Nava Strategy

How to Be Actively Anti-Racist

Being actively anti-racist involves working to dismantle racism, prejudice, and discrimination in all its forms. It requires ongoing education, self-reflection, and taking concrete actions to promote equality and justice. It’s also more than just education and training – it is an ideological shift. By addressing the power dynamics that enforce a social hierarchy in the micro and macro spheres of life, and addressing how white supremacy has built many of our standing institutions. On Turtle Island, the history of colonization and slavery is not without its long-standing impacts – felt today.

While respect is a basis for why and how we treat one another, at times our actions and words are incongruent with how we perceive one another. We use terms like equity, tolerance, honesty, integrity, or diversity – what do these terms mean if we cannot reconcile with how individuals and groups are treated? Are we validating, reconciling and building connection, or are we allowing our discomfort, power imbalances and skewed realities dictate to us that racism does not exist.

As resistance to DEI grows, and affirmation action has been terminated, the equitable approach remains uncomfortable for many. The quote: “equality feels like oppression for those who are privileged,” is an apt one. The dominant structure that maintains power and benefits from inequities are pushing back against the pursuit of equality and freedom for all. We know that the economic exploitation from the global north is a central aspect about how structural inequalities, discriminatory practices and denial of economic opportunities contribute to the economic subjugation of racialized people, and the global south. With this, we all play a role to address capitalism and racism, health and racism, and the material impacts racism has on people here and the world over.

equality feels like oppression for those who are privileged

Below is a detailed guide on how to be actively anti-racist, including tools, resources, and books.

Education and Self-Reflection

Understand Privilege

Educate yourself about privilege (unearned benefits) and how it operates in society. This includes recognizing your own privilege and how it influences the choices you do and do not have to make, your perspectives and experiences that you might not have. This is not oppression Olympics, it is about empathy building and perspective taking – what have you not experienced?

Learn about Systemic Racism

Study the history of racism, colonization, and systemic oppression. Do you know the details, laws, policies and ideologies that still permeate to this day? The generational impacts have not been erased since some of the most egregious laws were amended – people still feel the material impacts today in a multitude of ways. Understand how these systems continue to impact individuals and communities today.

Challenge Biases, Prejudice and Stereotypes

Examine your own biases and stereotypes. Where did you learn them? How true are they? When are they not true? Do you have affinity bias – where you only engage with people who look, sound, talk and think like you? Engage in critical self-reflection and actively work to challenge and unlearn them.

Power Imbalances

Advocate for structural changes within institutions to address power imbalances and promote racial equity. This may involve lobbying for policy reforms, supporting diversity initiatives, and demanding accountability from institutions that perpetuate racism. Hold individuals and institutions accountable for their roles in perpetuating white supremacy and institutional racism. This includes addressing discrimination, bias, and abuse of power at all levels.

Address & Eliminate Power Dynamics

Understand that white supremacy and institutional racism are fundamentally about power imbalances. This includes acknowledging historical and present-day systems that advantage white people while oppressing people of color. Recognize that power operates on individual, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic levels.

Redistribution of Power and Resources

Work towards redistributing power and resources to marginalized communities. This can include advocating for economic justice, equitable access to education and healthcare, and initiatives that address systemic barriers to opportunity. Support initiatives that prioritize community-led solutions and empower marginalized groups to shape their own futures.


Community Engagement

Supporting anti-racist organizations includes how you donate your time, money, or resources in authentic ways to organizations actively working to combat racism and promote equity. Advocating for policy change requires involvement in advocacy efforts aimed at reforming policies and institutions that perpetuate racism and inequality. This may involve writing to elected officials, participating in protests, or joining grassroots organizing campaigns. Listen to what work is being done, and what is being requested from those most impacted. While individuals might not have perpetrated the historic and systemic instances of racism, they still benefit from the systems that have reinforced a racial and social hierarchy embedded in individuals, institutions and decisions that have tangible and material impacts on health, education, and income.

The most uncomfortable piece is the discomfort that (white) people feel when behaviours, institutions, or the status quo changes, or when general critiques are expressed. In our workshops we often hear feedback individually that there is racism, that they appreciate our work, that diversity hires makes white people uncomfortable, and that there’s still a long way to go. However, we must engage in difficult conversations. Having open and honest conversations about race and racism with friends, family, and colleagues. Be willing to listen, learn, and challenge harmful attitudes and beliefs.

Read the books and authors by those most impacted, hired and invite diverse panels, put the action and dollars where it matters. In this way we are all amplifying marginalized voices – we must use our status, platform, privilege and power to amplify the voices of marginalized communities. Share their stories, art, and perspectives with your networks. Those who are most impacted can be empowered to come up with better solutions, catalyzed by those with power and access to resources.

Continuous Action

Remember that being actively anti-racist is an ongoing process. Stay committed to learning, growing, and taking action to challenge racism and promote equity in your daily life and communities. It’s essential to continually reassess and adapt your strategies as you learn and grow in your understanding of anti-racism. If you need help and support addressing this topic, please contact us today, our team is experienced in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Resources and Tools


“How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi

“I’m still here: Black Dignity in a world made for whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown

“So you want to talk about race” by Ijeoma Oluo

“The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander

“Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America” by Ibram X. Kendi

“Black Feminist Thought” by Patricial Hill Collins

“White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo

Documentaries and Films

“13th” (Netflix)

“I Am Not Your Negro”

“Whose Streets?”

“American Son” (Netflix)


“Code Switch” by NPR

“Intersectionality Matters!” by Kimberlé Crenshaw

“Seeing White” by Scene on Radio

“Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast”

Online Courses

“Understanding Race and Ethnicity” by Coursera

“Confronting Anti-Black Racism” by edX

“Dismantling Racism: A Resource Book for Social Change Groups” by the Western States Center

Websites and Articles

Race Forward (

The Conscious Kid (

Teaching Tolerance (

Racial Equity Tools (

Additional resources can be found here, great for individuals or educators


Ask us about our anti-racism or DEI workshops today,

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