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How we’re listening, learning and acting for racial justice

Anti-racism Resources
June 5, 2020

The events of the past two weeks have forced people around the world to confront some uncomfortable truths about our society. The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police is a tragedy – one that is all too familiar following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and so many other Black lives lost, both in the United States and here in Canada.

Coming on the heels of Amy Cooper’s egregious display of white privilege in New York’s Central Park, Floyd’s death has catalyzed widespread demonstrations and important conversations about pervasive anti-Black racism and the need for real action.

West Coast Environmental Law stands with the Black Lives Matter movement and others calling for racial justice. We know that we cannot achieve environmental justice until we overcome the systemic racism and white supremacy that continue in our societies today. And we know that it’s not just about words. Each of us has a responsibility to take meaningful actions in our lives and in our work to confront our privilege and end systems that silence the voices of Black communities, Indigenous peoples, and other people of colour.

As a team, we’ve spent some time together this week reflecting on what’s happening and the steps we can take – individually and collectively – to address this critical problem. Like many of you, we’re leaning into the discomfort, listening and learning, and seeking resources to better understand our role in fighting back against racism and colonial oppression. We recognize the environmental movement’s long history of racism and exclusion of people of colour, and we know we have a lot of work to do in order to learn and do better.   

Below, we share just a few of the many resources that our staff have found useful. We encourage you to check out some of the links below, and share your own suggestions in the comments.

 

Resources about anti-Black racism, systemic oppression and intersectionality

Code Switch podcast
NPR podcast featuring conversations about race, hosted by journalists of colour

Intersectionality Matters podcast
Hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, offering guidance on anti-racism and intersectionality

Seeing White – Scene on Radio podcast
Podcast series on racism and white-identity politics

Video: Interview with Desmond Cole
Canadian author and activist interviewed on CBC about racial injustice in Canada

Video: Trevor Noah on George Floyd, Amy Cooper & Racism in Society
TV host and comedian discusses racial injustice and police brutality

Video: Interview with Jane Elliott
Diversity trainer and human rights advocate

9 Powerful Shows and Documentaries about Racial Injustice that are Essential Viewing
Educational documentary films and television shows, including Ava DuVernay’s “13th"

Implicit Association Test
A tool from Harvard University to assess your own implicit biases

White Fragility
Scholarly article by Robin DiAngelo on the concept of “white fragility”

Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation
Book by Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Lama Rod Owens & Jasmine Syedullah

Girl, Woman, Other
Novel by Bernardine Evaristo about black womanhood in modern Britain

Books by bell hooks
Acclaimed intellectual, artist, and writer on issues of race, feminism and more

Haymarket Books
Independent, non-profit publisher promoting books that contribute to struggles for social justice – incl. authors such as Angela Davis, Michael Bennett and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

The Climate Movement’s Silence
Article from Heated newsletter on anti-Blackness in climate activism

‘This is about vulnerability’: Ingrid Waldron on the links between environmental racism and police brutality
Interview in The Narwhal with Ingrid Waldron, Canadian expert on environmental racism

Black Environmentalists Talk About Climate and Anti-Racism
New York Times article featuring Black climate activists

Anti-Racism Resources (antiracism.co)
A compilation of resources by Black and Indigenous leaders for unlearning racism and colonialism

 

Resources about how to be an ally

List of resources for lawyers on how to be an ally to racialized colleagues
Law Times article containing resources for legal professionals

Building blocks for allyship
West Coast blog post from 2018 reflecting on allyship with Indigenous communities

What White Allyship Means to Me in the Fight for Racial Equality
Elle Magazine article by a mixed-race author in the UK

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice
Article on Medium.com listing ideas for white people to act against racism

20+ Allyship Actions for Asians to Show Up for the Black Community Right Now
Suggestions for Asian-Americans (and Asian-Canadians) to show support

 

Organizations and actions to support in BC and Canada

Black Organizations and Anti-Racist Groups Canadians Can Support Now
HuffPost article listing a number of Canadian organizations and grassroots groups

Black organizations and fundraisers you can support in Vancouver and British Columbia
Georgia Straight article with more info about organizations in Vancouver and BC

BC Black History Awareness Society

Hogan’s Alley Society

Black Lives Matter (Toronto)

 

Other ways to support

Support Black Businesses
AfroBiz.ca offers listings of Black-owned businesses in different Canadian communities

An Ongoing List of Ways to Join the Anti-Racist Fight
Suggested organizations and actions to support, from AnOther Magazine

Black Lives Matter (US)

Movement for Black Lives

Author: 
West Coast Environmental Law staff