One Anti-Racist Action You Can Take Today: Find Your Accountability Partner
By Guimel DeCarvalho
Vice President of People & Culture
The best way to change your own behavior is by having someone else hold you accountable to it. This is especially true for trying to change things that have been lifelong patterns and are reinforced behavior by the larger society. It’s the reason things like Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers, and life coaches exist. Doing the work of changing racist behavior and participation in white supremacy culture takes the same level of commitment and accountability. As stated on the site White Accountability Partners,
Accountability partners are peer coaches who support and mentor one another in achieving goals, changing behaviors, and accomplishing tasks. Regular, repeated, long-lasting change happens with reflection, conversation, and effort. A white accountability partner will require you to show up for discussion and action, no excuses allowed. As a white accountability partner, you will challenge and support your peer in developing and unpacking their white identity and hold them accountable to materials actions.
A white accountability partnership is a commitment. Just like any relationship, you get out of it what you put in.
Below is a link to their website which outlines monthly work plans accountability partners can follow. You can also find a link to Robin DiAngelo’s Accountability Statement section on her website, where she offers her thoughts on forming accountability partners and models a public accountability statement of her own.
Here you can find several prompt questions written by the Director of Recruitment & Inclusion, Amy Hogarth, to get you and your accountability partner started:
Accountability Partner Questions
- How did you come to your decision to work towards Anti-Racism?
- What is the best part of Anti-Racism work?
- If you filled this sentence in what might you say “I am good at many things, I have lots of positive traits one trait that helped me in Anti- Racism is :
- One thing I know for sure is:
- When I am talking about White privilege it makes me remember:
- A way I wish we functioned as a culture is:
- Dream with your partner about a world without White Supremacy.
- A racist belief I have that I am still trying to understand is:
- One thing I disagree with about anti-racism is:
- White fragility makes me want to:
- I am good at being uncomfortable in this way:
- I am bad at being uncomfortable in this way:
- A place I feel rage when it comes to oppression is:
- I wish I could understand this: (fill in the blank) more
- My nightmare when it comes to Anti-racism is:
- I am proud of this in my Anti- Racism work:
- A Teacher I have learned from in Anti-Racism is:
- The thing I learned from the teacher is:
- I have taught this concept about Anti-Racism in this way:
- There are 5 ways I have privilege.
- These are 10 ways I benefit from Structural Racism.
- I have _______ friends who are people of color.
- If the answer is a low # what will you do about knowing more people of color? OR should you do anything? Isn’t looking for a friend who is a person of color tokenism – or racism?
- How mad are you about looking at how many people of color you have as a friend? How hard on a scale of 1-10 is this to talk about?
- Tell me a story about Race that happened in your life before you were 10.
- Now, what would you tell that under 10-year-old kid now?
- Name someone in your life you have anxiousness about talking with them about Anti- racism.
- What piece of art by a BIPOC has moved you? What about it struck you?
- Name 3 stereotypes you have believed were true.
- Tell a story about how someone called you in on Racism or some other oppression – what did you do? How did you survive?
- Make a piece of art about you and Anti-Racism ANYTHING- poem, paint, song, improv
- Name 5 things you need to end Racism.
- How come kids are not born racist? Or are they?
- What do you wish you will know about Anti-Racism in a year?
- Find a quote that helps you think about Anti-Racist work NOT by MLK.
- Name a pet peeve about Anti- Racism.
- “When I learned this about racism it blew my mind” What is that?
- What part of Anti- Racism is the part that you will commit to working hard to change?
- Some folks feel that generation Y & Z are “better on race issues” how is this true? How is it untrue?
- What is Better?
- Talk about your dream for your Anti- Racism work.