How to Build an Actively Anti-Racist Workplace

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STEAM Boston Podcast

In Season 2, Episode 13, of the STEAM Boston Podcast, we talk about how you can support the Black Lives Matter movement and discuss calling out microaggressions in the workplace.

Audio Transcript

Introduction

Hello, and Welcome to the STEAM Boston podcast; my name is Will Ma Founder and CEO of STEAM Boston. And my name is Marcus Fergus, the Chief Strategy Officer. We’re creating this podcast episode to share resources on how you can help support the Black Lives Matter movement.  STEAM Boston stands with the Black community against racism, violence, and hate. We must support one another as allies and stand up for equality and justice. Now is not the time for silence. We will continue to use our platform’s power to amplify Black voices, so they are heard. Nonprofits, Black and Brown founders, and businesses feel free to reach out to STEAM Boston. We will share your story with thousands of visitors who visit our website.

Will and Marcus talk about the things Black people worry about [00:52]

Walking in a neighborhood, playing in a park, going to an auto parts store, answering the door, walking home from dinner, eating, ice cream, babysitting, pulling up in a parking lot, sleeping, going to a grocery store, as an Asian American I can do all that stuff with no worries.  — But as an African American, that could be my last time living on this earth. — And this is where we should share resources on how we can support the Black Lives Matter movement. Share resources on how you can become a protestor.

Marcus talk about Anti-Racist actions you can do at work [1:30]

Here some antiracist actions you can take at work. You can educate yourself. There is a plentiful amount of books, podcasts, videos, documentaries you can watch. We have an article on STEAM Boston for such resources.

Will identifies and explains the meaning of a microaggression [1:41]

Call out microaggressions. What is a microaggression? When people’s biases against marginalized groups reveal themselves in a way that leaves their victims feeling uncomfortable or insulted. That’s what you call a microaggression.

Example:

An Asian American student is complimented by a professor for speaking perfect English. But it’s his first language.

A Black man notices that a white woman flinches and clutches her bag as she sees him in the elevator. As she is about to enter, he is painfully reminded of racial stereotypes.

A woman speaks up in an important meeting, but she can rarely get a sentence without being interrupted by male colleagues.

That is a microaggression. — Microaggressions, although seemingly small and sometimes innocent offenses, can take a real psychological toll on the mental health of the recipients. This toll can lead to anger and depression and can even lower work productivity and problem-solving abilities. Acknowledge and fix your microaggressions.  — It will take time for you to learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement, and even I, as an Asian American, will have to learn more. This can be done by reading more books, watching documentaries, and I’m always looking for more ways to educate myself.

Will talk about the differences in the level of discrimination endured between that of an Asian American and that of a Black African American [3:05]

As an Asian American and being the Co-Founder of STEAM Boston, what can Asian folks do more to support speaking out against antiblack racism inside and outside of work? Being able to reach out and listen to your Black friends and colleagues without making any assumptions and judgments.

I think the most crucial aspect of this is educating myself about Black history Anti-Black racism, systemic oppression, and all the ramifications that come with it. Don’t expect Black peers to educate you. They have been through enough. The only thing we can talk about is the model minority BS. Stop perpetuating the model minority BS. But racism like the Asian Americans have experienced is not what Black people have experienced. Asians have faced various forms of discrimination, but never the systematic dehumanization that Black people have faced during slavery and continue to face today. Asians were barred from entering the US and gaining citizenship, and have been sent to incarceration camps. But this is all different; this is different from segregation, police brutality, discrimination that the African Americans have endured.

Marcus and Will circle back to discuss the actions you can take to educate yourself about the Black Lives Matter movement and Black history in general [4:20]

As mentioned before, there is a wide array of things you can do to educate yourself about the Black Live Matter movement, and about Black history in general. Some things you can watch are “Slavery by Another Name,” a PBS documentary, “13th,” a documentary directed by Ava DuVernay. You can also watch “Fruitvale Station” for all the big fans of Michael B. Jordan, directed by Ryan Coogler. If you are a podcast listener, you can also listen to “Seeing White Series from Scene on Radio“. A fourteen part documentary series exploring whiteness in America. “Uncivil,” a podcast that represents a history of the Civil War not often found in textbooks. “Identity Politics,” a podcast about Race, Gender, and Muslims in America, or Code Switch, a podcast that presents new views through the lens of Race and Identity. On Code Switch, you should listen to “A Decade of Watching Black People Die“.

This is not the time for silence. You know that putting that black square on Instagram has a one-week shelf life, and some people might not do much after, but we want you to continue the conversation. Do not be silent. This is the moment that you could change the world.


How to Support BLM Protestorshttps://www.steamboston.com/black-lives-matter-how-to-support-blm-protestors/

Black Lives Matter STEAM Boston

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