The racial issues happening within our country show that there is still an incredible amount of work that must be done in order to bring forth true equality. As our diversity and inclusion statement says, at Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. we are committed to celebrating diversity of every kind, in the children we serve and the people within our ranks who serve them. Every child, student, intern and member – whatever their race, gender, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious or political beliefs, ethnicity, physical and mental ability, nationality, spirituality, cultural identity or military status – has the right to inclusion, belonging and respect. We aim to create an environment in which all members of the CBOB community feel empowered to be their true authentic selves. Because of this, we feel it important to discuss what is going on, and how we can help.
What is “Black Lives Matter”?
The Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) was created in response to police brutality and the disproportionate of violence and discrimination Black communities face. Its purpose is to combat the racism that is deeply embedded in our society and dismantle the institutions that perpetuate anti-Blackness, as well as demand justice for the lives lost to police brutality.
What is Systemic Racism?
Systemic racism refers to the forms of Black oppression that are rooted in our everyday thinking and ways of operating in societal institutions. For example, the disparities in things such as access to health care, education, income and employment among others reveal that systemic racism is prevalent to how our society functions.
Picture credits: @cheskatanglao on Instagram
Why are people protesting?
In short, the people are tired. We live in a society where the killing of Black people has become normalized and excusable. The protests are a way to demand justice and to commit to dismantling the system that has belittled and oppressed the Black community for far too long.
What is White Privilege?
White privilege refers to the advantages and benefits that those who are White experience versus those who are non-White. For example, if you are able to easily find shows, magazines, articles, etc. that show people who look like you, you may have White privilege. If most products on the market are geared towards you, you may have White privilege. If you don’t face discrimination frequently because of the color of your skin, you may have white privilege. It is important to note that having white privilege does not mean you do not face other issues, difficulties or worries in life – it simply means your skin tone is not one of them.
What Can We Do?
There are many steps we can take to fighting for racial equality and justice. It is our duty to educate ourselves and be the change we wish to see by taking real action moving forward. While sharing posts on social media and showcasing our support can be beneficial to a certain extent, how can we take it further? How can we prevent this issue from dying out and continuing in a repetitive cycle? Read. Speak up. Get uncomfortable and talk to others who may not understand. Actions speak louder than words, and it’s the way we use our voice and power in ways that truly matter that will make us better allies for this cause. Below are some resources that we at CBOB have been using, and that we believe can assist you in educating yourself and others on the journey to change.
For educators who seek to teach and spark discussions about racial bias and systemic racism, this link provides a list of resources to help you get started (created by Alyssa Klein): https://www.tolerance.org/moment/racism-and-police-violence
For English-speakers who want resources such as films, TV series, podcasts, books, articles and organizations that discuss anti-racism (created by Gabriela Kovate Sanchez): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/mobilebasic
For Spanish-speakers who want resources such as films, TV series, podcasts, books, articles and organizations that discuss anti-racism: https://docs.google.com/document/u/0/d/1DbS6Q9oSfLbShmkNrkTgaDVHGedpYrCI-Pq6RDUcYrY/mobilebasic