It boggles my mind thinking about how something as vile as racism could still exist in the modern world.
As a sane person, you would expect it to never have existed in the first place!
Unfortunately, though, not everyone on the planet is sane, and racism has been an undeniable blot on our history.
In fact, systemic racism is the root of social disbalance. The brutality that manifests due to this is only a tiny visible part of the whole problem.
But, we often react only when things get really heavy.
Because, somehow, we were sure that it was none of our business until that moment.
So, I decided to write a reminder of things that we can do individually on a daily basis to change our society’s systematic distortion.
The real change begins from the inside of each one of us.
To change things, we must first change our daily habits, views, and deeply rooted beliefs and judgments.
We are not here to be divided from another and cultivate hate based on a lack of understanding.
Superiority is nothing else but a lack of perspective. It is a consequence of a closed mind that acts out loud.
A self-conscious individual will understand that the contentment of others is as valuable as his own.
You might think that you need to do something huge or earth-shattering to make a difference.
But that’s not the case.
Even small efforts by everyone in their daily lives can lead to a big change.
There are so many ways you can make a difference and support the fight against racism. Let’s take a look at some of the 30 most effective ways to stop racism.
1. Catch yourself Judging others
The first place to start the fight against racism is you.
You probably don’t realize it, but you might have been exposed to racist ideas and images since your childhood.
Mass media and large institutions have subtle ways of conditioning you to think in a certain way and believe in their ideologies. As a result, you might harbor prejudices about certain groups of people without even realizing it.
In fact, in order to change, we need to admit where we start from.
Suppose we focus only on the easily acceptable parts of ourselves. In that case, we will probably not grow as much as we could.
If you feel that you want to be a part of a more remarkable change in our society, you must start by being honest with yourself.
To help plant trees in the garden of others, first be aware of your own garden.
What do you need to work on? What are your patterns of behavior?
As you can tell, it is important to be aware of the fact that you might have biases and beliefs that you need to get rid of.
When you catch yourself judging others, it is the first step towards not doing it anymore.
This awareness can come from moments of deep introspection. Be mindful of how you think and what you say around people and when you’re alone. Remember, change begins with awareness.
Only then can you root out conditioned thoughts and beliefs and make room for new patterns of thought and action.
So, accept your shadow, see your behavioral patterns, and transform them.
2. Become aware of your own privilege
Another thing that has to be brought from the unconscious to our psyche’s conscious segment is our own privilege.
To support those in need, we need to see how we are profiting based on things that do not make a difference in value.
Not using these privileges and observing them and making those around you know what is going on is an active form of change.
Be aware of what you have, just because it happened that you are white or black.
Be mindful of the things you have just because you were born on some specific part of this earth.
Becoming clear about these things will make you more humble and conscious that there should be no difference.
3. Truly Start to Listen
Mastering the art of listening could save our world from racism.
To truly understand each other, we ought to listen carefully.
One of the most concrete ways to end racism is to listen to the truths of others.
By listening to those in need, you can get a clear view of what it means to be a victim of racism.
When you open your ears, you can start cultivating the feeling of empathy and a more profound sense of understanding for what your “brothers and sisters” in this world are going through.
This new sense of awareness can trigger change in our own behavior and those souls we may touch.
4. Create and Offer a Safe Space
When listening to others, show them that you care for their experiences.
People are vulnerable when they show up and expose their truth to you.
Be aware of that gentle and soft space that opens when people come out with their wounds and experiences.
Open your Heart to the honesty of others and hug their truth. This world needs less correction, more understanding.
So, try not to explain away the perspectives others share with you. Offer help, not instructions. Be fully present for them and give them your support in sharing their deepest emotions with you. When we create space for others to be heard and validated, we truly change the world around us.
This way, you learn how to hold space for somebody.
It is what excellent therapists have to master. When you create a safe space for the wounded souls, they are healed by your presence. Your support can truly heal this world.
5. Recognize and stop the Denial Mindset
At the end of the day, we are all social animals.
Expressing ourselves and wanting to be heard is in our nature. You have to keep this in mind when you are listening to someone who has been affected by racial discrimination.
A lot of the time, people might try to explain away these experiences by giving excuses or other “rational” justification.
However, you and I both know that this perpetuates living in denial.
Of course, turning a blind eye to the problem is much easier but it won’t help. You have to listen to the person who has been affected and get rid of any preconceived ideas.
They need to feel that they are heard, that you are paying attention, and understand how they feel and above all that you believe them.
Sometimes, this is all they want and need to begin healing. Think of it this way. If your best friend had experienced racism, what would you do? You would probably stop everything else and listen to them with an open heart, right? You need to do the same for everyone who wants to speak to you about this topic.
6. Be a Witness to any form of racism
We have all watched in the news how regular people have filmed policemen and other officials, misusing their powers and mistreating people from minority groups.
Videos like these have opened the public’s eyes regarding the persistent nature of racism in some of the most important institutions of our society.
See the power of the common man?
So, If you, by any chance, end up in a situation where you witness injustice, try to stay and be a witness. Do not run away or let fear overcome you. In the position of a witness, you are not neutral; you can change it.
By offering a supportive presence to those suppressed, you can be a trigger that will help them express their truth. We need to talk about it. We need to share and not to run away from the painful truth.
Of course, this shouldn’t only be limited to police brutality. No matter where you are, you can witness the act of racism and even intervene if that’s possible for you.
If nothing else, you can at least film the incident and upload the video on social media to raise awareness. Often, the culprits are caught only because someone had the guts to be a witness, report it, and spread the word organically.
7. Neutrality is not an option
Here, I will share an excellent quote that touches my soul deeply each time I read it:
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
― Desmond Tutu
There is no such thing as a neutral viewpoint in these situations.
If you choose to be silent, you pick the side of the oppressor out of fear.
To shift this world, we need to act from a place of love and not fear. Do not fear resistance, do not fear the truth. You are a game-changer when you take responsibility for your place in this society.
As a privileged person, you have even more capacity to change than those in need. Use your position wisely.
Try not to be neutral when it comes to racism. These changes won’t happen on their own without our mutual effort. You need to invest yourself in making a difference.
8. Educate yourself to say no to racism
My friend once gave me an advice: “When you feel inefficient, educate yourself on the topics that matter in our society.”.
This advice is really golden. Sometimes, we feel frustrated because we know that we can do more for those around us, but we do not know where to start.
Educating yourself is an excellent base for all that you will become.
There are many resources both online and offline that you can check out for this purpose. You will come to know about how this racism began and how it evolved over time across the globe.
You will also come to know a lot about how BIPOC (blacks, indigenous, and people of color) persevered amid inhuman discrimination and challenges.
Sometimes, taking a look at history helps you understand the present and you might learn a lot about the problems that these people face today due to systemic racism and biases. This education will expand your mind and you’ll have a clearer understanding to guide you forward.
And, remember, even when you understand how it happened, you have to keep your eyes wide open because these things never show up twice in the same dress. To be there for those in need, you need to arm yourself with factual knowledge of how society came to this point.
9. Involve in work with the immigrants
Find ways to serve those in need.
Many different groups and organizations need a helping hand. Think about your skills and invest our energy in actions that serve a higher purpose.
Immigrants often live in terrible conditions, and even the small things can make a significant difference.
For example, give away the stuff you no longer need to these communities instead of selling them. Or help with the physical work required in their communities.
Many volunteers witnessed how this experience helped them shape themselves to become more open-hearted and gentle with the world around them.
Doing charity work is an enriching experience that will make you see each individual’s beauty and uniqueness. We are all here for each other; that is something we should never forget.
10. Speak Up When You Hear Something Hurtful
Do you know who is almost as responsible as the person who does something bad?
It’s people who stay silent.
Imagine if nobody in the world spoke against acts of hate and discrimination and simply went about their day as if nothing had happened.
Wouldn’t you suddenly feel a lot less safe in the world? Something bad that happened to someone today might happen to you tomorrow! What would you do then if no one stood with you?
Keep this in mind the next time you hear something hurtful.
If you’re in a group and someone makes an inappropriate racial remark, call them out on it. You might not always know the right thing to say when it comes to racism but you can definitely react to the wrong things.
Also, you don’t necessarily have to be hostile. If the other person says something they shouldn’t out of their ignorance, you can calmly educate them about what’s right and what’s not.
11. Engage in transformative events
Sometimes, your mere presence for a cause matters more than you know.
Think about it.
A single person might not seem enough for any given cause but it is the collection of these individuals that takes the form of a mass movement (same as how single drops make an entire ocean).
Throughout history, it has been the people who have collectively led revolutions that brought down old ways of thinking and making a difference.
So, if there is a rally, march, or some other event being organized in the community to raise awareness or to challenge an instance of racism, make sure to attend these events.
And don’t stop at that. Take your friends and family with you. Motivate your neighbors to come too. And tell them all to bring someone they know too. It is the collective will of people that makes stuff happen.
And we certainly need a lot of that to end racism forever.
12. Let your Creativity lead the way
Racism is a problem that asks for creative solutions.
As Einstein said, we cannot search for a solution to a pain in the same place we created it.
To really make a difference, use your imagination.
Allow yourself to think outside of the box and to imagine a world in which there is harmony. All the genius people actually allowed themselves to create their reality. You need to let yourself imagine a vision of a better future for our society and come up with new ways or ideas to stop racism.
Be bold enough to share them with people around you. Those that really want to see this world-changing will be right next to you and help you materialize your longings.
Don’t limit yourself, anyone can contribute !
13. Be Broad Enough – Hear out other perspectives
And when you allow yourself to imagine a better world and support your own vision, find space to help others to do the same.
When we unite, we are much more substantial.
So, hear out other perspectives.
Be broad enough to visualize the dreams of others, too.
Listen to what your friend has to say about this topic. Ask even your mom what her opinion is and how she would solve this problem.
By connecting our thoughts and ideas, we can find a solution for each issue that we face as a society.
14. Encourage people to talk
First of all, you need to be an active member of your community.
What does this mean?
Well, this means being mindful and knowledgeable about what’s going on in your immediate community.
This could be in and around your work and the place you live. That way, you will have an idea of the underrepresented voices and the reason for that underrepresentation.
Sometimes, people might not be courageous or motivated enough to come forward and tell their stories.
They may live their lives accepting racism and other forms of discrimination as the “normal” way of life. Some might even fear the “consequences” of speaking up.
This needs to stop.
And it can only happen if you reach out to them and invite them to hear their perspectives and voices. So, whenever there is a session or a group event, talk to them and inspire them to tell their story!
15. Use Artivism – Art as a beautiful tool to fight racism
One of the most effective ways to fight racism is to create art that supports justice. There is a wonderful term for art that serves as a tool for activism and its “Artivism.”
Art, in any form, is one of the most powerful methods of expressing yourself and spreading any message.
Whether you are an artist, writer, dancer, songwriter, musician, or are involved in any other art form, you can spread the message of equality and justice through your work.
Write a touching piece about why you should care about racism even if it doesn’t affect you. Paint a painting depicting the plight of minority groups. Write a song talking about what a truly equal and just world could look like.
Imagine hundreds and thousands of people speaking up against racism through their artwork.
Imagine these art forms being spread throughout your community, state, or even entire nations!
It could be a powerful form of peaceful movement of the people. Also, you don’t have to be talented in a particular art form to do this. Just do what comes from the heart and it will have the intended effect.
16. Honor other cultures
Be a living example of an anti-racist.
Inspire others with your own model.
In other words, walk your talk.
By researching different cultures, you can cultivate an understanding of diversity.
Diversity is a real blessing for those who can see the beauty in something that is not “theirs.”
To honor other cultures means to explore their music, art, to know what is going on in other countries, to educate yourself on the history of other nations.
Be there for different cultures, be there for diversity. Understand to support.
17. Expose Children & Adults To Other Cultures
One of the most beautiful things about humanity is its diversity.
There are so many cultures, religions, beliefs, languages, and so on. And somehow we are all part of the same civilization that works together for its own advancement.
Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Unfortunately, some people see these differences as hierarchies. They create imaginary levels and then treat people accordingly.
All of this can stop if people of the world are only more knowledgeable about other people’s cultures.
Lack of knowledge gives birth to ignorance. Ignorance gives birth to arrogance. And arrogance leads to inequalities and hatred.
So, it’s vital that children and adults are exposed to various cultures and people. It is important for them to celebrate the differences instead of looking down on them.
This exposure can be done through festivals, art, cultural events, movies, and so on.
18. Be kind to people of all backgrounds
If I could give just one advice to end racism all over the world, I would simply say, “Be a good human being.”
Isn’t that all we need? Wouldn’t that solve a lot of our issues?
If everyone can go about their lives, being kind and respectful to their neighbors and other people they come across, I’m sure racism could be stopped really fast.
After all, it’s all about treating each other right.
It shouldn’t matter what background the other person belongs to for you to determine how you will treat them. Just be nice to everybody!
This is pretty much common sense if you ask me.
So, in your daily life, just perform random acts of kindness for your neighbor. If you can cook, make something delicious for them. Invite them over for a barbecue. Offer to help them with something. Smile heartily when you meet them! It doesn’t take a lot to be nice to someone.
In other words, be kind, without hesitating. Let everybody in whole-heartedly, no matter their color, background, or financial status. Do not make a difference between human beings. Practice acceptance, and everyone shall be accepted in the long run.
19. Become a member of an anti-racist organization
By becoming a member of an anti-racist organization, you directly involve yourself in fighting against the wrong.
There are many anti-racist organizations that work tirelessly to raise awareness about the daily instances of racism faced by BIPOC (blacks, indigenous, and people of color).
They play an active role in speaking against racist people and ensure that they are served justice. They also reach out to the victims of racism and make sure that they are able to heal from their experiences. If you can, you should definitely join and become an active member of organizations like these.
If it is possible for you, you can even start your own anti-racist organization. You could bring together people in your community for this initiative.
20. Call out on racist “humor”
Make sure to recognize when an insult is being wrapped up in bad humor. It is not okay to laugh at jokes which embody supremacy.
It is not funny when people are hurt, and conscious humor should become a part of our society.
Openly fight this kind of unthoughtful way of “having fun.”
21. Talk With Children/Youth About Racism
The world conditions you into certain ways of thinking right from when you are a child.
So, as a responsible parent, guardian, teacher, or a member of the society, you have to actively talk with children and young people about racism, its prevalence, and how it can be combatted with simple actions.
You need to undo the conditioning to make sure that the next generation of people grows up to be just and responsible humans.
If it’s your own children, you can monitor the media channels they use. If possible, you could disallow known propagators of subtle biases and direct them to sources that spread the unfiltered truth.
Teach them about the values of being a good human and the importance of doing the right thing (even if it’s hard). Make sure they learn about fairness and equality from a very early age and practice them in their daily lives.
22. Tell Elected Officials You Care
There are many ways you can reach your elected officials.
It is their job to know what the people in their community want and the many problems they are facing.
They then have to take action accordingly.
When it comes to racism, you can call them, or email them about the various instances of racial discrimination that exist in the community. You can even report your own witnessing of such incidents.
To go a step further, you can motivate other people to talk to the elected officials too, and hold them accountable for their policies.
Imagine if thousands of people in the community call these representatives about how racism can be rooted out. They simply won’t be able to ignore the matter! It is community-led initiatives like these that make lasting change happen.
23. If You Make A Mistake, Admit It, And Ask For Guidance
It is only human to make mistakes.
And as I said earlier, you may have conditioned prejudices in you that you might not be aware of.
So, you might inadvertently say or do something inappropriate and this might hurt the sentiments of BIPOC (blacks, indigenous, and people of color).
If and when you do this, instead of giving excuses for your actions, own up to them.
It is usually a good idea to admit what you’ve done, apologize sincerely for your ignorance, and promise to never repeat your hurtful words or actions.
You could also ask for guidance on things you don’t know about so you don’t make mistakes in the future.
Doing so will make those around you feel better and would serve as an example for others to do the same.
24.Challenge The Colorblind Ideology
Some people live in their imaginary world where they think that racism is an extinct concept and that people of today “don’t see color”.
Maybe they don’t watch the news or surf the internet!
You would be surprised how many people have this misconception. Also, some people believe that we shouldn’t see color or race if we want to end racism.
This is known as the colorblind ideology and contrary to what many believe, it could actually contribute to racism.
You see, to build an equitable society, it is important to acknowledge our differences and make sure that there are equal opportunities for people of all backgrounds.
Now, if you adopt a colorblind ideology, you won’t even see these differences, to begin with.
Ignoring someone’s race is ignoring a major part of who they are and the ethnic background they belong to. It’s a part of their identity and shouldn’t be brushed aside at all! So, you need to be mindful that you acknowledge other people’s backgrounds, color, race, and remain fair and just with them.
25. Invest your money thoughtfully
Your words are not the only way you can take a stand against racism.
You can let your wallet do the talking as well.
There are numerous ways you can do this.
First off, you can spend more at local businesses of racially marginalized and other indigenous people. You can use Google or a state directory to look for these businesses. Motivate others to do the same. This will help these business owners to create better financial standing that will improve their overall quality of life.
Second, if you are an investor in companies, do your research about their practices relating to anti-racism before investing. Learn about which of the anti-racism organizations they are involved with or what donations they make towards this cause.
If more and more people start doing this, it could motivate companies to be thoughtful with their wallets as well!
26. Find Out How Your Company/School Works To Provide Equal Opportunities
Oftentimes, you can start the process of change by questioning how things work where you live, work, or study.
At your workplace, you can try to find out what your company or organization does to provide equal opportunities for all races of people.
In doing so, you can determine if there are any forms of discrimination being perpetuated at your workplace and take action accordingly.
If you are a student, you can do the same at your school or college.
Find out if your institution provides equal opportunities for all races to get admission. You can even talk to your faculty members and find out more about the hiring process of your school/college. This will give you an idea about what your educational institution is doing against racism. If you find inconsistencies, you can call them out on it.
27. Work To Change unfair Policies
Policies are usually used as an excuse to keep perpetuating the same old concept.
This applies to racism as well.
So, it is only obvious that you should work to change any policies that maintain systemic racism.
Any and all policies should be such that they promote equality and fairness. Anything less is unacceptable.
You can begin by challenging unjust policies at your workplace. If BIPOC (blacks, indigenous, and people of color) are getting paid less for the same job as other people, you should take a stand against that.
If they are getting fewer privileges for the same job as the others, speak against that.
Also, make sure that you vote for more qualified BIPOC for public offices so that change can start happening from top to bottom too.
28. Hold Your Family And Friends Accountable
This one is pretty straightforward.
You can ask your family and friends to educate themselves about racism and how it is affecting people around them.
You can correct them if they do or say something wrong. Most people would remain silent if their family members or friends said something inappropriate (especially in public). This has to change.
It is a bit of your responsibility to hold them accountable just as you would hold a stranger accountable for their actions.
Sure, they might feel a little hurt at first, but if you talk to them calmly and show them the error of their ways, they should listen to you.
It is small changes like this that lead to a big change in society. That is why grassroots initiatives matter so much.
29. Expose others to what you have learned
When you raise awareness on this topic, your responsibility is to educate others.
Big or small. Invest your energy in bringing your truth to the table.
Everybody should know what is going on and how brutal our society can be toward certain ethnic groups. Our silence does not defend us. We are the sparkles of change, especially young people.
So, share what you know on your social media, talk to random people and your family and friends, make sure that you are the voice of those that don’t have the privilege to speak up.
30. Be A Role Model
This is sort of a combination of all the above ways.
There is a famous saying that is very apt here.
It goes, “be the change you want to see in the world.”
When you start doing all the things that help stop or end racism, others are likely to take note and be motivated by your efforts. Slowly, people might join you and it could turn into something big and widespread. To change as a society, we badly need this.
Also, we often wait for someone else to lead. But if everyone waits, a leader is never born.
So, take it upon yourself to be a role model – for your neighbors, children, colleagues, random strangers, and so on.
Who knows you could start a positive chain reaction that might bring some real tangible change in society.
Systematic racism exists in all industries and layers of society, from banking and education to the business and art world. It is deeply rooted in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Those most touched by it are black people, Afro-Americans often underrated in their work, mistreated in the criminal justice system, and treated poorly in the health system.
How can we stop racism? By consciously approaching these topics and walking around the world with awareness, you can bring change into every little situation you interact with. Your power is in the domain of your daily life. Start by making a difference in all that you witness and are a part of.
So, ask, listen, create, observe, and speak out loud about things that you find on your path. Be the voice of those that were killed because of supremacy. Be the voice of the person that did not get a fair chance to live her life freely like you do.
Involve, support, and show up for your society!