A White Woman’s Guide to Black History Month
If you’re a white person who owns a business and you’re celebrating or signaling Black History Month, I have a few recommendations for you.
Yes, celebrate Black history. Yes, amplify Black voices. Also, ask yourself what it means to support Black wellbeing in the present and future.
As white women, we have a unique role to play and we can’t do this work without taking time to seriously think about the impact of whiteness on Black lives and reflect on the accessories to white supremacy that are hiding in our feminism. Confronting these details is the only way we’ll be able to interrupt the oppressive systems that loom daily and threaten our fragile progress.
As a founder, CEO, and white woman who wants to do better, here are some resources I recommend for white business leaders trying to create spaces that truly honor diversity and inclusion in the pursuit of equity.
- Nikki Blak’s Interrupting White Womanhood is a 3-month mentorship for folks who are racialized as white, socialized as women, and ready to move their liberation work beyond books, listening, and learning. I’m excited about this opportunity to have direct feedback, and I expect to be both challenged and empowered as I create tangible strategies for my own contributions to antiracism. There’s still time to join me in her March cohort, the link to apply is in her bio.
- Whiteness at Work is a racial equity training designed to support organizations doing this work. Y’all, there is a big difference between diversity and its more meaningful counterparts of inclusion and equity. Most Black folks I know have been the victims of an employer looking to improve their diversity stats without doing the real work it takes to create an inclusive and equitable environment — and this is super fucking harmful. This shit happens even inside of the world’s most beloved “mission driven B-Corps” so it makes perfect sense that we need some support in this work! This program is super affordable, start there.
- Finally, Rachel Cargle’s Daily Prompt Series for Black History Month is a completely free opportunity to unlearn whitewashed history – which is really our first step if you want to be more than a performative ally during any month of the year. The only thing you need to be willing to invest is your time. If you’re a white woman who spends a large amount of time on Instagram talking about “manifesting,” her book A Renaissance of Our Own and Instagram post from February 4th is an excellent place for you to start.
Last loving tip: Take a deep breath. Being better doesn’t come from guilt or shame. It comes from knowing better and taking action. I’ve found that anything short of a long-term commitment to learning — and trusting that the path of action will unfold along the way — feels extremely overwhelming and is a fast-track to hopelessness and inaction.
As Morgan Harper says, "commit to the long and faithful work."
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