Ideas for Supporting Our Black, POC, and Indigenous Friends and Neighbors

Sign in to save article

This post is part of a series in which we asked writers for their thoughts on allyship and combating racism.

In the midst of COVID-19, as the world quieted and we looked to our own families for a time, a space was created for voices oft unheard. Voices speaking of another virus, more silent and deadly — systemic racism.

As many of us have struggled to understand where this came from, and why now of all times is this coming "to light," I found myself with a jumble of thoughts and feelings, as well. The most overpowering thought that occurred was this: Am I racist simply because I am white?

To answer that question, we need to look at ourselves — to dig into the deep recesses of our hearts and root out anything that might appear or truly is racist. We must as a people look into our own hearts and change the only thing we can change — ourselves.

So I did what many Black voices were asking us to do, and I listened. I listened to the news, I listened to social media posts by Black voices, and I listened to those I personally know.

Started with a Phone Call

It started with a phone call to a lady I attend church with. What might she be going through? How can I be there for her? So, I simply asked.

“​How are you?”​

“​Scared.​”

“​What do you need me to know?​”

“​Here’s a ​link.​”

“​How can I do better?”​

“​Listen​.”

She told me about her Black teenage son and the worry she has for him. Worries that as a white woman will never cross my mind.

Then I called my cousin. A white woman, daughter of a former police officer, and married to a Black man. I listened to their stories. I learned that I will never feel the need to befriend police officers the same day I move into a new town. I will never be questioned about my pregnancy because my husband is not a Black man.

I felt my eyes and my heart open to stories from people I loved. How could I stop there?

What next?

There is only so much we can do at a time. In my home we value education and knowledge. So I started with my bookshelf. I had recently purchased a book by a Black author — Afia Atakora. But how many other books did I have by Black voices?

I pulled about 10 books from my shelves that were either about Black Americans or written by Black Americans. In a home with well over a couple hundred books, that is a small amount. But it was a start.

We began by reading Donovan’s Word Jar as a family. Bud, Not Buddy was given to my 7th grader to read on her own. I downloaded My Vanishing Country by Bakari Sellers and listened to it while cleaning the house.

In essence, I connected. To my family, to my friends, and to my fellow countrymen. I listened to their stories, and I couldn’t help but love them.

I implore you, reader, to listen and read. Listen to the voices crying out in pain. Even if you can’t see the cause of the pain — listen to their stories. For it is through listening and changing ourselves that the real change will occur.

Tags: Friends, BIPOC

Sign in to save article
Share

Written By

Adelina Priddis

Adelina is a loving (and very busy) mother to 5 children from teen to toddler... See Full Bio

CircleAround will make financial distributions to benefit current Girl Scouts: the next generation of trailblazers who will CircleAround after us. So CircleAround for inspiration, and CircleAround the leaders of tomorrow. CircleAround is owned by One GS Media, a subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA.

Love this article?

Sign up for the newsletter to get the best of CircleAround delivered right to your inbox.

Welcome
to our circle.

CircleAround will make financial distributions to benefit the next generation of trailblazers who will CircleAround after us.

So CircleAround for inspiration, and the leaders of tomorrow.

About Us