An awkward conversation with her white mother about “good white people” inspired Ijeoma Oluo to take on the unenviable task of writing one of the most user-friendly books on race of our time: So You Want To Talk About Race. In plain language, Ijeoma has confronted deeply uncomfortable questions surrounding racial injustice from the school-to-prison pipeline to the Black Lives Matter movement to white feminism and intersectionality.
In our conversation, Ijeoma helps me to understand the insidious nature of white supremacy in our world. She also wakes me up to the fact that solidarity between all women cannot happen until white cis women hold themselves accountable to the ways they have benefitted from systems of oppression. Most importantly, Ijeoma offers practical, everyday actions that you can do today to help dismantle the system of racism.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
The Implicit Bias Test: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/index.jsp
Take this test to see how unconscious bias may be influencing how you interact with the world. When you see where your biases lie, you can begin the work of examining where they come from and how to overcome them.
Meet Your DA: https://meetyourda.org/
District Attorneys have the power to determine who gets charges filed against them, the severity of charges, and if the charges get filed at all. These elected officials have the power to send people to prison for life. DAs can funnel people into the prison system, trapping them in the revolving door of mass incarceration. OR they can give them a 2nd chance. They’re supposed to represent our voice but often their actions don’t represent what they believe. Get to know who your district attorney is and how they’re carrying out the wishes of your community. And if they’re actions reflect the wishes of for-profit prisons over those of your community, get in touch. This website will tell you how.
P.S. Want to connect with other everyday activists who seek to make extraordinary change? Come join The Inflection Point Society, our new Facebook Group, and take part in daily conversations about rising up together.