Whether you’re a student, an educator, a parent, or just a concerned private citizen, and wherever in the world you may be, as the Black Lives Matter protests that began in the United States have unfurled and spread to various other parts of the world, you might have found yourself asking, “What can I do?” We had the same question. We have taken some time to think, reflect, and listen before offering some perspectives on how we feel we can help you help others.
While these events shine a light on systemic racism and white supremacy, right now we have no idea what tomorrow, next month, or next year will bring. What we do know is education has a big part to play. For us at Team EssayJack, the core of who we are and what we do as an educational company has always been underpinned by equity and diversity concerns. Our platform was created to help people think and write critically about issues in an academically rigorous manner. Learning how to weigh arguments, write intelligently about issues, and engage politically with ideas that matter is crucial to what we do. And we feel this is more important than ever in today’s world and at this point in time.
In that vein, we want to first, state clearly and unequivocally that our company is committed to eliminating racism. Our team, advisers, investors, and cofounders are a diverse team. Our policies and decision-making is collaborative. Our work environment is respectful and flexible. We have people from various parts of the world and religions as part of our team and always have. Having said that, we also recognise that we can always do better, and we strive to do better.
We can also offer our clients, partners, and customers some trusted resources for teaching, learning, and talking about racism with others. Racism is a touchy subject. Some people tend to feel embarrassed or defensive when confronted with the ways in which BIPOC lived experiences are tinged by colonial and white supremacist structures. Others can feel hurt when their lived experiences are ignored or belittled. More importantly, when we focus on race, we build walls between each other that can make it hard to connect.
Connection through the written word is our mandate. In line with this, here are some ways and resources to use to educate ourselves and people around us to think, write, and teach deeply about the issues confronting us today:
Thinking about our own privilege is a good way to start. This quick Buzzfeed quiz (sigh, yes we know: Buzzfeed?! But trust us, this is a good one) can help outline ways in which privilege can be overlooked.
Educating yourself and others around you more by using this amazing collaborative working document with scaffolded anti-racist resources. Bookmark it and learn from it.
Teaching about racism and diversity using this reliable anti-racist resources as a helpful place to start.
We suggest that if you are looking for ways of getting involved that you first read and then choose your actions based on what you learn. Think critically, write critically, and act critically. In the words of our CEO, Dr Lindy:
“It’s important that when this trend, this fad passes, we continue to do the hard work day in, day out to listen, to learn, to be present, and to be better in our united fight against white supremacy in all its ugliness: hooded, systemic, and insidious.”
Useful samples and examples: