Nine Suggestions to White Friends for Addressing Racism

  1. Acknowledge your own racism and the racism in the Religious Society of Friends. Acknowledge your own goodness and that of other whites, even racist ones.
  2. Do not seek to distance yourself from the "bad" whites and be one of the "good" ones. We are all good ones, but we all have some racism. Answer the spark of God in everyone.
  3. Don’t make people of color do all the work of advocating for themselves or educating whites. Actively take on the issue yourself or, at a minimum, be supportive.
  4. Examine yourself prayerfully and honestly.
  5. Be ready to listen without defenses and create opportunities for people of color to tell you about their experiences. Even if you do not perceive something as racism, accept that others may be better able to recognize it than you are and consider the possibility that their perceptions are legitimate.
  6. Don’t expect other groups to do all the changing to fit into your way of doing things.
  7. Develop relationships with people of color and expose yourself to other cultures. Experience being in the minority.
  8. Mistakes are usually better than no action. It is important to persist—and to take responsibility to clean up your mistakes.
  9. You might feel ignorant, awkward, and that you are doing everything wrong, but it is still worth doing; and at some point you will be doing more and more right.