With the launch of #MyRacistCampus, many of you might be asking how you can help fight racism both on and off campus.
The campaign aims to tackle the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, ways universities uphold racist ideas and interactions but we've put together a quick guide of things you can actually do to help challenge racism. These go beyond liking and sharing something on social media and include things that you can do when you're on campus and also when you're off campus.
"The campaign is very direct in its framing.
Whilst this can be discomforting in the institutional space,
being direct about the nature of social inequality and power is crucial."
Dr Shona Hunter, Dep. Director - Centre for Race Education & Decoloniality
Actually talk and listen to people!
Yep! It sounds silly but it's a good place to start... and we mean this more offline rather than online. While it can be a lot harder to talk about race and racism offline and not hide behind a screen, it can often be more productive. People have their pride at stake and tone is hard to convey in online settings.
You can do this in multiple ways, whether it is actively listening to the experiences of your black, asian & minority ethnic (BAME) classmates and peers, or not letting rants from your racist uncle at Christmas go unchallenged.
When you're listening to others, try and take the time to consider what they're saying, instead of just thinking about what your reply or contribution could be. Stepping aside to allow others to be heard and recognising that you don't always need to have an opinion can be very valuable.
When trying to tackle racism and misconceptions, try to explain concepts around race and racism in understandable, relatable ways. It's not about dumbing it down; it's about breaking down barriers and not trying to score points because you know the most terminology.
The goal is to move people towards better positions by telling a better story than the ones that foster racism.
Make hearing BAME voices on your course the norm
Ever looked at your reading list and noticed it is all white authors or researchers?
You might not think it's that important, especially if you're on a hard science based course, but actually that is not the case.
If you're on a social research based course, think of all the different perspectives you're potentially missing out on. Hard sciences... think of all the amazing research that's going on globally that might get skipped over.
Diversifying your reading list is about giving you better access to a broader, more global and diverse education whilst also recognising the vital contributions people of colour across the world are making to all academic fields.
You can help out by auditing your reading list here.
Empower others and yourself
One of the best ways of fighting racism is to build collective power.
Not only does it help to challenge racist ideas and narratives by fostering cooperation, it also empowers us to change the things that disproportionally affect people of colour.
Luckily, as students of Leeds Beckett, you're already part of an organisation that's all about that... the Students' Union!
However, our power to fight is only as strong as the amount of people involved. By getting involved in #MyRacistCampus, our other campaigns such as Hidden Fees and Tenants Rights as well as other local, national and international campaigns, you can help us achieve meaningful improvements to people's lives and fight back against racism.
No really, just turn up.
People = Power = Change.
Whether it’s one of our events for #MyRacistCampus, talks, campaign meetings, demonstrations, or even that pint and a friendly chat you’ve been meaning to have with that friend who has spent a bit too long watching far-right conspiracy videos on Youtube and sharing them on facebook.
We need you to show up for us.
In the video below, Dr. Nita Mosby-Tyler explains why we need "unlikely allies" in the fight for justice, and why people who are experiencing inequality first hand must be willing to accept the help. Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler is the Chief Catalyst and Founder of The Equity Project, a company that supports organizations & communities in building equity, inclusion, and diversity.
ANTI-RACIST RESOURCES TO ENGAGE IN:
Brit-ish by Afua Hirsch
Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri
How to be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendri
Slay in Your Lane by Elizabeth Uviebiené & Yomi Adegoke
Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala
Sway by Prada Agarwal
Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Renni Eddo-Lodge
Me and My White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
White Fragility by Robin DiAngela
Antagonist, Advocates and Allies: The Wake Up Call Guide for White Women Who Want to Become Allies with Black Women by Catrice M Jackson
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
“I Will Not Be Erased”: Our Stories about Growing Up As People of Colour by Gal-Dem
White Privilege Unmasked by Judy Ryde
Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Women, Class and Race by Angela Y. Davis
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexamder
Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty - First Century - Barbara Ransby
From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation - Keeanga - Yamahtta Taylor
The End of Policing by Alex S Vitale - free ebook of Verso
Intersectionaility Matters! Hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
Hoodrat to Headwrap: A Delcolonised Podcast Hosted by Ericka Hart
Tv shows and films
Dear White People (Netflix)
When They See Us (Netflix)
The Hate U Give
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
See You Yesterday
Strong Island (Netflix)
Fruitvale Station (Netflix)
Seven Seconds (Netflix)
Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement Documentary on YouTube
ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
No White Saviors @nowhitesaviors
Layla Saad @laylafsaad
Rachel Cargle @rachel.cargale
Check Your Privledge @ckyourprivledge
Reni Eddo-Lodge @renieddolodge
Ibram X. Kendi @ibramxk
Rachel Ricketts @iamrachelricketts
Ericka Hart @ihartericka
If you would like to know more about diversity and inclusion and race related topics in society, Unspoken is an online series which provides a space for solution based conversation hosted by Presenter & Psychologist Cici. Subscribe to the Unspoken Youtube channel here.