What You Can Do to Combat Racism

The devastating current events—most recently the murders of George FloydAhmaud ArberyBreonna Taylor—are a wake-up call for many looking to do better, help in whatever way they can, and educate themselves. It is incredibly important to our editorial team and company to make sure that we're doing the necessary work, too. One part of that is using our platform to share some actionable ideas on how to combat racism and prejudice with our WWW community. We welcome anyone who would like to start a thoughtful conversation or add to these resources to email us at thoughts@whowhatwear.com.

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(Image credit: @stuffgracemade)

1. If you are not a BIPOC, educate yourself, confront your own bias, and work to be actively anti-racist. Use your knowledge to speak up.

- This anti-racism resources document includes books for adults and children, articles, podcasts, videos and films, and organizations to follow. 

- When buying books, especially ones to educate yourself on this issue, buy from black-owned bookstores: Mahogany Books, Harrietts Bookshop, The Lit Bar, and Semicolon Bookstore. Our suggestion is to start with How to Be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. Look for BIPOC authors first.

- Take Harvard’s implicit bias test to learn your level of conscious and unconscious bias on things like light versus dark skin tone preference and many other categories including race, sexual orientation, religion, age, and weight. It takes about 10 minutes.

- Some bite-size media snippets we found insightful:

Tarana J. Burke, founder of the Me Too movement, describing everyday life as a black family

- Novelist Toni Morrison puts race in perspective (recommend 1:17–1:55)

Anti-racist educator Jane Elliott asks a room of white people a question

White privilege checklist (at the end of the slideshow)

A powerful visualization of privilege 

Exactly why the All Lives Matter sentiment is wrong

- A visualization of the percentage of police officers who have killed people in the U.S. and were not charged or convicted

2. If you have the means, donate.

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Update: Per this Forbes article, the Minnesota Freedom Fund is no longer actively soliciting donations but encouraging people to donate to other local organizations run by black community members, such as Black Visions CollectiveReclaim the Block, and Twin Cities Coalition for Justice 4 Jamar.

Here are some additional places to donate:

Official George Floyd Memorial Fund: a fund started by George Floyd's sister to cover the family's funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist their family in the days to come as we continue to seek justice for George.

I Run With Maud: a fund started by Ahmaud Arbery's best friend to benefit his mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, and her immediate family with financial support during this extremely difficult time and in their struggle for justice for the murder of Ahmaud Marquez Arbery.

Color of Change: the nation’s largest online racial justice organization that works to end practices that unfairly hold black people back. 

Brooklyn Community Bail Fund: an organization committed to challenging the racism, inequality, and injustice of a criminal legal system and immigration and deportation regime that disproportionately target and harm low-income communities of color.

NAACP "We Are Done Dying” Campaign: a campaign by the National Association for Advancement of Colored People to expose the inequities embedded into the American healthcare system and the country at large.

3. Sign petitions and make calls.

- Sign the Justice for Big Floyd Petition. The goal is to get to three million signatures. When you sign, the platform will automatically send your message to County Attorney Michael Freeman, who has the power to arrest and charge the police officers involved.

- Sign the #JusticeForBre Petition for Breonna Taylor.

- Text "Floyd” to 551-56. Color of Change will text you back with a link to sign their petition for justice for George Floyd, or simply sign the petition here

4. Use your spending power to support BIPOC businesses.

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Fashion

Brother Vellies: Handcrafted, sustainable shoes designed in Brooklyn and made by artisans from Nairobi to New York

The Folklore: Online store delivering Africa and the diaspora's top contemporary brands

Pyer Moss: Mens and womenswear fashion label concerned with building a narrative that speaks about heritage and activism

McMullen: Boutique and online store dedicated to global designer brands

Telfar: Unisex brand including logo bags beloved by the fashion set

Cushnie: Luxury women’s ready-to-wear and bridal brand known for sculptural, clean silhouettes

Christopher John Rogers: Colorful, dramatic eveningwear that won the 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award

Jade Swim: Luxe, minimal swimwear made of sustainable fabric

Heron Preston: Award-winning workwear-redefined separates and accessories for both women and men

Sami Miro Vintage: Limited-run clothing line made from upcycled vintage fabrics

Slashed by Tia: A modern take on renaissance-inspired clothing by a young NYC-based designer that has been worn by everyone from Lizzo to Gigi Hadid

Maki Oh: Womenswear brand that fuses traditional African techniques with detailed contemporary construction

Wales Bonner: Luxury womenswear and menswear brand focusing on "soulful tailoring"

Monrowe NYC: Handmade hats inspired by nuances of jazz culture

Fe Noel: Vibrant, colorful brand inspired by the designer's Caribbean heritage

Victor Glemaud: Statement knitwear designed for all people, genders, races, sizes, and personalities

Beauty

Uoma Beauty: Inclusive makeup range

Oui the People: Ultra-chic razor for those with sensitive skin

Shea Moisture: Natural, cruelty-free hair and skincare products

Unsun Cosmetics: Clean mineral sunscreen for people of all shades 

Black Girl Sunscreen: Sunscreen for women of color made with natural ingredients 

Nyakio Beauty: Handmade small-batch skin and bodycare products made from cold-pressed oils crafted with ethical, sustainable, and natural ingredients from around the world

Range Beauty: Clean beauty for "the forgotten shades"

The Lip Bar: Vegan, cruelty-free makeup line 

Kingdom Crown: Natural and organic reparative hair products

KNC Beauty: Cult-favorite natural lip masks, balms, and eye masks

Pat McGrath Labs: Namesake color cosmetics collection by the legendary makeup artist

Mented: Nontoxic, vegan cosmetics line that's passionate about pigment

Briogeo: Clean and conscious haircare line with ingredients personalized for your hair type

Fenty Beauty: Rihanna's cosmetics line created for everyone of all shades, personalities, attitudes, and cultures.

Wellness and Home

Golde: Superfood-based wellness and beauty brand founded by the youngest black woman to launch a line at Sephora

A Complexion Company: Clean wellness tonics and powders for women of color

Blk+Grn: Nontoxic marketplace stocking black-founded brands

Laura Kay Innovations: Nontoxic household cleaning products

Alexandra Winbush: Self-care focused candle and tea company

5. Be aware of what your BIPOC friends, family, and colleagues may be going through.

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- Read "Your Black Colleagues May Look Like They’re OkayChances Are They Are Not” by Danielle Cadet on Refinery29. 

6. Post on social media thoughtfully.

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This is an evolving list that we hope to grow. Again, please email thoughts@whowhatwear.com with your feedback. 

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear.

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Disclaimer

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.

Editor in Chief

Kat has over a decade of experience in fashion writing, and she joined Who What Wear in 2012 as our co-founder Katherine Power’s assistant. She currently leads the vision for editorial content at WhoWhatWear.com. Working on the site with our editors takes up most of my day, but I also contribute trend direction for our namesake fashion line, the Who What Wear collection. Prior to Who What Wear, I did assistant styling work for brands like Vogue, Teen Vogue, Lucky, and Oliver Peoples, as well as freelance fashion writing. I graduated from UCLA with a BA in communications and now call West Hollywood home. As for my fashion perspective, I gravitate toward more tailored pieces and add touches of personality with items like a mesh metal belt or cow-print mules. I’ve always been a vintage fan and know that I’m destined to do some damage whenever I enter my favorite local haunt, Scout, usually scooping up ’90s-era pieces from Japanese designers. When I’m not shopping or writing about shopping, I can be found reading (my book club’s current pick is The Beauty Myth), planning my next trip to Tokyo, or delighting in food usually reserved for 5-year-olds.