You’ve realized you’re racist. Now what?

Blog written by Taraneh Fultz, APR and PRSA Oregon Board Member

Hi. My name is Taraneh Fultz, I use she/her/hers pronouns and I’m a racist.

Not what you were expecting? Well, that’s the point. White people benefit from systemic racism, and we – not black people – need to do the uncomfortable, sustained work to correct it. That starts with calling out the elephant in the room and eating that pachyderm one bite at a time.

I’m at the start of this journey. Self-awareness was regularly called out as a strength in performance reviews, and I have a tendency towards empathy with people and situations foreign to my own experience. In my 38 years on the planet, that narrative became part of my core identity, as much as being a woman, a mother, a daughter of an immigrant, or a strategic communications professional. Having that identity shaken – especially during a pandemic, when my mental wellbeing is already tenuous – is rough. But it’s necessary.

Fortunately, my organization put together a curated list of resources to help us along our own journeys. It’s not an exhaustive list, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed and are looking for guidance, here’s a good place to start. Pick one thing, reflect, change a behavior or a way of thinking, create that habit, and then move on to the next thing.

The bottom line? The journey is the destination. As with any other significant change, you’re going to struggle. It will get easier, but it will never be easy. And as we all know, work worth doing never is. Good luck, and I’ll be rooting for you.

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