Ten Ways to Work for Racial Justice in 2008

As the season of “lists” continues, and as a way to address what can be the overdetermined way we can think about racism, I want to kicking off the new year by suggesting a different sort of list. Drawing on the examples of those leaders in the fight for civil rights that I profiled a few days ago, here are ten ways you can work for racial justice in 2008:

#10. Stop the use of shameful, racist sports team names.  If this country wants to seriously lay claim to having conquered racism, then one way to get real about that is to stop using racist names for sports teams, whether professional or amateur.

#9.   Write something – a book, a blog, an op-ed piece for your school paper –  that contributes to our knowledge about racial justice.

#8. Advocate for diversity in media representations and establish scholarships for Latina/o, Black, Native American, and Asian students to go into media-related occupations.

#7. Take legal action against discriminatory practices.   Even though the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s were supposed to guarantee an end to discrimination, it is individuals working to make sure these laws are actually enforced that gives those laws teeth.

#6. Take a photo, or create other sorts of art that supports the cause of racial justice.

#5. Organize people within your religious tradition or community of faith to work for global racial justice.

#4. Get involved in your local community’s struggle for racial justice.

#3. Make a documentary about the fight for racial justice.

#2. Teach your children to not only be tolerant, but to also actively engage in the work of fighting for racial justice.

#1. Run for office, work for voting rights, including reversing the policy of felon disenfranchisement, and gearing down the prison industry.