We’re at a pivotal moment in American history.
In the middle of a deadly pandemic that has disproportionately impacted Black and Brown people and led to economic devastation on the scale of the Great Depression, we’re seeing thousands upon thousands of people risk their bodies and their lives all over the country to protest the lynching of George Floyd and the systems that brought it about. After centuries of state-sponsored violence against Black bodies, after so many promises to reform the system have come and gone, enough is enough. We must eradicate white supremacy and root out systemic racism everywhere. Now.
But how? What comes next? Many of us want to know what we can do in this moment. First off, it’s worth stating the obvious: There is no magic solution. But we think education and action lead to transformation, and while the work of building a more fair and just America will never end, these 10 suggestions are a good place to start.
- Take action and become a member and supporter of our partner, Color of Change: Text DEMANDS to 55156.
- Listen to 1619, the New York Times podcast hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones that traces how slavery has transformed America.
- VOTE. Hold election officials accountable and VOTE, and then encourage your friends and family to VOTE.
- Financially support those groups that are on the front lines fighting against police brutality and for civil rights and racial justice.
- Ava DuVernay, the award-winning filmmaker of Selma and 13th, encouraged white people to talk to other white people about racism: “White people talking to white people. More of this please. If you’re white and you believe yourself not to be racist, yet you don’t talk to your white friends like this or stand up beyond tweets for Black people... you simply aren’t who you think you are.”
- Call out racism. Talk to your friends and family who make racist remarks—especially in private—and let them know that you have no tolerance for hate speech and that there should be none in our society.
- Believe Black people and promote their agendas. Listen to the concerns and demands of Black activists in your community. And use your voice and privilege to echo their calls for action and push their agendas to public officials
- Watch Just Mercy, the powerful movie about the work of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson. You can rent Just Mercy for free in June through a variety of digital movie services in the US, including Apple TV, FandangoNow, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, Redbox, the PlayStation Store, Vudu, Microsoft, and YouTube.
- Sign up for updates from, and donate financially to, our local partner, Vermonters for Criminal Justice Reform.
- Hold our company and those who lead it accountable for continuing to make progress on our own internal equity work and our efforts to create a more diverse and equitable employee base, supply chain, and franchise system.
- Get involved with SURJ (Showing up for Racial Justice), a national network that moves white people to act as part of a multiracial majority for justice with passion and accountability.
- Make yourself uncomfortable, know that you will make mistakes, that you might say the wrong thing. That’s OK, but don’t let that stop you from speaking up—silence is not an option. Just keep learning and listening. Commit yourself to this forever work.