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.
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
- Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F Saad
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Four Days to Change: 12 Radical Habits to Overcome Bias and Thrive in a Diverse World by Michael Welp PhD
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation by John Lewis
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Tatum
- The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh
- Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- S. Businesses Must Take Meaningful Action Against Racism – Harvard Business Review
- Yes, You Must Talk About Race At Work: 3 Ways To Get Started – Forbes
- How To Not Raise a Racist White Kid by Jennifer Harvey
- Don’t Talk about Implicit Bias Without Talking about Structural Racism by Kathleen Osta and Hugh Vasquest, National Equity Project
- The Racist History of Portland, the Whitest City in America by Alana Semuels
- When Portland banned blacks: Oregon’s shameful history as an ‘all-white’ state by DeNeen L. Brown
- Ted Talk: How Racism makes us Sick – David R. Williams
- TED Talk: How To Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time Baratunde Thurston
- Does Racism Play a Role in Health Inequities? David R. Williams, Professor of Public Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- TEDx RVA Women – The power of privilege– Tiffany Jana
- TEDx Pasadena Women – Understanding My Privilege– Sue Borrego
- 13th (available on Netflix)
- The Look and The Talk
- Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story Robin DiAngelo
- Authors Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi on how to become aware of privilege
- What is Systemic Racism? video series
- We Must Talk About Race to Fix Economic Inequality
- 7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism is Real
- Black Lives Matter Movement – Global Citizen