On February 8, as part of our Eight That Can't Wait Discussion Series, the Women's Foundation hosted a conversation on systemic racism in Oregon.
For an Oregon where all women and girls thrive, all women and girls need to have equitable access to the opportunities it takes to thrive. But right now, many of Oregon’s women and girls of color do not. Because of the way race and gender intersect, women and girls of color face disproportionate barriers to success.
While it will take public policies to tackle the systemic nature of the gender and racial inequities found in Count Her In, each one of us can also make a difference. Watch our “Eight That Can’t Wait:” Systemic Racism discussion, and check out the resources below.
5 Things You Can Do to Address Systemic Racism in Oregon
- Deepen your understanding. If you identify as white, educate yourself on what racism is, and how it has shaped and continues to shape our country, state, and communities. If you read one thing, start with Why It's So Hard to Talk to White People about Racism, by Robin DiAngelo.
- Why Intersectionality Can't Wait – Kimberlé Crenshaw
- White People: I Don’t Want You To Understand Me Better, I Want You To Understand Yourselves – Ijeoma Oluo
- The Racist History of Portland, the Whitest City in America – Alana Semuels
- I’m Not Your Racial Confessor – Jamelle Bouie, Gene Demby, Aisha Harris, and Tressie McMillan Cottom
- Diversify your newsfeed. Seek out the perspectives of people of color, particularly women of color. Simply following (click “Follow” rather than “Add friend”) these voices on Facebook (or Twitter) will bring them into your newsfeed.
- Outlets: Angry Asian Man, The Asian Reporter, Autostraddle, Black Girl Dangerous, Blavity, Celebrity Gossip-Academic Style, Colorlines, The Establishment, El Hispanic News, El Latino de Hoy, For Harriet, Fusion, Indian Country Today, Mijente, Remezcla, The Skanner, Teen Vogue, them., Very Smart Brothas
- People: The writers of the Women’s March platform (page 5), Baratunde Thurston, Charles Blow, Dr. Willie Parker, Dylan Marron, Franchesca “Chescaleigh” Ramsey, Hari Kondabolu, Ijeoma Oluo, Jay Smooth, Kat Blaque, Linda Sarsour, Love Life of an Asian Guy, Melissa Harris-Perry, Roxane Gay, Van Jones
- Listen to people of color. Organizations led by people of color have been advocating for racial justice for a long time. Look to them for guidance on how to best address systemic racism. Sign up for the newsletters of these organizations, and follow them on social media.
- Asian and Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)
- Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter Portland
- Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
- Momentum Alliance
- NAACP Portland Branch
- Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN)
- Unite Oregon
- Urban League of Portland
- Western States Center
- Center voices of color. Amplify the voices of people of color in meetings. Ask your HR department about your company’s diversity and inclusion policies, and request an all-staff anti-racism workshop. Don’t put together or participate in all-white panels. Make sure representatives from communities of color are invited to the decision-making table, listened to, amplified, and have their needs met. Ask leadership how decisions will affect women and girls of color.
- Interrupt racism: hold yourself and others accountable. Commit to opposing racism in your personal and professional life, every day. This means examining and interrupting your own racist thoughts and actions. This means holding others accountable at home, at work, at school, in media, in your community, and in elected office. This means using your “power and privilege responsibly in the service of justice.” We encourage white people to come from a place of empathy and compassion when addressing racism. Resources:
- Calling In: A Quick Guide on When and How
- Bystander Intervention Training & Resources
- Speak Up: Responding to Everyday Bigotry
- How To Be an Ally, by Portland’s Invisible Spectrum
- Bias Cleanse
- Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ), a national network organizing white people for racial justice
- Remember #NotAllMen? Don't be the white person version
- Top 10 Resources to Change the Conversation About Race
- Dismantling Racism: A Resource Book for Social Change Groups
- The Science of Equality, Volume 1: Addressing Implicit Bias, Racial Anxiety, and Stereotype Threat
Thank you to our wonderful panelists for sharing their expertise and powerful personal experiences with us.
Panelists (left to right):
- Se-ah-dom Edmo, Movement Building Director, Western States Center
- Carma Corcoran, Indian Law Summer School Coordinator, Lewis & Clark Law School
- Sirius Bonner, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette
- Zeenia Junkeer, Director of Equity and Community Engagement, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon