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How to be an ally to the Black community

MosaiQ is a Q Group (employee resource group) dedicated to advancing the careers, goals, and well-being of communities of color by intentionally and continuously attracting and engaging diverse talent, stimulating awareness around the need to amplify underrepresented voices, and cultivating belonging within our customer and employee experiences.

This week, a group of MosaiQ teammates and allies at Qualtrics put together a list of several tips and resources that we have found helpful within our company. After we shared this internally as a part of our action plan outlined by our CEO, we heard from friends outside of Qualtrics who were also interested in reading it. We realized we had created something valuable and so we wanted to share this publicly in the hopes that others may also find it helpful as we continue having these critical conversations and help to be a part of the solution. 

First steps to being an ally: 

  • Sit in discomfort - if you are not Black, you may find yourself feeling uncomfortable. We invite you to sit with that discomfort. Choose to take this as an opportunity to think about why you are feeling uncomfortable. Is it because you learned more about insidious systems of oppression? Is it your own biases (whether conscious or unconscious)? Is it your past behavior? Don’t chase this feeling away -- name it, find the root cause, and use this feeling as motivation to change yourself and the world we live in. 
    • Having feelings about injustice is not enough. It may seem that by expressing emotion (anger, sadness, frustration) that you are being an ally, because you are indicating that you think what happened was wrong or unfair. Merely feeling sad about injustice doesn’t mean you’ve done anything to make the world more just. Let this discomfort push you to learn, understand, and act. 
  • Proactively learn - Do not expect to be taught or shown. Take it upon yourself to use the tools around you to learn and answer your questions and do everything you can to educate yourself before you ask others to explain things to you. Google is your best friend. We have also added multiple resources for self-education below.
    • Emotional Burden - Building on point #1, when you learn from others, do not allow your emotions or feelings to turn the attention back to yourself (i.e. your need to be comforted). Instead, focus on the actions that need to be taken. 
  • Listen to understand - A knee jerk reaction may be to defend yourself and explain how “you are not racist.” Put defensiveness aside and have an open mind as you educate yourself (see point #2).  Feelings of discomfort may arise (see point #1), and that is okay. If all else fails and you still do not know which actions to take, listen to what the members of the impacted community are saying - it is important. Read White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo.
    • Diversify your perspectives - look at the books you read, shows you watch, podcasts you listen to, people you follow, etc. Do they represent a diverse perspective? Are multiple Black experiences being represented? If not, make updates to whose stories you are hearing.
  • Don’t be a bystander - Many people aren’t sure how to respond if they witness microaggressions, discrimination, or racism in action. This video offers a concise approach to bystander intervention that does not rely on the police. 
  • Be an anti-racist - Admit when you, others, policy, and systems are racist and challenge those racist ideas. Adopt anti-racist ideas and actions in their place. Read How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. 

Resources: 

Articles to read:

Videos to watch:

Podcasts to subscribe to:

Books to read:

Films and TV series to watch:

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
  • Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
  • Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
  • I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent
  • King In The Wilderness  — HBO
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

Organizations to follow on social media:

How to spend your money:

Petitions to Sign: 

*Many of these resources were compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020 on this document, as well as Adam Rei Siegel in his Ally Resource Guide

Topics MosaiQ

MosaiQ

MosaiQ advances the careers, goals, and well-being of communities of color by intentionally and continuously attracting and engaging diverse talent, stimulating awareness around the need to amplify underrepresented voices, and cultivating belonging within our customer and employee experiences.

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