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Racism, Storytelling, Listening & Engaging

I'm not going to sugarcoat this one for you. It's going to be hard. It is hard. For the people who are experiencing racism every day every moment of their lives, it's harder if we don't have these conversations. Below you will find resources and writings by POC (People of Color) about racism, allyship, and what it means to “help”. For me, the first step is listening-with-intention to the hard stories, unfathomable pain, and how to do better. At the very bottom, you will find prompts to help you think through a time you witnessed or experienced racism. It’s happening every day even if you don’t “see” it.

Understanding the past

Our history is our legacy. It doesn’t matter if we were there or not. Our learned behaviors come from our ancestors and their life experiences. Only over generations of people actively changing those learned behaviors will there be visible change.


This is a free resource with thousands of pages dedicated to preserving, educating on, and sharing Black history. It is used globally as a reference tool for students, educators, and the public. This is a small list of what you can find but is a place to start.

For Kids

Lasting change for society starts at home with the children in our lives. Teaching our whole history is the only option going forward. Even if you don’t have kids, knowing how to engage kids in conversations about racism and history is imperative to effecting lasting change.

Allyship & Listening

There are many resources and books by POC covering this topic and how non-POC can be allies and anti-racist. I believe POC words are the ones we need to be reading/hearing. You can find a few of them here.

This an excerpt from a piece by Holliday Bishop on performative allyship. You can read the full article here. I highly recommend you take the time to read it and examine your own actions/experiences.

“Do something that no one will ever know

As Lil Wayne said, “Real Gs move in silence like lasagne.” This is never more true than in activism. Sometimes real activism requires us to step up and shout. But far more often, it requires us to carry out simple daily acts that no one will ever see. If, on reflection, everything you do is public, it’s likely you’re a performative ally. Challenge yourself to do things quietly, like changing the things you buy, giving your platform to a BIPOC, or educating yourself on the history of racism without telling everyone about how educated you now are. That way, you know you’re really down for the cause — and not the cause of looking like a woke person.

Simply “saying stuff” is easy. You know what’s hard? Not buying stuff you want because the supply chain is violent. Turning down a job because the company employs child labor in Africa. Calling out other white people when they say something clearly racist. That shit is hard. But if you want to be a true ally to BIPOC, you have to be willing to do it. Anyone can post hashtags on social media. And the fact that this is seen as an act of activism is deadly.

So this is a call. For all of us. To get honest and real. To look at how much we really care. To understand that when our allyship does more for ourselves than for the people it professes to help, we have a problem. Be an activist who actually acts. It’s too late in the day to be anything but.”

– Holiday Phillips

Engaging in the conversation

Conversations can only continue when people show up to continue to have them. Choosing to engage in hard conversations is how we change the world. A conversation happens when two people decide to engage with each other and interact. The first step of an intentional conversation is listening with intention. Being in the moment with the other person and being open to hearing their experiences is listening with intention.

Conversations about racism are happening now and need to continue happening. Even when it’s uncomfortable and makes you feel sick inside. Keep showing up, listening, asking questions, and hearing the answers. 

Story Prompts

  1. Have you ever experienced or witnessed racism?
  2. What happened?
  3. Who else was there?
  4. How did the experience make you feel?
  5. Was anyone there that could have helped? Did they?
  6. Looking back would you have done something differently? What?
  7. How do you feel about it now?
  8. Why is this particular moment important to you?
  9. What do you want people to remember about it?

You can find a similar script about social justice and injustice here