On June 2, 2020 I wrote a letter to the Incredible Health team addressing institutionalized racism in America and what we’re doing about it. I included this list of specific actions Incredible Health employees, nurses, and others in the healthcare community can take for social justice.
Actions to support social justice
- Sign a petition that supports justice for George Floyd Change.org, Color of Change, or you can also text “FLOYD” to 55156. More petitions are available here. Breonna Taylor, a healthcare worker who was killed by police in her Louisville home, and the officers are not arrested yet, has not got enough signatures, so you can sign petition for her here.
- Support organizations leveling the playing field for the black community in tech specifically, through both volunteering and donations: BlackGirlsCode, Devcolor, Code2040.
- Encourage your friends and family that are employees at other companies to poke and agitate their leaders to hire and promote black candidates. The hiring diversity statistics in the tech and healthcare industries are shameful and abysmal, including at top companies like Facebook, Apple, etc.
- Get smart, get educated by reading books/articles, listening to podcasts, or watching shows/movies. I learned about Qualified Immunity for the first time last weekend, even though it’s been around for a long time! More specifically:
Read about racism and how to affect change
- How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change. This article by former President Barack Obama shows how we can further drive the momentum around this call for change…and build positive strategies to support this heightened wave of activism that’s taking hold.
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo: For white and non-Black people who feel they don’t know how to start having these conversations, Oluo has generously provided a resource about how to be honest and thoughtful in examining not just racism in the world, but also white people’s own role in it.
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Historian Ibram Kendi reorients the discussion of racism to focus on the act of fighting against it; it’s not enough to be a passive opponent. Weaving in accounts from his own life, Kendi expounds on the consequences of racism and white supremacy in our public and private spheres, exploring the ways racism manifests within and across demographics, and shows the reader what antiracism looks like and can achieve. In praise for the book, author Ijeoma Oluo describes Kendi’s work as “vital,” adding, “As a society, we need to start treating antiracism as action, not emotion — and Kendi is helping us do that.”
- Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt Stanford psychology professor Jennifer Eberhardt exposes the hidden racial biases that directly affect our lives — biases built into, among others, political, educational, medical, justice and financial systems in the US. It’s a scientific, analytical and personal examination of these widespread prejudices, as well as an empowering and even hopeful guide for ways to help dismantle them. In praise for the book, Bryan Stevenson said Biased “presents the science of bias with rare insight and accessibility, but it is also a work with the power and craft to make us see why overcoming racial bias is so critical.”
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo: Antiracist educator DiAngelo explores the defensive and aggressive reactions white people have when they’re confronted with the reality of racial inequality and the ways they enable it. DiAngelo breaks down the idea of white fragility, identifying its related emotions (anger, fear, guilt) and its counterproductive behaviors (argumentation, silence), explaining how these behaviors allow for white supremacy, and outlining ways to more earnestly and constructively engage in antiracist work. Poet and playwright Claudia Rankine describes it as “a necessary book for all people invested in societal change through productive social and intimate relationships.”
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: Written as a letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ son, this nonfiction book details the realities of, and author’s personal experiences with, being Black in the United States, and how it infiltrates everything from school to the streets. It posits that white supremacy is something that will never be eradicated, but instead a force Black people will always have to navigate.
- The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives by Shankar Vedantam: In a series of compulsively readable narratives, Vedantam journeys through the latest discoveries in neuroscience, psychology and behavioral science to uncover the darkest corner of our minds and its decisive impact on the choices we make as individuals and as a society. Filled with fascinating characters, dramatic storytelling and cutting-edge science.
Listen to these podcasts
- 1619 (The New York Times)
- About Race
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Intersectionality Matters! with Kimberlé Crenshaw
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- Seeing White
Documentaries and movies addressing America’s history of racism
- On Showtime: 16 Shots, examining the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke
- On Showtime: Burn Motherf*cker Burn, exploring the relationship between the LAPD and the city’s minority communities for decades leading up to the 1992 uprising in Los Angeles.
- 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix (Available free on YouTube too, as part of Netflix’s BLM efforts)
- American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
- The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
- Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
- Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
- Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
- I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin documentary) — Available to rent (free on Amazon Prime as part of their BLM effort)
- If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent (free on Amazon Prime as part of their BLM effort)
- King In The Wilderness (MLK doc) — HBO
- Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
- The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent (free on Amazon Prime as part of their BLM effort)
- The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
- When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
Are you looking for even more resources, including more organizations to follow, bailout funds, etc? Here you go