Sometimes the weight of the world’s problems can seem so daunting, it’s hard to even know where to start, and to retreat into our comfort zone. It’s common to think, “I’m just one person, what can I possibly do?” and let that be an excuse for inaction. Feelings of guilt, shame, and fear may arise, and it’s important to acknowledge them, but don’t let them paralyze you and get in the way of moving forward. Use these feelings as fuel for reflection, personal growth, and action. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are some places to start. Commit to doing just one thing this week.
Start local. Think about what you can do right in your home, on your block, and in your community.
Talk with your kids. Have age-appropriate conversations with your kids about race, racism, and what’s going on around the country to prepare them to work towards racial justice.
Organize. Organize a group to address racism and inclusion, a workshop, discussion group, or peace vigil in your city/town. Organize a block party and get to know your neighbors. This is how bridges are built and common values are discovered.
Get involved in local politics. Local governments make decisions that affect our everyday lives. Start by attending city/town meetings. Learn the systems, how decisions get made, and who the influencers are.
Find a buddy, an accounta-bilibuddy if you will, to support each other and hold one another accountable to your commitments.
Always keep learning. The journey to peace, love, and justice is a lifelong process that requires us to dig deep within ourselves, with ongoing reflection and support from others.
Take risks. Taking risks means talking about race, racism, and white privilege with friends, family, and co-workers. Taking risks means getting outside of your comfort zone. It means making mistakes, learning, and then keep going. We cannot let making mistakes prevent us from continuing our work. There’s just too much at stake.