There is often criticism directed at organizations and leaders engaging in virtue signaling about antiracism, diversity, equity, and inclusion. There’s an urge to see more action institutionally and individually. ARiA was developed to empower exactly this. However, it’s imperative to understand that the efficacy of any action is limited by a person’s knowledge, commitment, and capability.
ARiA’s programming is underpinned by the Learn > Grow > Lead (LGL) model. We insist that anyone who is serious about anti-racism needs to take stock of where they are in their learning journey and act accordingly. We also believe that LGL is an iterative and ongoing process.
Learn About the Issues
I need to expand my awareness of the lived experiences of marginalized groups and gain a deep and meaningful understanding of issues faced by them through credible resources and critical thinking.
I need to practice active allyship, adjust my own behaviors, and internalize inclusive attitudes/beliefs
Now that I am more informed, practiced, and better equipped to model authentic allyship, I will challenge the status quo, and affect change within my spheres of influence even when faced with adversity, resistance, or ignorance.
Types of Racism
Before attempting any anti-racist efforts, it is crucial to understand how racism pervades every aspect of our lives and be intentional about where and how to apply anti-racist efforts. All levels of racism are interrelated, important, and need to be addressed. You need to know that they exist and decide where you’re going to do the difficult work of disrupting and dismantling racism in your spheres of influence.
This is the racism we more easily recognize day-to-day. It’s what we spend most of our time talking about and what is most often covered in the media. It’s the simpler form of racism to focus on because it’s sometimes more overt (e.g. microaggressions).
This is the racism invisible to the uninformed eye. It’s perpetuated and pervasive. It’s debilitating to society, and it’s the more difficult kind of racism to address. We live in it and we’re likely contributing it without even realizing it.
This is what happens when we act out our internalized racism. A common manifestation of this in our daily lives is through microaggressions (read more).
These are the racist policies and discriminatory practices in schools, work places, and government agencies that routinely produce unjust outcomes for people of color.
These are the unjust patterns and practices that play our across institutions that make up our society.
Systemic racism cannot be understood without knowing the history of racism. Here we focus on U.S. history to start, but it is just as important to learn about world history as it pertains to racism.
Embracing Your Role
Weavers | Experimenters | Frontline Responders | Visionaries | Builders | Caregivers | Disruptors | Healers | Storytellers | Guides
You may find it helpful to decide on and fully embrace your role in social change. Being honest with ourselves about what we're able and willing to do will provide us with the clarity necessary to remain effective in our anti-racism work. We can fulfill any number of roles concurrently and it can vary by effort/initiative. The point is to recognize, embrace, and commit to the role(s) we take on.