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.”
While you might want to pursue this work on your own, at times it could be helpful to form a group or simply find a buddy who has some interest in the topic. Anti-racism work can be very lonely. If you have or plan to put together a study or action group using materials from this website, click here for useful ground rules and procedures. As you will see, there are 4 main sections: Beginnings, Understanding, Acting, and Becoming. Within each section, there are separate pages with different materials in each. Although you might want to start with the 1st page in “Beginnings” (Definitions) and work your way through each set, no particular order is required. For example, you can choose to do one activity in “Acting” then jump to look at something in “Understanding” and then back again to “Acting.” The “More Resources” section at the bottom of the front page is full of various links. It is updated regularly with new material added often.
The site map, with the link in the footer on all pages and posts, functions as a table of contents. There you will also see a listing of tags. If there is a specific area you’re interested in, click on the tag and it will show you all the posts related to that subject. (Note: site is still in development and some might be missing.) Of course, you can also use the search box in the upper right corner (click on the magnifying glass). If you wish to keep track of your progress, you can print out the site map and check off when that activity is completed or resource utilized.
There should be no charge or money exchanged for the use of these materials beyond what is necessary for covering duplicating the material. FYI, the “support the work” section takes you to “Building Coalitions” which lists a variety of organizations you might consider supporting.
Please note, this is an ongoing project and we value your feedback. Suggestions are essential and they will be used to revise the Toolkit. For this purpose, there is an evaluation form, in the footer (at the very bottom of all pages and posts under the “Please Contact Us” button). It is simply a guide; feel free to share information however/whatever makes sense.
It is expected that discussions will happen, both formal and informal while using this kit. Please let us know how they go and the major points that are generated on the evaluation form. Your group might want to check back in with the T4RJ Toolkit frequently to see the changes and new material that are included based upon feedback or suggestions.