Alright white people, what can we do?

Hi folx,

This is a slightly different post than usual, given the national events taking place and an influx of new followers.  We are white, able-bodied, people that run this website and it’s my duty to both educate myself and others.  Benefitting from white privilege, it’s easier for me to access some spaces and have people listen to me better and less defensively than they might listen to BIPOC individuals.

In this post are a bunch of links to articles with concrete steps and calls to action for what white people can do for racial equity and justice.  It is our responsibility to do the work ourselves and not require the emotional labor that comes with educating privileged folks.  I hope you find these links useful, and thank you for visiting this website and committing yourself to learning more.

Self-reflection (especially in the face of acknowledging privilege) is tough work, but we need to be uncomfortable to grow.  Everyone starts somewhere, and taking a hard look at your bookshelves could be the perfect place to start.  How many BIPOC protagonists do you have on your shelves?  How many authors of color? How well are Indigenous voices represented? Are racial and gender stereotypes being reaffirmed or not?  YOU have the power to create ripples of change.

Here is an article outlining 75 things we can do for racial justice.

Overwhelmed by the prospect of reading 75? Here’s 5 action items.

The image on top of this post came from this article on Bleacher Report.

Amy Cooper was using Narrative Intelligence when she called the police.  Learn more about that here.

Birdwatching While Black: Lee’s colleague Justine sent around a beautiful email with this list of resources specifically relating to the Central Park incident when police were called on Christian Cooper, who was birdwatching.  Here they are (!!):

Birds of North America: Jason Ward is the best new voice in the birding world. He is an expert birder, national speaker, and hosts a YouTube series. The videos are all short (less than 8 mins) and compelling. Here are two in particular that I recommend – and the rest are worth watching and sharing, too:

Hope is the Thing With Feathers

The experiences of black birders and the headwinds they face – and how love for a bird can seed other forms of love

Warblers in Central Park

Series premiere, features Christian Cooper briefly

Articles by J. Drew Lanham

“How Am I Going to Be Perceived as a Black Man With Binoculars?”: J. Drew Lanham on Christian Cooper and Rules for the Black Birdwatcher (2020)

Birding While Black (2016) – personal essay about his experiences

9 Rules for the Black Birdwatcher (2013)

Nine New Revelations for the Black American Bird-Watcher – 2020 update of the 9 rules in response to Ahmaud Arbery murder

Consider supporting this important voice by buying J. Drew Lanham’s books: The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair With Nature and Sparrow Envy: Poems.

Essays by Jacqueline L. Scott, author of the Black Outdoors blog

Audubon: On Birds and Slaves

Birding While Black (2017)

Birding While Black: 2019

Blog post about John James Audubon:

He Runs (short story) by Heidi Durrow


Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my anti-racist education and journey, I only hope that I can extend some learning to you while I continue my own path.  I hope you find these resources valuable, and share them with others!

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