People of color are encouraged to look through this toolkit to provide feedback, analysis, insight, constructive criticism, or anything else they feel like saying. Beyond guilt, shame, blame, denial, and resistance, the Toolkit endeavors to be helpful in examining how white people can take responsibility for challenging specific forms of privilege, supremacist attitudes, and prejudice.
The idea is that this is a growing, living, dynamic Project with things being added or changed on a regular basis so check back often. In particular, resources are updated regularly. Our hope is that all walk away with improved skills in talking about race and race privilege and its consequences.
A Letter [about this Healing Racism Toolkit] from a Victim of Discrimination Who Loves His Fellow Man and Woman
This kit was put together with love and a concern for victims who have been hurt badly by all the forms that racial discrimination may take. This kit can help us look at these acts of “man’s inhumanity to man.” And if we discriminate against another person in any way the kit can help us realize we must treat all human beings the same way we want to be treated, as well as the way we want our loved ones treated.
This kit will also give those who know that all forms of discrimination against others are wrong, a chance to work actively toward the elimination of all forms of discrimination against others. It will help you not just look at the problems that exist in our communities but can be a way to correct the problem in our homes.
As a black man, it gives me hope to know that white people are working to eliminate their own sick racist beliefs and actions. This kit will also help to reduce and eliminate other forms of discrimination.
“Keeping the dream alive”
James Varner felt inspired to write the pledge after the killing of James Earl Bird. As James Varner explains in his article Walking in My Shoes: “Walking in My Shoes”
“After the James Earl Bird murder, I cried for four days and couldn’t sleep because what happened to James Earl Bird could happen to me and almost did on two occasions but worst of all this is that it could happen to one of my three sons and even my lovely daughter April Joy Varner. On one of my sleepless nights at about 3 AM I went down to my dining room table and the Lord gave me the pledge to undo racism and discrimination in Maine and America.”
See his article here “Walking in My Shoes.”
The purpose of this work for racial justice is not to take anything away from anyone. Instead of removing anyone’s opportunities, these resources are designed with the goal of creating the ability for everyone to equally realize their full potential. This will make it possible to give to everyone a true beloved community.
The opposition to learning about racism, or to an organization putting up a Black Lives Matter sign, etc. is framed in a wide variety of ways. If any of this seem familiar, if you are interested in how to interact with people who believe these sorts of things or just want to learn something new, this study guide presents short, bite size pieces of information (5-10 minutes read) that has proved to be successful.
This is a Step-by Step guide to get you started exploring the Healing Racism Toolkit. After this you might want to jump into the full site including the content listed under Beginning, Understanding, Acting and Becoming. There is also a “More Tools” section at the bottom of the front page is full of various links.