Advancing Social Justice During Black History Month
As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, many people are wondering how they can best take part and make meaningful change. At Points of Light, we’ve found tremendous capacity for widespread, systemic change beginning with small actions taken by many individuals.
Here are a few ideas about how to get involved in Black History Month, as well as some of our recently published resources to provide additional context and education. We’ve also highlighted a few individuals who have used their voice to advance equity and justice.
Educational Resources for Black History Month
The first step in driving change is ensuring you’re educated on the topics at hand. Identify resources that will help you approach the issue from an aware standpoint. Education helps those of us contributing to the cause to confront stereotypes and biases we might be operating with. It reframes racism’s history and its influence on our everyday lives and honors the lived experiences of the people we’re attempting to help, creating greater empathy.
In January, Points of Light hosted Anneliese A. Singh, Ph.D., LPC, author, professor and Associate Provost for Diversity and Faculty Development at Tulane University, in our monthly Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism conversation. Dr. Singh, along with speaker Doug Osborne, M.A., health educator, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, helped raise our race-consciousness by challenging stereotypes, reframing the history of racism and its impact on our lives, and sharing why healing from racism is an integral part of dismantling it. You can watch the discussion and access the list of associated resources here.
On Feb. 25, Points of Light will host its next Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism discussion about the dynamics and importance of academic institutions, in collaboration with historically Black colleges and universities and other civic and corporate organizations, in preparing the next generation of social justice-oriented leaders. Register here and join us live.
The Power of Voice in Anti-Racist Efforts
Massive change doesn’t happen overnight. It almost always culminates in a communal effort of small, individual actions that move the needle of progress forward. In our efforts to eliminate systemic racism and create a just and equitable society, using your individual and collective voice matters. Speaking up and speaking out through words and actions can make an impact on others and advocate for the cause.
Last month, we released the second issue of Civic Life Today, a digital magazine examining the multitude of ways people can live a civically engaged life. This issue examines voice, including how to advance a cause you care about by using your voice in many ways. You can read the issue here.
If you’re looking for how to get involved in ways to use your voice for causes that affect Black and brown people, be inspired by individuals using their voice to advocate for racial equity. Every weekday, Points of Light highlights a Daily Point of Light honoree, an individual doing extraordinary things in their community. Here are a few who have used their voice for racial justice:
Brandon Griggs from Jacksonville, Florida, is using his voice to advocate for computer and internet access for all students. Brandon established his “Hear the Youth” program in Duval County Public School District after experiencing his own roadblocks in accessing the tools he needed for schoolwork.
Nolan Smith in Durham, North Carolina, is working to raise awareness about injustices black and brown communities suffer across services including health care and education, and lack of access to essential resources and food by volunteering his time and effort through BLAST, which stands for “Building Leaders for A Solid Tomorrow,” as well as the Brotherhood Focus Group.
How to Get Involved During Black History Month
Interested in doing more?
- Nominate a Daily Point of Light in your life who is working to advance social justice.
- Visit our Listen. Learn. Act to End Racism site for past conversations and more resources.
- Head over to engage.pointsoflight.org for volunteer opportunities.