Kevin Kruse is the founder and CEO of LEADx, and the author of We, Great Leaders Have No Rules.