Three Tips on How to Be An Antiracist Ally
As part of the Sacramento Kings pledge to the Black community and in pursuit of continued education, the team hosted its third Diversity & Inclusion Council Team Member Forum via Microsoft Teams on Thursday to discuss the importance of antiracism in the pursuit of systemic change.
The forum featured CEO of en masse Consulting Albert E. Smith and was hosted by Kings Vice President of Digital & Content Andrew Nicholson, who also serves on the organization’s D&I Council.
Smith, who has advised global companies such as Target and Universal, described an antiracist as a person who’s taking day-to-day action.
“Someone who’s aware of and who actively works to dismantle and eradicate racism at the institutional, structural, interpersonal and internal level,” said the en masse Consulting founder. “Why within those domains? Because it’s where racism is operationalized.”
“You do antiracist work through voting, lobbying, protesting, blogging, writing and speaking up. You do it in what you teach your children about these topics. You do it in the conversations you’re having with friends and passersby alike. You do it in what you read and what you watch.”
In doing something at the company level, Smith referenced the value of an organization committing to enlarging its inclusion acumen and understandings around difference, and to become very considerate of the particularities of people of color and, specifically, Black people within the context of the U.S. and beyond.
During the hour-long session, Smith encouraged those in attendance seeking to be allies to Black people to start by looking within.
“We often try to change the world first – neglecting to change ourselves – so if you want to change the world, change yourself first.”
In a country and society where systemic racism is prevalent and everyday, Smith reminded, “resistance demands persistence.”
He also encouraged team members that even slow progress in what feels like a never-ending fight is crucial.
“You alone will not be able to solve the race issue, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact,” he said. “This is a process I’m committed to – to create a brighter future for people who come after me.”
To close out the conversation, the D&I leader offered up three pieces of advice for non-Black people looking to take the appropriate initial steps to being an ally.
“Speak up,” said Smith. “Speak up when you are a witness to behaviors or attitudes that disregard Black life – in your job, in your homes, and in your communities. Be a continuous learner – learn as much as you possibly can. Take thoughtful risk in opening yourself up to the possibility of being vulnerable and sharing your own story.”
For additional resources on antiracism, visit Kings.com/blm.