BEING AN ALLY REQUIRES BEING AN ANTI-RACIST:
11 SUGGESTED ACTIONS TOWARD ANTI-RACISM IN THE OFFICE AND ON YOUR OWN
Written by the UC Davis Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; based on the Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s Anti-Racism and DEI Action Plan. Contributions made by UC Davis Constituent Groups: African American Faculty and Staff Association, Asian Pacific American Systemwide Alliance, Chancellor’s Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Queer, Intersex, and Asexual Issues, Latinx Staff and Faculty Association, Native American Faculty and Staff Association, and the Veteran Constituency Group. “Being an Ally Requires Being an Anti-Racist” is a phrase from an open letter, written by Valencia G. Scott, that was published on the DEI website on May 30, 2020. You can download a PDF version of this page here.
1. ADDRESS STRUCTURAL RACISM AND INEQUITIES INTERNALLY
Diversify your department to reflect that of the local community and California. Diversifying a unit is necessary for creating equity across departments, but this alone is not sufficient. Adopt best practices for representation and inclusion offered in the UCOP Implicit Bias Series. For more information on why having diverse teams is important, see Mannix and Neale, “What Differences Make a Difference?” (2005).
Use Holistic Review for recruitment. For faculty recruitment tools, visit Strength through Equity and Diversity (STEAD); for graduate student recruitment tools, visit The AMIGA Project; for staff recruitment tools, visit UC Davis Human Resources. Additional information on holistic reviews and their effectiveness, see Artinian, Drees, Glazer, Harris, Kaufman, Lopez, and Michaels, “Holistic Admissions in the Health Professions” (2017).
Participate in a 21-day anti-racism challenge as a department. Here are three challenges to choose from:
- Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
- Racial Equity Protest and Rebellion Challenge
- MooreSelfCare Challenge
Ask your DEI task force (recommended below) to develop a DEI strategic plan with accountability measures, aligned with the organization’s DEI Strategic Plan. For examples, please see UC Davis’ Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Vision and campus-wide strategic plan, “To Boldly Go.”
Empower your DEI advisory committee and leadership to define other needs and strategies and ensure that the implementation is shared by the entire department.
2. CREATE OR EXPAND ANTI-RACISM AND OTHER TOPICS PROMOTING DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION AS PART OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNITY BUILDING EFFORTS
Initiate a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion lecture and discussion series and make it available to your organization and general community members. Some examples include:
Coping as a Community Webinar Series: Interviews with experts on coping and healing from a diversity, equity, and anti-racism perspective.
Racial Healing Circles: Dialogue with others in a setting that centers safety and the healing process.
Campus Community Book Project (CCBP): Attend events and participate in book discussions (i.e. Interprofessional Book Club discussions). Sponsor events in support of the CCBP.
UCOP Managing Implicit Bias Online Series: For more information on the importance of understanding our internal bias and its effects, see Uhlmann and Cohen, “I think it, therefore it’s true (2007).
Provide educational seminars/workshops for all organization members devoted to anti-racism and other DEI topics, in support of community building. For more information about how organizations can support black employees and its workforce around bias, racism and inclusivity, see Carter, “Restructure Your Organization to Actually Advance Racial Justice” (2020).
Provide in-depth training/education and connect training as a part of individual development plan to all organization members. The UC Davis Diversity & Inclusion Education and Training unit offers workshops, trainings, presentations, courses, seminars and other educational initiatives that enhance our understanding of and appreciation for the diversity that makes up our campus community. For more information on the importance of community building, visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture Smithsonian Resources.
Avoid asking the same people within your organization. Ensure opportunities for diverse members to participate and recognize/incentivize participation, i.e. connect to annual performance review supporting the Principles of Community. It is not reasonable for the few underrepresented members to give workshops to every department or the same individuals to always deliver the workshop.
Allocate time for your faculty and staff to participate in learning opportunities. If there are limitations in attending events, bring the training/speaker to your department to mitigate barriers for participation.
Schedule a retreat that is dedicated or themed to supporting educational excellence in diversity, equity and inclusion.
Leaders: learn and model participation by attending DEI events as well—this sends a strong message of support of DEI initiatives and enhances DEI-informed decision-making and initiatives.
3. RECRUIT-DEVELOP-EMPOWER LEADERS
Support positions dedicated to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. These positions can lead DEI initiatives in support of implementing the UC Davis Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Vision. For additional resources, visit recruitment tools at UC Davis Human Resources’s page.
Establish a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force or working group that is supported by and partners with department/organization leadership. Include faculty or experts from ethnic studies departments, while also being mindful of their workloads. Time and resources should be provided to engage in this work. For more information on task forces, see the UC Davis Hispanic Serving Institution Task Force and Next Generation Reforms to Advance Campus Safety Task Force.
4. ADDRESS STRUCTURAL RACISM AND INEQUITIES EXTERNALLY (ADDRESSING STRUCTURAL RACISM AND INEQUITIES MUST ALSO TAKE PLACE OUTSIDE OF OUR WORKPLACES FOR REAL CHANGE TO BE EFFECTIVE)
Focus on your organization’s role and partnerships in your community and in the field of higher education. Leverage your community and public presence to improve awareness of the serious impact of racism, violence, food insecurity, and poverty.
Work as part of an Anchor Institution Coalition that involves Aggie Square, Sacramento State University, Los Rios Community College, Office of Government Relations, Office of Campus Community Relations, local government, and others to synergize and amplify your impact.
Work with the Procurement Office to increase local purchasing of goods from women, and minority-owned businesses. For more information about the effectiveness of supporting local diverse buesinesses, see Herring, “Does Diversity Pay?” (2009).
Participate in a sponsorship committee to support sponsorship of local community organizations and businesses that are vital to underserved communities. Sponsorship requests are reviewed quarterly by members of the multi-departmental Sponsorship Committee.
Develop a system to track resources flowing into your local community and the hiring and promotion of a local workforce.
Leverage your training and development resources to support local training needs of women or minority-owned businesses and community organizations. For example, providing cultural competence training sessions. For more some specific examples which could be applied more broadly, Hoffman and Stallworth, “Leveling the Playing Field,” (2008).
Create a Community Advisory Board of members from surrounding communities who are representative of their neighborhoods with a focus on historically underrepresented residents.
Collaborate with organizational leadership and members involved in community engagement to inform community engagement efforts. For further information or opportunities, visit the Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement.
Bringing on diverse and local communities can improve the understanding of the local community needs. Prioritize diversity and local community experience in the hiring process.
Work with diverse local vendors for events, conferences, etc. where possible. This can include purchasing art and signage from diverse local vendors – purchasing from diverse local vendors can have benefits with improving the inclusiveness of your work environment.
Participate and support local community sponsored events, particularly where your presence brings greater awareness to the impact of racism and other social inequities on your area of work.
Support and organize volunteerism in free initiatives and other community efforts that support diverse and underserved communities.
Support community-based participatory and other models of community engaged research (see Action 6. Research Best Practices for additional information).
5. EDUCATE YOURSELF AND REFLECT
Educate yourself on racial injustice and related issues. Additional resources are available through the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and the Association of American Medical Colleges. For more information on why we need to educate ourselves and how to do so, see Lamont, “Guide to Allyship” (2020).
Continue to reflect on your privilege, power, and identity. Give fearless attention to the history of racism, to contexts where race continues to be used as a wedge issue, and to good examples of aspiring ally-ship, advocacy, or solidarity between your community and historically marginalized communities. For more information on the importance of reflecting on privilege, understanding internal bias and good allyship, see McIntosh, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” (1990).
Interrupt acts of bias in the workplace. Becoming an ally requires action and it is important to practice how we constructively stop acts of bias/hate, such as intervening, delegating and distracting and learning the four basic levels of becoming an ally. See also UC Davis’ Human Resource page, Working together to support a diverse workforce.
Familiarize yourself with the resources available to you in support of your learning. This includes the Vice Chancellor’s Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Student Community Centers.
Report incidents of hate/bias to Report Hate and Bias and to Harassment and Discrimination Assistance and Prevention Program.
6. RESEARCH BEST PRACTICES
Adopt the Principles of Community Engagement in your research projects (NIH 2011, Principles of Community Engagement 2nd edition). As stated in pages 58-62:
Before starting a community engagement effort…
Be clear about the purposes or goals of the engagement effort and the populations and/or communities you want to engage.
Become knowledgeable about the community’s culture, economic conditions, social networks, political and power structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with efforts by outside groups to engage it in various programs. Learn about the community’s perceptions of those initiating the engagement activities.
For engagement to occur, we recommend you to…
Go to the community, establish relationships, build trust, work with the formal and informal leadership, and seek commitment from community organizations and leaders to create processes for mobilizing the community.
Remember and accept that collective self-determination is the responsibility and right of all people in a community. No external entity should assume it can bestow on a community the power to act in its own self-interest.
For engagement to succeed…
Partnering with the community is necessary to create change and improve health.
All aspects of community engagement must recognize and respect the diversity of the community. Awareness of the various cultures of a community and other factors affecting diversity must be paramount in planning, designing, and implementing approaches to engaging a community.
Community engagement can only be sustained by identifying and mobilizing community assets and strengths and by developing the community’s capacity and resources to make decisions and take action.
Organizations that wish to engage a community as well as individuals seeking to effect change must be prepared to release control of actions or interventions to the community and be flexible enough to meet its changing needs.
Community collaboration requires long-term commitment by the engaging organization and its partners.
Build partnerships with diverse community stakeholders and maintain it over time. Tools such as Mercer, Green et al, “Reliability-Tested Guidelines for Assessing Participatory Research Projects” (2008) can help periodically assess the functioning of these partnerships.
Use Asset Identification, which identifies community assets and strengths, to build on community, academic, and other partner’s strengths in studying and addressing shared concerns.
Use approaches and processes that reflect local community culture and ways of doing things. These include considerations such as who are the local (informal) leaders? Where do people gather? What places or organizations hold special meaning for community members and are therefore good potential “homes” for research processes.
Register to vote and encourage others to do the same. Systemic changes that address racial injustice and social inequity starts in the voting booth. People who are incarcerated, on parole, with felony conviction histories, or undocumented are unable to vote. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that people who have the privilege to vote do so. The elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system usually work at the state and local levels, so be sure to vote for elected officials who stand for the changes you want to see.
For voter registration information, visit https://www.usa.gov/voter-registration
For local or state election information, visit https://www.usa.gov/election-office
For California voting information, visit https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/.
Information on voting by mail can be found at https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/vote-mail/vbm-other-elections/#apply
§ COVID-19 Update On May 8, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-64-20, which, among other things, orders the November 3, 2020, General Election (Presidential Election) to be conducted as an all-mail ballot election. Accordingly, all registered voters in California will receive a vote-by-mail ballot in the mail prior to the election.
8. SPREAD THE WORD AND DONATE, FUNDRAISE, OR CREATE EVENTS
Fundraise online, donate business proceeds or create events for organizations that work on police violence, police accountability, and against the criminalization of black communities. (See the organizations below which need support)
Spread the word on protests, actions, events, and demands through social media, text, email, phone and in-person. For suggestions from UC Davis Constituent Groups on some organizations and ways to plug in and share information, visit the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website.
9. SUPPORT BUSINESSES
Purchase from businesses owned by people of color. By purchasing and investing locally, partnering with local businesses, we can help to generate wealth that stays and grows within those communities and also help offset the history of systemic financial inequities. You can find businesses owned by people of color in your area by conducting an internet search. For example, here is a list of Sacramento black-owned businesses and a list ofSacramento black-owned restaurants.
10. SUPPORT EVENTS AND MEETINGS
Support or organize healing justice events. Create space to facilitate these practices with others. For more information on coping mechanisms and how healing justive events help, see the visit the Black Lives Matter “Healing in Action” toolkit and websites of the below organizations for additional resources.
These local organizations offering support and healing circles:
- Black Lives Matter Sacramento
- NAACP Sacramento
- Hollaback - Anti-harassment Training
- Anti Police-Terror Project
- Showing up for Racial Justice, California chapters
- Coming to the Table
- Compassionate Sacramento
- Sacramento Black Community Healing Circles
- Roberts Family Development Center
- Black Child Legacy Campaign
Attend planning meetings or strategy calls for anti-police violence and anti-criminalization organizations. Resources for preventing and addressing police abuse can be found at the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion website.
11. ENGAGE IN DISCUSSION
Engage in discussions around race, social injustice and reform with people, even those who disagree with you. Have discussions with family and friends. Get curious, ask questions and avoid judgement. For guidance, visit: Start Conversations: Beginners Guide To Confronting Implicit Bias.
Encourage your place of work, and companies that you are a customer of, to take anti-racist actions, as outlined in the section above.
Play a leadership role in bringing educational opportunities that promote DEI to your organization, including anti-racism education.
Artinian, N. T., Drees, B. M., Glazer, G., Harris, K., Kaufman, L. S., Lopez, N., . . . Michaels, J. (2017, June 12). Holistic Admissions in the Health Professions: Strategies for Leaders. Retrieved September 03, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5708588/.
Summary: Colleges and universities are seeking strategies that will help them increase diversity in the student populations and, consequently, future professionals. This article briefly discusses how using holistic review and admission processes can help – and has helped - achieve diversity goals, improving educational environment, increased engagement, cooperation, teamwork, and openness to perspectives different to their own.
Carter, E. (2020, June 22). Restructure Your Organization to Actually Advance Racial Justice. Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://hbr.org/2020/06/restructure-your-organization-to-actually-advance-racial-justice.
Summary: Carter recognizes that the U.S. is at a turning point in which the scale of recognition of systematic racism and allyship is different – to the point organizations want to support black employees as well as upskill the workforce around bias, racism and inclusivity. Carter explains that real commitment should include three things: 1) Invest in the right employee education about realities and inequities, awareness and accountability. 2) Build connection and community to promote sense of belonging and prevent harm by “othering” of black employees. 3) Go beyond recruiting/hiring and evaluate where racial disparities are as well as focusing on helping employees grow into leadership positions.
Community Building. (2020, July 20). Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race/topics/community-building.
Summary: This article describes community building as central to conversations about identity and equity since it allows others to share anti-racist work and share our social identities and experiences. By doing this, we can purposefully create a community with a shared goal that can deepen relationships, promote belonging, and provide support and wellbeing to members. It also provides a list of suggested guidelines on creating community agreements, ground rules, safe spaces and multiple videos from PBS and Ted Talks.
Healing in Action: A toolkit for Black Lives Matter Healing Justice & Direct Action. (n.d.). Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://blacklivesmatter.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/BLM_HealingAction_r1.pdf.
Summary: As more people engage in direct action towards change and the current political air requires the doubling of efforts, there is a need to create a space to fortify the energy used, analyze and process trauma, build resilience, and take care of each other. This package provides a list of healing practices that can be done individually or in a group to help deal with the emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects prior, during, and after actions.
Herring, C. (2009). Does Diversity Pay?: Race, Gender, and the Business Case for Diversity. American Sociological Review, 74(2), 208-224. doi:10.1177/000312240907400203.
Summary: In this article, Herrings claims that a diverse workforce is generally beneficial for businesses compared to prior ideas that diversity can be nonconsequential or detrimental. It discusses the value of diversity, and provides multiple hypothesis as well as a full explanation of the quantitative approach to his conclusion.
Hoffman, D. A., & Stallworth, L. E. (2008). Leveling the Playing Field for Workplace Neutrals: A Proposal for Achieving Racial and Ethnic Diversity. Dispute Resolution Journal, 63(1), 36-46.
Summary: This article is very specific to dispute resolution in union or non-union workplace disputes. The authors admit that there conscious and unconscious forms of racial/ethnic bias that resulted in less minority neutrals in workplace disputes. However, they also offer a series of solutions that may also be applicable to other workspaces such as educating staff in conscious and unconscious bias, developing a system of accountability and creating national/regional panels of minority neutrals to increase availability, visibility, acceptance.
Lamont, A. (n.d.). Guide to Allyship. Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://guidetoallyship.com/.
Summary: This short guide provides a series of starting points to become a better ally in many different aspects including regarding racism, transphobia, gender driscrimination, and more. It includes an explanation on what is an ally, why are they necessary, a list of do’s and don’ts, how to handle mistakes and even the option to contribute to help improve the guide.
Mannix, E., & Neale, M. A. (2005). What Differences Make a Difference?: The Promise and Reality of Diverse Teams in Organizations. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 31-55.
Summary: In this article, both Mannix and Neale discuss and clarify the mixed effects of diversity in workgroups, and focus on the benefits of exploring bridging diversity through values, goals, and enhancing the power of minority. They also include suggestions for how organizations can learn to create incentives for change.
McIntosh, P. (1990). White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/mcintosh.pdf.
Summary: This essay is an excerpt from Working Paper 189. "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming To See Correspondences through Work in Women's Studies" (1988) by Peggy McIntosh. This excerpted essay is reprinted from the Winter 1990 issue of Independent School. In this excerpt, McIntosh discusses the unacknowledged male privilege as a phenomenon and how white privilege is similar, and her own reflection. It provides a list of daily effects of white privilege that often go unknown unless thought of or mentioned.
New Study Finds Holistic Admissions Diversifies Health Pro Schools. (n.d.). Retrieved September 03, 2020, from https://www.nimhd.nih.gov/news-events/features/training-workforce-dev/holistic-admissions.html.
Summary: In this article, the NIMHD discusses the effectiveness and positive impact on diversity, student success and academics after holistic admissions process. Although mostly focusing on medical, dental, pharmacy, nursing, and public health schools, it discusses the increase in diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, experience, socioeconomic status and perspective, community engagement and openness.
Uhlmann, E. L., & Cohen, G. L. (2007). “I think it, therefore it’s true”: Effects of self-perceived objectivity on hiring discrimination. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 104(2), 207-223. doi:10.1016/j.obhdp.2007.07.001.
Summary: This article covers the idea of bias –how people assume own beliefs are valid and therefore worthy of being acted on and how it increased gender discrimination among decision makers who endorse stereotypic beliefs or thoughts. It also discusses how this psychological licensing that explains the persistence of discrimination in organizations despite personal or institutional pressures.