A community is only as healthy as its citizens. But inequality and systemic racism cause physical, emotional, mental, and financial harm. Whether the injury is felt in the body—like a lack of safety experienced by people of color—or manifests as an absence of opportunity throughout a lifetime, these issues have far-reaching, negative implications on the health of entire communities.
Inequality stems from sources as heinous as hatred and as seemingly innocuous as indifference. But regardless of its origin, inequality is disruptive to community health, and at its core, represents a shirking of the responsibility the individual has to others. This responsibility each of us have to one another is grounded in shared societal values, a commitment to understanding, and overall empathy and compassion toward other human beings and living things.
As we’ve watched images of pain and anger flash across our screens and heard the cries for an end to long-standing injustices, we’ve had to pause, listen, and refocus on what we can do to be an active part of the solution—rather than once again being a bystander, looking on and hoping for change.
We want to help people create positive change that leads to healthier lives and, ultimately, a healthier world. The health of a community is devastated by inequality, so racism of any kind is antithetical to our aims.
It’s time to take the first steps in the process to help foster equality and improve community health.
Being informed is a prerequisite to effectively fight injustice and inequality—to recognize it, even where it may hide in plain sight. That’s why we’re sharing a list of anti-racism resources to help you recognize the problems, understand different perspectives, spark empathy, and find where you can channel your action to make your community a healthier, happier, more equal place.
WHERE TO START
The Anti-Racism Resource List for Beginners is a starting point to learn about anti-racism work, dismantle the unconscious biases that exist within yourself, and take action to create a more just society.
Too often, social media becomes an echo chamber where we only engage in information from people who look, believe, and live exactly like we do. Take stock of those you follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Actively work to follow diverse voices and viewpoints. Organizations that fight racism and racial injustice, like the Center for Antiracist Research and Equal Justice Initiative, are great places to start, while The Conscious Kid focuses on parenting and education through a critical race lens.
Donate to organizations that are fighting for racial justice and anti-racism. Consider setting up a recurring donation to these organizations if you’re able—this helps give organizations a reliable revenue stream for regular operating costs and long-term planning.
Seek out and support cultural events in your community. Many major cities put on festivals and cultural events throughout the year. Gatherings like these are typically not well funded, so exploring these options in your city not only helps expand your understanding of different cultures, but it also provides appreciation for diversity within your community.
Support local Black-owned businesses and community organizations. Here’s where you can shop and donate in several major cities across the United States:
Our most important call to action after education on racial prejudice is to recognize ourown implicit bias and actively find ways to change for the better. It can be difficult—but it’s so important—to take a hard look in the mirror and identify your own racial or implicit bias.
Implicit bias is a term that describes what happens when, despite our best intentions and without our awareness, racial stereotypes and assumptions creep into our minds and affect our actions. Learn more about implicit bias through these resources:
Regardless of the resource you decide to start with, the key is to take this first step to help promote equal justice and opportunity. It’s important to start the conversations—no matter how difficult—that will lead to a better understanding of these issues and, eventually, change.