Journaling prompts for activism and antiracism
Dearest friends and community,
Journaling prompts and discussion topics for antiracism
- What are some of your privileges?
- Examples might include your race, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental health, financial status, or social status.
- What’s something you've gotten away with because of your privilege?
- Think of some things you've done, even by mistake, that a person of color probably wouldn't have gotten away with. Maybe you were given a warning instead of a speeding ticket. Or maybe you forgot your keys one day and had to go through a back window, but no one gave you a second glance. Maybe last time you walked out of a store, your shopping bag accidentally set off the alarms but they waved you through without even checking. Ever gone through security with something that wasn't TSA approved and they let you go through anyway? The list goes on...
- What’s something you accomplished thanks to privilege?
- Examples might be graduating various levels of education, receiving training in sports or other hobbies, or landing a hard-to-get job.
- How can you leverage your privilege and your voice to lift up Black people?
- There's the somewhat viral story of a woman who paid for her groceries via check without showing ID, but the woman behind her who happened to be Black was required to provide two forms of identification. She spoke up and said if that's your policy, why did you let me leave without showing ID? It's a simple story, but it was an example of speaking up for some one else and using your place of privilege to resist a moment of prejudice or profiling. This woman got angry so that the other woman didn't have to play into the stereotype of an angry Black woman. There are so many ways we can use our privilege, but if we infuse this into our everyday lives in small and large ways, perhaps we'll start to challenge the status quo and influence change.
- Is there a time you can remember using your privilege to amplify the voice of a Black or Indigenous person of color? Is there a time you wanted to do so but didn’t? Why or why not?
- How have you tokenized or fetishized Black people or Black culture? How can you appreciate Black culture in a more respectful way?
- On both a systemic level and in microagressions, what racism have you noticed around you? Where might you have been blind and insensitive to the racism around you?
- How can you be more proactive in moving forward?
- How can you use your career and line of work to dismantle racism?
- What field are you in? Take a moment to research five examples of racism in your field, whether you're in medicine, marketing, education... Try googling "examples of racism in [your field]". Pick one example to unpack and learn more about, and compare your findings with your own experience. Talk to your coworkers and learn from each other's experiences and vantage points.
- Identify concrete ways you can affect change, and pick a place to start. Whether it’s through one of your own projects at work or by challenging your work's policies, hiring process, or marketing strategies, there are so many ways you can be a part of the solution.
- How you can you use your passions and personal hobbies to elevate Black and Indigenous people of color and decenter white voices?
- While we're on the topic, diversify the voices in the media you consume. If you're into a certain topic like rock climbing or finance, mix up who you follow on social media, who you listen to on podcasts, the authors of books you read, etc. We all benefit from learning from each other's unique perspectives.
- Do you regularly shop at or support any Black owned businesses or services?
- Try making a list of BIPOC owned businesses you support. When you take an honest look at the places you shop, you might be surprised how few you're aware of or regularly patronize. Or, you might already support a bunch in your area and be able to share that knowledge with friends! From where you get your groceries to the bank you invest your money to the stores you buy your clothes, challenge yourself to find new ways to invest in a more diverse range of businesses. What are some ways you can start conversations with people in your own circle about racism, privilege and prejudice?
- How can you start open and productive conversations with friends, family and colleagues?
- There are some wonderful resources out there for how to talk to your friends or family about racism. It can be difficult to do so in a way that reserves judgement and inspires a new way of thought, but it's possible and it's important. Let's learn from those who came before us and let's take on some of the burden of educating ourselves and talking openly about racism so that others don't have to.
We hope these journaling prompts inspire your activism and get you thinking like they did for us. If you're looking for a new journal, we have some lovely recycled paper notebooks and fountain pens in our journaling collection.