Editor’s Note: Our team at the Northwest Progressive Institute stands in solidarity with everyone who is working to end systemic racism in and beyond this country and ensure that Black Lives Matter. Allyship is a timely topic right now given the events of the past few weeks, which is why we’re delighted to welcome our friend Erin Jones to the Cascadia Advocate to offer suggestions on how to be a good ally to people of color. Erin is a trusted leader on issues related to equity and social justice, funding and galvanizing community leaders and partners.
Erin has over twenty-five years of experience in education, and vied with Chris Reykdal for the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2016. She now advises school districts to help them serve their students better.
Two weeks ago, when the video of the murder of Ahmad Arbery became known to the public and many decided to #RunWithAhmaud, I knew we (as a community) needed to do more. And then we learned of Breonna Taylor… and of George Floyd.
I have made a commitment to run every week while listening to a podcast about racial justice. I have encouraged members of my community to run/walk/ride and listen as well…and then I will come LIVE on Facebook and Instagram every Friday night with some thoughts in response to the podcast.
In my opinion, being a true patriot is much like being a good parent. We must be willing to celebrate America when she does something fabulous and critique her when she misses the mark. Racial justice is a place we have missed the mark.
What can you do while staying at home to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV‑2?
- Do research. Learn about the ways systems are influenced by race and how different racial groups experience systems differently in your community. Join the 21-Day racial equity challenge.
- Listen to the stories of those who experience this country differently from you. Authors: Ibrahim X Kendi, James Baldwin, Kwame Alexander, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Michelle Alexander, Angela Davis, Beverly Tatum, Zora Neal Hurston and Alice Walker are examples.
- If you are White, listen to White people who talk about race — Paul Gorski, Paul Kivel, Shelly Tochluk, Debby Irving, Robin DiAngelo and Tim Wise.
- Listen to podcasts that address racial equity — We Live Here, Bound For Justice, The Stoop, Code Switch, Revisionist History; Christian: Truth’s Table, Pass the Mic and Quick to Listen.
- Invest financially or with time (if you don’t have money) in organizations that are specifically serving Black, Brown, Native people.
You can make a difference.
We can make a difference.
Making America better requires all of us. If you ever have questions or are looking for different perspectives, please feel free to reach out.
Thanks to everyone who is making an effort to be a good ally.