Published: June 3, 2020

Acts of systemic racism continue to deeply affect our communities, and many of us may be wondering how we can help. Here are some tips for how you can be an ally to people of color, particularly the Black community, right now.

Be an effective bystander

Having the skills to call out racism when we see or hear it is a critical way to contribute to necessary cultural change. There are many effective bystander strategies for helping, and even small actions can have a big impact.

Calling out racism and microaggressions may lead to some tough conversations with close friends, family members and colleagues. Yet it is important that we have these conversations and share why racist language and actions are not okay. Review these tips to help you navigate through tough conversations.

Learn and listen

If we want things to change, we need those who don’t have a lived experience as a Black person or person of color to begin with education:

  • Seek out books, articles, documentaries or podcasts to learn about the systemic oppression and racialized history of our country.
  • Expand your media intake (entertainment, news sources, social media, etc.) to include Black voices.
  • Learn about the experiences and struggles that Black people and other people of color face that are different from your own.
  • Stay informed with what’s happening in your community.

As you learn more, reflect on and acknowledge the privileges and biases you may have. Confronting our own biases and racism is uncomfortable and it isn’t easy, but it’s necessary to help create change.

Take action

  • Make an effort to be inclusive in your daily life. Be mindful of the language you use and the content you share on social media. 
  • Challenge family and friends who may use racist language, tell racist jokes or have racist actions. Have the tough—but important—conversations. 
  • Volunteer and get involved with organizations fighting against racism, or make donations if you can.
  • Support Black businesses and projects.
  • Participate at peaceful protests in your community.
  • Register to and vote in local, state and national elections. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.