Workshops and trainings in antiracist work
For workshops and trainings in White antiracist work, see the Catalyst Project: Anti-Racism for Collective Liberation; Whites Confronting Racism; The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond; the Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere (AWARE-LA), and its associated White People 4 Black Lives (WP4BL). See also the White Privilege Conference and the Facing Race Conference. The East Point Peace Academy offers excellent trainings in nonviolent action. The East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland has a wonderful program called White & Awakening, for White antiracists seeking to fuse their spiritual and social justice paths.
White Accomplices has an excellent resource page, as do many White antiracist organizations: here are those of SURJ; AWARE-LA; the Catalyst Project; and The White Noise Collective. Prominent White antiracists who have great resource pages include Paul Kivel (who has been training White antiracists for decades,) Chris Crass (cofounder of the Catalyst Project,) and the late Margo Adair’s Tools For Change. Also see David Campt’s important work at the White Ally Toolkit.
Moving from Actor –> Ally –> Accomplice
The ideas captured on this website, very much a work in progress, have been developed to support White people to act for racial justice. It draws from ideas and resources developed mostly by Black, Brown and People of Color, and has been edited by Black, Brown, and People of Color. I recognize that categorizing actions under the labels of Actor, Ally, and Accomplice is an oversimplification, but hopefully this chart challenges all of us White folks to go outside of our comfort zones, take some bigger risks, and make some more significant sacrifices because this is what we’ve been asked to do by those most impacted by racism, colonialism, patriarchy, white supremacy, xenophobia, and hyper-capitalism. I believe that for real change to occur, we must confront and challenge all people, policies, systems, etc., that maintain privileges and power for White people.
STEP 1: Identify the racial justice organizations in your area.
Here are two lists of organizations (Black Led Racial Justice Organizations & A Partial Map of Black-Led Black Liberation Organizing) mostly led by “directly impacted” individuals (people who are most impacted by racist, xenophobic, and violent people/policies) and with missions to directly challenge institutionalized racism and White supremacy.
STEP 2: Explore the distinction between Actors, Allies, and Accomplices.
When Malcolm X was asked how white people could be allies and accomplices with Black people in 1964, he responded: “By visibly hovering near us, they are ‘proving’ that they are ‘with us.’ But the hard truth is this isn’t helping to solve America’s racist problem. The Negroes aren’t the racists. Where the really sincere white people have got to do their ‘proving’ of themselves is not among the black victims, but out on the battle lines of where America’s racism really is — and that’s in their home communities; America’s racism is among their own fellow whites. That’s where sincere whites who really mean to accomplish something have got to work.”
Keep in mind that as White people, whether as an Actor, Ally or Accomplice, we are still part of the ‘oppressor class’. This means we have to be very creative in flipping our privilege to help Black, Brown and Indigenous peoples.
The actions of an Accomplice are meant to directly challenge institutionalized racism, colonization, and White supremacy by blocking or impeding racist people, policies, and structures.
Realizing that our freedoms and liberations are bound together, retreat or withdrawal in the face of oppressive structures is not an option.
Accomplices’ actions are informed by, directed and often coordinated with leaders who are Black, Brown First Nations/Indigenous Peoples, and/or People of Color.
Accomplices actively listen with respect, and understand that oppressed people are not monolithic in their tactics and beliefs.
Accomplices aren’t motivated by personal guilt or shame. They are not emotionally fragile.
Accomplices build trust through consent and being accountable – this means not acting in isolation where there is no accountability.
The actions of an Actor do not disrupt the status quo, much the same as a spectator at a game. Both have only a nominal effect in shifting an overall outcome. Such systems are challenged when actors shift or couple their actions with those from Allies and/or Accomplices.
The actions of an Actor do not explicitly name or challenge the pillars of White supremacy which is necessary for meaningful progress towards racial justice.
There is an excellent quote by Lilla Watson on need for Actors to shift to Accomplices: “If you have come here to help me, you’re wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Ally is typically considered a verb – one needs to act as an ally, and can not bestow this title to themselves.
The actions of an Ally have greater likelihood to challenge institutionalized racism, and White supremacy. An Ally is like a disrupter and educator in spaces dominated by Whiteness.
An Ally might find themselves at a social gathering in which something inappropriate is being talked about. Instead of allowing that space to incubate Whiteness, the Ally wisely disrupts the conversation, and takes the opportunity to educate those present.
Being an Ally is not an invitation to be in Black and Brown spaces to gain brownie points, lead, take over, or explain. Allies constantly educate themselves, and do not take breaks.
Franchesca Ramsey’s Video:
STEP 3: Act
Commit to taking 3 actions in the next month, and share these with a trusted friend, colleague, or family member in order to increase your accountability to follow through on your commitment. Can you take at least one action in the next two weeks in the Ally or Accomplice category?
Michael Ali; Eddie Moore Jr.; & Marguerite W. Penick-Parks. (Editors.) Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice: 15 Stories.
CCDS Socialist Education Project. Taking Down White Supremacy.
Becky Thompson. Promise And A Way Of Life: White Antiracist Activism.
Mark R. Warren. Fire in the Heart: How White Activists Embrace Racial Justice.
White Antiracism in U.S. History (books on individual antiracists under their section, with a list of general books at the end.)
American Psychologist: Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life.
Courtney Ariel: For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies.
Courtney Ariel: How Not to Appropriate: A Guide for White People.
Better Allies: weekly articles on Medium.
Robin DiAngelo: links to many articles on her webpage.
Karen Fleshman: collection of articles on Medium.
Chanelle Gallant: Why Would White Women Vote For A Man So Widely Accused Of Sexual Abuse?
Justin Gomer & Christopher Petrella: White Fragility, Anti-Racist Pedagogy, and the Weight of History.
Justin Gomer & Christopher Petrella: White Supremacy Is Not an Illness.
Ann Doss Helms: Bree Newsome, James Tyson talk about SC Confederate flag grab
Peggy McIntosh: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. See also Beyond the Knapsack and her original, long-form article on which “Invisible Knapsack” was based: White Privilege and Male Privilege. Finally, see Gina Crosley-Corcoran’s working-class take on Knapsack, “Explaining White Privilege To A Broke White Person.”
Peggy McIntosh: Interview, The Origins of “Privilege”.
Deray Mckesson: How you can be an ally in the fight for racial justice.
Ali Michael: Antiracism Resources for Teachers.
Carla Murphy: The White Conversation on Race.
Mab Segrest: Interview with Sinister Wisdom: A Multicultural Lesbian Literary and Arts Journal. Article: Lesbian-feminist Mab Segrest on Ferguson, race, civil rights.
Corinne Shutack: 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice.
Dara Silverman: 7 Ways White Jews Can Do Better By the Movement for Black Lives.
SNCC: Black Power: A Reprint of a Position Paper for the SNCC Vine City Project. (SNCC statement on White allies.)
Becky Thompson: Lots of articles on her personal website.
Teaching Tolerance: Affirming Black Lives Without Inducing Trauma.
Mark R. Warren: Links to books and articles at his website.
Steven Wineman: Racism Diminishes Us All, Even White Men Like Me.
Janee Woods: 12 Ways to Be a White Ally to Black People.
Videos And Podcasts
Sue Borrego: TEDx Talk: Understanding My Privilege.
David Campt: lots of helpful video clips of White antiracist trainings at his YouTube page.
Chris Crass: Awkward White People; White People in Solidarity Against Racism (with Dara Silverman,) Faith and Racial Justice (with Jude-Laure Denis,) Courage for Racial Justice, Courage for Collective Liberation.
Robin DiAngelo: Debunking The Most Common Myths White People Tell About Race; Deconstructing White Privilege; lecture on her book White Fragility.
Erin Heaney, Pam McMichael, & Carla F. Wallace: White Women Showing Up For Racial Justice.
Erin Heaney, speaking about SURJ in this online discussion. (She begins 10 minutes in.)
Debby Irving: Finding Myself in the Story of Race (TEDx Talk); How White People Can Advocate For Racial Justice (interview); Our Whitewashed History (talk); interview on Restorative Justice on the Rise.
Frances Kendall: interview about how to create institutional change.
Paul Kivel: 2019 interview about his book, Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice.
Carol Kraemer and Carla F Wallace: “Where are the white people organizing other white people for racial justice?”
Simma Lieberman’s podcast: Every Day Conversations on Race for Every Day People.
Peggy McIntosh TED Talk: How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion.
Ali Michael, interview about White racial identity development. Lecture: Race in the Academy. TEDx Talk: How Can I Have a Positive Racial Identity? I’m White!
On Being podcast: Let’s Talk About Whiteness.
Mab Segrest: 2014 video interview on the Laura Flanders Show; Audio interview: ‘Race Traitor’ Mab Segrest Looks Back At 25 Years Of Hate.
Carla F. Wallace (on panel.) Detention and Deportation Defense
Mark R. Warren: Youth and Racial Justice (short clip); How You Can Be an Advocate (short clip); The Practice and Pedagogy of Organizing in the 21st Century (audio lecture); Educational Justice with Bill Ayers, Mark Warren and Brandon Johnson (roundtable); Fire in the Heart – White Activists for Racial Justice (book discussion.)