The time is now and the first thing you can do is try.
Let’s start with a definition, and this Bustle article is a very good place to start. To get a little deeper, check out Charles Pulliam-Moore’s article. Both call-out the Urban Dictionary definition of “woke” as being aware, and “knowing what’s going on in the community,” specifically relating to racism and social injustice.
To me, “woke” refers to a consciousness of deep-rooted, consistently perpetuated societal advantages bestowed upon white people (specifically white males) that have created and continue to create disadvantages for people of color and other marginalized communities.
How did I come to that definition? My personal experiences and those of my family and friends; conversations I’ve had with others; media I’ve consumed; workshops I’ve attended; boards I’ve served on…you get the idea. And I have to keep reading, and listening; I have to keep trying.
If you’re just starting out (or need a reminder), check out my What Can I Do Now? post, which featured a list developed by my colleague and shared just after the tragic deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.
Since I obviously find curated lists extremely helpful in endeavors such as this, here are a few others (this list of lists is so meta):
- 8 podcasts every social justice advocate should subscribe to (Of these, I listen to Another Round and am excited to add others to my rotation.)
- The Racial Equity Institute’s resources page
- Campaign Zero’s pages on the problem, solutions, reports, and research
- A List of Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support (Not just for donation purposes, but for information and volunteer opportunities.)
- And finally, check out the 7 Stages of White People Getting Woke (It can apply to anyone going through this process, and there’s a lot more great resources and commentary peppered within.)
If you’re overwhelmed by all of the things you have yet to learn, try to frame it as, appropriately, an awakening. You could try to do it all at once, like setting an alarm clock with a sudden wail, or try it as if you set one of those Zen alarm clocks that mocks a sunrise and gently stirs you to wake up. Figure out what works best for you and proceed as necessary. And then keep going.
Tomorrow, we break a bad habit.
Hey! This post is part of a series. Check out the rest of them here:
- New Year’s Resolutions for 2017: A Series
- New Year’s Resolutions for 2017: Get Fit
- New Year’s Resolutions for 2017: Get Organized
- New Year’s Resolutions for 2017: Get Woke (you are here!)
- New Year’s Resolutions for 2017: Break a Bad Habit
- New Year’s Resolutions for 2017: Habit How-To