On February 23rd, Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down by two white men while he was going for a jog. On March 13th, EMT Breonna Taylor was shot eight times by the police in her home. On May 25th, George Floyd was slowly suffocated to death by a white police officer.
Right now it is absolutely crucial that white people do the work to dismantle the systems of white supremacy. We have to commit to taking long-term action. So what does that look like? Where do we even start?
Like many people right now, I’m in active learning mode.
Team Forleo and I are about to embark on our annual two-week company closure and, as we prepare for this break, we’ve been compiling and sharing anti-racism books, videos, and podcasts with each other on Slack.
At first, I wanted to share that list with you on the blog, but here’s the thing…
Black educators have already done this work. They’ve been doing it for years. It’s not my voice that matters. It’s theirs. Instead of publishing yet another list, I’d like to tell you what I’m personally reading right now, and give you a few already-compiled resource guides created by Black people.
This reading list by Arielle Grey is a great place to start. She writes, “[A]n important part of learning about racism is realizing that no reading list can do the work for you. Learning and excommunicating your internalized racism is a lifelong process that requires intense self-study and determination.”
If you’d like to dive deeper, Tasha K. Ryals compiled this shareable anti-racism guide. It includes suggested pre-reading, memoirs, essays, and resources on immigration, indigenous studies, Latinx studies, and more.
This guide on anti-racism for beginners, now under the leadership of Tiffany Bowden, PhD, is also tremendous.
It has articles, definitions, terms to understand, books to read, Black educators and leaders to follow, and other ways you can take action.
Yes, it’s a lot. I understand that these lists may feel overwhelming at first, especially if you’re just getting started. But learning and taking action is non-negotiable. I encourage you to click, pick, and go. Remember, clarity comes from engagement, not thought.
If you’re feeling frozen — like you want to help but you’re afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing — here are five additional resources to check out.
How Can We Win
This 6-minute video featuring writer Kimberly Jones is powerful, heartbreaking, and vitally important. If you’re brand new to the work of anti-racism, please watch this.
In this thought-provoking 20-minute standup, Dave Chapelle speaks candidly about the murder of George Floyd, celebrity responsibility, and being Black in America.
Stream to Donate
Want to donate but don’t have a dollar to spare? This 24-hour hip-hop livestream by Revive Music donates all their ad revenue to Black Lives Matter.
Less Caption. More Action.
Entrepreneur and B-School alum, Gabrielle Thomas, is leading an initiative to help empower Black entrepreneurs. Through her website, you can offer a free service, mentorship, education, event ticket, or opportunity on your podcast, newsletter, blog, or social media platform. Gabrielle will match you with a Black business owner who needs your skillset. And if you’re a Black business owner who’d like to be matched, click here.
Magogodi Makhene and her partners created an arts-filled virtual festival that’s happening July 12-19. They say, “We want to activate everyday citizens to purposeful behavior and inspired action. Our work is rooted in love and fueled by the arts.” It features art, community, workshops, and music. Until then, the founders are also offering a free 30-Day Anti-Racist Challenge on Instagram.
There can be no significant change in the world unless we first have the courage to change ourselves. In order to change ourselves, we must first believe we can.
The importance of this moment cannot be understated.
We need all hands and hearts on deck. This is a turning point, in an infinite number of ways. It’s hard to express how profoundly I’ve been changed, and how grateful I am to be present at this time. It’s long, long overdue.
Thanks for a great discussion. Comments are now closed.
With enormous love and respect,
The post Anti-Racism Resources: Guides From Black Educators & Ways to Take Action appeared first on .
Here’s a helpful filter to know when to worry: does something sound too good to be true, or does it sound so bad that people give up and stop thinking for themselves?
Either way, when everyone around you agrees, it’s worth asking some questions. Questions like: “What’s really going on here—and who is threatened by disagreement?”
Consider it an opportunity! When it comes to Coronavirus life, an astounding amount of groupthink is currently taking place. It’s as though everyone is taking the collective temperature (no pun intended…) before deciding what they believe and how they should act.
To be clear, I’ve said several times that the most important thing we can do is keep people safe. And as an introvert who frequently spends twenty-four hours a day by myself, I’ve also been social distancing for most of my life. (“Social distancing is the new silent retreat.”)
But whether it’s COVID-thinking or something else, if you can’t find someone who disagrees with you, someone who has another perspective—it’s time to worry. Or at the very least it’s time to widen your circle, read different media, and consider opposing viewpoints.
Otherwise, you’ll never have the chance to experience the courage of changing your mind.
Speaking up as the only dissenter in the group requires bravery, but so does acknowledging that you might not be right about everything. Are you courageous enough to do so? Most people aren’t.
Fortunately, you aren’t most people … right? You are an original—so think for yourself, and don’t accept what you’re told without closely examining it.
One more thing: have you ever heard “You must learn the rules before you break them”? This is a classic gatekeeping strategy.
Just imagine: If you’re trying to break out of prison, you don’t need to spend forty years becoming a model prisoner before you hide in a laundry cart. You’ll be much better served by studying up on successful prison breaks.
Wherever you are in the world, I hope you’re taking care of yourself and working on something you believe in. The rest of us need you to keep going.
By Leo Babauta
I don’t care about being efficient and productive just to be a better person, to get more done, to be more awesome. Cranking out more stuff for productivity’s sake doesn’t interest me anymore (it used to).
Today, I care about productivity only as it affects my mission.
I’m on a mission to change the world, and if I can be more focused, effective, and powerful as I do that … then it serves the mission.
What doesn’t serve the mission is burning myself out. I’m in this for the long haul, and rest and self-care are incredibly important.
I also don’t want to just have my nose to the grindstone. I care about the experience I’m having as I’m on my mission — it needs to be powerful, joyful, meaningful. I’m not just cranking widgets.
With that context in mind … let’s look at what is essential to this kind of productivity — what I think of as Essential Meaningful Productivity.
What’s Essential Meaningful Productivity
There’s three parts to this:
- Essential: You focus on what’s essential, not just busywork, not what feels urgent, not on what other people are asking you for (though what’s essential might be some of all three of those). This should be essential for your mission or something incredibly important to you (health, loved ones, etc.). Work on what matters. This means getting clear every day on what’s essential to you.
- Meaningful: This should not just feel like the next thing on your task list … it should feel like the most meaningful thing on your task list. You might even open yourself up to feeling like this is your purpose, your joy. This is serving someone out of love, with devotion. It’s like when I made dinner for my wife & kids last night — this was an act of nourishing them, of taking care of them, of loving them. Writing this post feels like that for me. In fact, we can bring that kind of meaning to most tasks, if we practice this kind of devotion.
- Productive: In this mode of work, I’m focused. I don’t turn away from the difficulty or discomfort or uncertainty, running to distractions or easier tasks. It’s important, it’s meaningful, it’s an act of love — and the people I’m serving are so worth this discomfort. I clear away distractions, and go into full-screen mode, giving this my entire focus.
As you can see, these three parts overlap quite a bit. Each word is really describing a different aspect of the same thing, but each is useful.
So how do you do this? Let’s look at the keys to making this happen.
The Keys to Essential Meaningful Productivity
You can actually do this in an infinite number of ways, but here are some elements I’ve found to be important in my own exploration:
- Work on what matters. Do you know your most important tasks for today? For the week? For the month? For your mission or life? This is something to get clear on. We don’t always have to be perfect, but the idea is to know what’s essential, and to focus on that more of the time.
- Structure sessions. Most of us just go through the day doing random things at random times, with no structure. Some people structure their days so rigidly that there’s no room for spontaneity or rest. The middle way, I’ve found, is to create structured sessions: 30 minutes for working on an essential task, for example. Or 90 minutes for writing. 15 minutes to process your inbox or messages. Two ideas: do your top most important task for 60-90 minutes at the start of every day. First thing. Second, do focused pomodoro sessions (25 minutes of focus on one task) 6 times throughout the day, every day.
- Pour yourself into it. Put meaning & joy into each session. OK, you’re starting a session. Make this a meaningful session — first, by reminding yourself why this is meaningful to you. Second, by pouring yourself into it fully, as if this were the most important thing in the universe. The only thing in the universe. Third, let yourself play, find joy, or otherwise /feel alive/ during this session!
- Turn towards instead of away. You will feel uncertainty, fear or discomfort around some of your most important tasks. That’s called “groundlessness” — the uncertainty of not having solid ground under your feet. Instead of turning away, turn towards this task. Stay with the groundlessness, mindfully. Be present with the fear and uncertainty, but don’t let it force you to exit. Let it be an act of love and devotion to stay in the middle of the groundlessness as you do the task.
- Put smaller things into focused sessions. It might be true that few individual emails or messages or errands are going to be essential — so under the guidelines above, you might think you should never answer those emails or messages, never do the errands. But doing errands, paying bills, answering emails — these are all important at some level. The juggernaut of your mission will grind to a halt if you never maintain the engine. So the answer is to batch less important (but still necessary) tasks into focused sessions. Spend 15-20 minutes processing email, for example. These batch sessions become essential.
There are other ways to work with these ideas. For example, you might spend half a day, or an entire week, focused entirely on something really essential. You might structure your day so that you are doing certain tasks at certain times — meditate and write in the morning, messages and meetings and workouts in the afternoons, for example. But none of that is essential to the approach.
The main idea is to have structured sessions for essential tasks, turn toward the groundlessness and pour yourself into it with meaning and joy. It’s that simple.