For those of us who’ve read blogs like these, shared anger and sadness and shame, been having conversations about race, been reading books and watching movies about black people, been wondering what to say…I hope we’re on the right path.

But we can’t stand still, we can’t let this last just one week or one month or one year.

We must keep doing what we can to make anti-racism and equality a personal habit. That’s because racism is wrong and inequality is wrong; there is no gray area.

I can say this because, as an Indian-American, I’ve experienced them. Sure, I’ve experienced a microcosm of what black Americans have but it’s a personal experience nonetheless which, like all experiences, can’t be argued with or dismissed.

And so I’m dedicating myself to building a new habit to contribute what I can to making the change that is needed. And the more of us who make it a personal habit, the faster our social systems will change.

Like all habits, this effort requires a cue, a routine, and a reward.

  • The cues are all around us. And if you aren’t picking them up, ask people you know who are.

  • The routine is what we’re struggling with – what to say, what to do (for some ideas, see the resources below). At the core of that routine, in this case, are three simple reminders: listen, learn, and act.

  • And the reward is that we gradually become (more) anti-racist, we reveal our love, we demonstrate humanity, we feel good about ourselves, and we avoid having regrets.

As Tony Wilkins, a JuntoMentor, thoughtfully related in a recent Junto session, we can view racism like climate change: think globally and act locally. It’s too big for any one of us to make a dent in it. But if we all do our little part over time, if we all simply build a new habit, change will happen.

 

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