This month, we are diving into the topics of race and racism. Things are probably going to be uncomfortable. There may be some shame, some guilt, some confusion, some anger. And that’s okay. Racial justice should not make you feel good. If it does, we’re probably not doing it right
Both home and abroad, racism continues to negatively impact the lives of people of color. Whether it be through micro-aggressions, implicit bias, or police brutality, it’s all harmful. The United States has a long-standing history of racism. Though it’s taken different forms over the years, it still exists.
Why do we care? What does this have to do with girls' issues around the world?
Issues of race don't just affect our country, they are woven into many situations around the world. Until we start to unmask the problem and have hard conversations to learn about others' points of view, nothing changes. If we want to change the world, we have to start by addressing one issue at the core of much of the injustice in the world.
Because it's so important to us, we created a series of short videos addressing bits and pieces of a complicated topic. This month, watch the first video and talk about it together. Then watch the second one and do the same. Finish with the third one. Together, they add up to the length of one of our usual videos. We just wanted to highlight each point separately. This series will take a couple months but is essential to so much of what we talk about together.
There are lots of resources and activities you can do as well with a troop, your family, or on your own. We encourage you to dive in to as many as you can. Let's talk about it together and start conversations in our communities too. Together, we can start to make a change.
- What are some unique characteristics that you think define you? Are you a dancer? Are you part of a religion or faith? Are you part of a team? Are you part of a family? How would you feel if these unique characteristics were threatened or stereotyped on a day-to-day basis? How would that change you?
- How comfortable are you talking about the topics of race and racism? Why do you think that is?
- How do you personally define racism? Where do you think this definition comes from?
- Do you believe that racism is still a problem today? Why or why not?
- What are some examples of racism that you see today?
- Representation Scavenger Hunt. Gather various media materials (catalogs, children's books, magazines, news clips, etc). Search through the various media for people of color. How are they represented? Are they represented at all? What messages are sent to people who don't see themselves reflected in ads/articles/stories? What messages are sent to adults and children in general who view these ads/articles/stories? What are some common racial and ethnic stereotypes you see portrayed in the media? How can we change these narratives? Discuss your findings and your thoughts with your troop.
- Rewrite the Narrative. Apply what have you learned in the representation scavenger hunt. Create an advertisement that represents a diverse, racial population that is free of racial prejudices and stereotypes. This can be an artist's sketch, a video clip, a diorama, etc. When you’re done, share it with your troop.
- Have a conversation. One of the most important things we can do is talk to one another, and more importantly, listen to one another. The more we hear, believe, understand, and know, the better we become at expanding how we see things. That's important. Start a conversation about what you've learned so far. See what others have to say.
Remember: What can YOU do today to make a difference? The answers to many challenges lie in you. What can you do to help the girls around you and the girls around the world? Give a presentation to your class? Start a conversation on social media? Host a fundraiser? Whether you do something big or small, YOU can make a difference.
- Video: Two friends getting brutally honest with each other about race.
- For more information about unconscious racial bias, check out this this video.
- Check out this video to hear one woman of color’s experience of going to the grocery store and another of her experience of going to the movies.
- Tim Wise on how African Americans are portrayed in the media
- The Unequal Opportunity Race
- We are big fans of the Netflix documentary, 13th. Check out the trailer here! Consider watching the film with your family.
- 5 tips for being an ally
- #BlackLivesMatter vs #AllLivesMatter & Checking My White Privilege
- Explaining White Privilege To A Broke White Person
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
- Leader Resource: Classroom Activity
- Leader Resource: Race Literacy Quiz
- Leader Resource: Social Inequity Activity
- Self-check Quiz: Inequality and Social Issues