31 Resources That Will Help You Become a Better White Ally

Anna Borges

Being an effective white ally to Black people is a continuous process, consisting of both education and action. No matter where we are in the ongoing journey of recognizing our privilege and unlearning harmful behaviors and attitudes, there is always more we can do to fight white supremacy and racial injustice. If the resources on this page are a little overwhelming to you, check out this short list of helpful actions you can take as a white ally. But then come back here and take a deeper dive.

Important to note: Some of these resources are useful to non-Black people of color as well, but for the purposes of this article, I’m focusing on white allyship. So when I use the first person (we/us/ours) throughout this article, I’m speaking as a white person to other white people.

Lastly, remember that when we rely on guides and information put together by Black people for our own education, we owe them for the work they’ve invested in these resources. We’ve included links below any time a creator has shared their PayPal/Venmo/Cash app information; please contribute and tell your white friends to do the same.

Allyship 101

Being a white ally requires the action and education covered throughout this list, but these resources are good starting points. They cover the basics and/or outline in broad strokes what allyship can look like.

  1. Racial Equity Tools Glossary. Language is important. This glossary provides basic definitions for many of the terms you’ll come across in your education and work as an ally. To start, make sure you know what it means to be an ally in the first place: “Someone who makes the commitment and effort to recognize their privilege (based on gender, class, race, sexual identity, etc.) and work in solidarity with oppressed groups in the struggle for justice. Allies understand that it is in their own interest to end all forms of oppression, even those from which they may benefit in concrete ways. Allies commit to reducing their own complicity or collusion in oppression of those groups and invest in strengthening their own knowledge and awareness of oppression.” Now read the whole list.

  2. “Welcome to the Anti-Racism Movement—Here’s What You’ve Missed” by Ijeoma Oluo. First written in 2017, Oluo’s words are still relevant today. Consider it your primer for entering this work. Oluo has homework for us.

  3. Holy Shit, Being an Ally Isn’t About Me!” by Real Talk: WOC & Allies. Well-intentioned white allies make the same mistakes over and over again: centering themselves, caring more about intention than impact, and wanting gratitude or even praise for doing the bare minimum. You might see yourself in this personal account of a white woman realizing she had been a shitty ally. Own it and decide to do better.

  4. “10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship” by Mireille Cassandra Harper. Originally a viral Twitter thread and now reproduced in full on British Vogue Harper’s simple breakdown of what it means to go beyond surface-level allyship is a solid foundation on which to build your plan of action.

  5. “Non-Black People Need to Speak Up for Black Lives” by Allyson Smith. In case there was any doubt about the importance of this work and the roles we can play, this op-ed in Teen Vogue will educate you on why speaking up is our civic duty and how to do it.

  6. “Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide” by Tatiana Mac. This list focuses on how to start reflecting on the many ways white women are complicit in perpetuating systems of oppression. Learning to recognize racist behavior and microaggressions—from “compliments” to using white tears—is the first step in working on ourselves. Support Tatiana via Venmo (@TatianaMac) or Ca$hApp ($TatianaMac).

  7. “White Guyde to the Galaxy” by Tatiana Mac. A version of the previous guide but for white men.

Ongoing Education

The books, podcasts, toolkits, workshops, and articles on this list are valuable educational resources—be intentional how you access them and how you utilize them. Buy from Black-owned bookshops. I’m linking to Bookshop.org, through which you can patronize these stores. For other Black-owned bookstores, check out this list. Actually read the books. Start a book club with your white peers so you can discuss what you learned. For podcasts, keep them in your regular rotation. For workbooks and educational resources, work through them together so you can process as you go.

  1. These political educational resources from Stand Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). As they describe it, “The purpose of political education is to build a shared language about our situation, a shared framework for understanding our situation, and a shared understanding of our history so we can better understand how we got here and what we can learn from those who went before us.” Some of their webinars and toolkits: Racism 101, Interrupting White Feminism, White Supremacy Culture, and White Privilege and Benefits.

  2. Speaking of SURJ and similar white-led anti-racism groups, make sure to also read “Whites Only: SURJ and the Caucasian Invasion of Racial Justice Spaces” by DiDi Delgado for crucial context to keep in mind when utilizing and participating in white ally spaces.

  3. How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. This probably isn’t the first time you’ve seen this book recced and it’s for good reason—Kendi’s book is a solid foundation for anyone who feels the need to defend themselves as “not racist” instead of examining and understanding racism through multiple lenses. For good measure, you can also check out Kendi’s “An Antiracist Reading List.”

  4. Code Switch. Being informed on a continuous basis is key. For more of a slow-burn, consistent education, consider supplementing your news consumption with Code Switch, a news podcast through the lens of race and identity.

  5. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. If you’ve ever felt nervous to enter conversations about race and racism despite the many calls to action for us to talk to the other white people in our lives, try this book. On top of priming readers on important topics related to racism in America, Oluo guides them through many conversations you’ll recognize with suggestions for clear and constructive dialogue.

  6. Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad. Based on Saad’s Instagram challenge where she asked people to share their racist behaviors, Me and White Supremacy outlines a 28-day journey of self-reflection and action in order to understand our privilege and begin the work to do better.

  7. Dismantling Racism Works Web Workbook. Originally designed to supplement their basic workshop, Dismantling Racism Works (dRworks) made their materials available to the public in hopes that we use it to better ourselves and our communities. While some materials are specifically for facilitators, many are helpful for anyone hoping to educate themselves.

  8. EmbraceRace Resources. For parents who want to educate themselves on how to raise children who are thoughtful about race, EmbraceRace has many resources. You’ll find articles like ”31 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism, and Resistance” and “Your 5-Year-Old Is Already Racially Biased” and webinars like "How Do I Make Sure I’m Not Raising the Next Amy Cooper?" to inform your parenting.

  9. That’s Not How That Works. This podcast’s entire back catalog is a treasure trove of insightful and accessible education around how diversity, inclusion, and equity show up (or don’t) in personal and professional communities. Try episodes like “So You Think You’re Woke?” or “Who Is Karen & Why Does She Want to Talk to the Manager?” Or, you know, all of them.

  10. “Where Do I Donate? Why Is the Uprising Violent? Should I Go Protest?” by Courtney Martin. On top of providing education to the reader, this article can also double as a script for anyone unsure of the most impactful way to field recent questions from other white people around the current American landscape. Bookmark it for next time your aunt on Facebook is going on about how she wishes the protests were more peaceful.

How to act

There are many actions white allies can and should take in the fight for racial justice. Since this list is focused on resources to learn to be a better ally, the resources below are particularly helpful for guiding you through specific action, so you can know where to start and how to be effective.

  1. Some guidance on where to donate right now: This doc, curated by Sarafina Nance, breaks up calls for donations by theme, including bail funds, organizations, individual GoFundMe pages, health, and education. This Support Black People MasterDoc is also an incredible place to start. And that’s only a small sampling of opportunities. Keep an eye out for more in the other resources shared throughout this article.

  2. Some guidance on how to participate in or support protests: Here’s how to stay safe. Here’s what to do, not to do, and how to be helpful, via Wired. Here are other things we can do besides literally protesting, via Twitter user @gendervamp.

  3. “28 Organizations That Empower Black Communities” by No More Martyrs. Support these organizations with your time, money, and action. Sign up for their newsletters and stay aware of calls to action. In turn, your anti-racist education will likely continue alongside your support.

  4. “Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice Home Opportunities for Action.” This resource outlines a useful framework that differentiates between the roles of “actors,” “allies,” and “accomplices,” and breaks down potential actions of each in categories like protesting, money, communities, and our jobs. The guide comes with a call to action: “Can you take at least one action in the next two weeks in the Ally or Accomplice category?”

  5. How to Talk to Your Family About Racism” by Jen Winston. This short and impactful Instagram guide outlines best practices for white people talking to their families about race and racism. For anyone who’s ever been unsure of where to start having these conversations, Winston hits a few key points.

  6. “How to Talk to Relatives Who Care More About Looting Than Black Lives” by Rachel Miller. The title of this article says it all, but to add on: This guide is actionable, conversational, and helpful as hell for anyone who feels overwhelmed by the process of confronting loved ones, even when they know it’s important.

  7. How you spend your money is political and goes beyond single donations. Use resources like WeBuyBlack, The Black Wallet, and Official Black Wall Street to intentionally support Black-owned businesses. Follow @buyfrombipoc, too.

  8. Join the Movement for Black Lives. Doing so will connect you with ongoing ways to support Black lives by donating, signing petitions, and participating in other demands for change. Following them on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube) is also a useful way to keep up.

Other resource roundups

This list of resources joins the many other compilations circulating right now. Bookmark multiple to refer to in the future. While there’s some overlap, they all have unique focuses, points of view, and resources.

  1. “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice” by Corinne Shutack. First published in 2017, this list is kept up-to-date to make sure the action items are accurate and relevant, making it a great resource to bookmark for future work.

  2. “Anti-Racism Resource Guide” by Tasha K. Readings, podcasts, movies, and more broken down by category for anyone who needs a little direction. Support Tasha via Paypal (antiracismresourceguide@gmail.com), Venmo, (@tatortash), or Ca$hApp ($tatortash)

  3. “A Guide on How to Unlearn Your Racism and Be Actively Anti-Racist” by Jazzmine Jackson. Learn more about implicit bias, protesting tips, and history to brush up on. Support Jazzmine on Venmo (@Jazzmine-Jackson).

  4. Do the Work Now: Anti-Racism Resources for White People by Sarah Vitti. On top of the many educational recommendations, this list also includes social media accounts to follow to deepen your education every day.

  5. The Ways You Can Help page from Black Lives Matters, a BLM Carrd started by 17-year-old Twitter user @dehyedration. Bookmark it for easy access to petitions to sign, ways to donate, and action items around calling, texting, and emailing.

  6. SELF’s “18 Helpful Links for White People to Drop in Our Group Chats” by Carolyn Todd—because the resources are never-ending. Just a reminder to choose action items from whatever resource you connect with. That’s the important part.

Related links:

Originally Appeared on SELF

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