Doing the work.
When it comes to racial bridge-building for white people, Be the Bridge places a lot of the focus on listening to and learning from people of color. But there’s also some important internal work that white people need to do as well. When white people don’t understand some of the basic tenets of whiteness, it’s hard to fully engage in the work of racial reconciliation.
For this reason, we have created a resource that breaks down the Four W’s:
1. White Supremacy
2. White Fragility
3. White Identity
4. White Privilege
Why is this not information white people already know and understand?
White people live very segregated lives, benefitting from NOT knowing and engaging with their racial reality.
White people are most likely to live in racially homogenous communities and least likely to come into contact with people racially different from themselves. (1)
Seventy-five percent of white people have entirely white social networks, without the presence of any people of color. (2)
Around 75% of people who take the Implicit-Association Test developed by Banaji and Greewald were found to have an automatic white preference. Eight in 10 Americans attend a house of worship where a single racial group makes up at least 80% of the congregants. (3)
From 1996 to 2016 the number of segregated schools has doubled. (4)
What are white bridge-builders supposed to do with this information?
How can we build bridges across racial lines when we live in such a hyper-segregated world?
The starting place is to interrogate whiteness. We have to understand what whiteness is, how it functions, and how we can dismantle its harmful effects if we want to pursue racial justice and unity. To get you started on this effort we provide a free guide: Be the Bridge 101 for White Bridge-Builders. This guide includes a self-assessment to help you take an honest look at where you are at and guide you toward recommended next steps.
Next steps might include purchasing the Be the Bridge 101: Foundational Principles for White Bridge-Builders. This is a resource you can work through on your own, or gathering a group of fellow white people who want to go on this journey with you. Or you may be ready to take the Whiteness Intensive Course. Use the links below to learn more about these options.
(1) Thomas J. Sugrue, “Less Separate, Still Unequal: Diversity and Equality in ‘Post-Civil Rights’ America, in Our Compelling Interests: The Value of Diversity for Democracy and a Prosperous Society, ed. Earl Lewis and Nancy Cantor (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016)
(2) 2013 American Values Survey, Public Religion Research Institute
(3) Chaves, Mark, and Shawnda Anderson, Pew Research Center, 2014
(4) National Center on Educational Statistics
Join our Online Community
Our Facebook group is a community of people who share a common goal of creating healthy dialogue about race and racialization in the U.S., with an emphasis on promoting understanding about racial disparities and injustices. The purpose of this forum is to create a safe and positive space for both learners and well-seasoned reconcilers to ask questions and process thoughts and ideas.
Are you ready for a fuller, more diverse life?
Join us on the journey and receive our FREE Roadmap to a More Diverse Life.