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HOW TO BE AN ALLY

This Google doc has 11 pages of ideas for white people who want to help after Charlottesville

AP Photo/Craig Ruttle
Speak up. Stand up.
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

In the wake of the white supremacist violence that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, Aug. 12, a lot of Americans are trying to figure out what they can do to stand up to racism and bigotry. Now an open-source Google document—currently running 11 pages—is available for anyone trying to figure out where to start.

Micaela Suminski, a white anti-racism activist, started the document with the goal of compiling a series of links and suggestions for Americans who want to be effective allies to people of color.

“I knew that there was going to be an outpouring of people being outraged [on social media],” Suminski, who works in higher education in Washington, DC, told Quartz. But as is often the case, she suspected that “a lot of white people would post but not do anything about it.” Her intent was to channel outrage toward productive channels.

The Google document is a collaborative effort: She accepts tips and comments from readers, so long as they are consistent with the document’s message. Suggested actions include:

  • Taking steps to replicate Charlottesville’s legislation to remove the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee across US cities and towns
  • Donating to or collaborating with anti-hate projects including ProPublica’s hate-crime tracker Documenting Hate
  • Getting into uncomfortable but necessary conversations about racism. The document recommends: “Talk to your racist parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, whatever about why their racism affects you, others, and people you care about […] Help them fix their racism. It’s your job.” 

The list, which continues to be updated and expanded, also includes links to several civil rights organizations in Virginia and to the crowdfunding accounts to cover medical costs for the people injured in the clashes.

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