Last Thursday, July 9th, we had our first virtual event on how to cultivate an anti-racist culture inside and outside of the workplace. We had an amazing line-up of speakers: Áine Mulloy (Accenture, ex-Girl Crew), Deborah Somorin (PwC, Empower The Family), Claudia Hoareau (Irish Network Against Racism) and Toju Duke (Google), chaired by Sophie Benoit (What The Hack). They covered everything from microaggressions in the workplace to bystander intervention, tangible actions to address racism in Ireland, and much more!
You can read more about the event here.
The speakers and the attendees also shared resources that they recommend to helps us understand racial inequalities around the world and how we can become better allies. They were all so good that we decided to compile all the suggestions in one big list:
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, by Reni Eddo-Lodge.
Deborah kicked off the recommendation section of the panel with this brilliant book saying that ‘it needs to be number one on your list.’ She explained how much the book educated her about racism, about how Black people have been written out of history and how there is so much we think we know about race and it’s simply wrong, even as people of colour.
Read lots of articles from different perspectives, but also the comments.
Toju jumped in and recommended that people read the comments on articles about racism, as it can be an ‘eye-opener’. She said this allows you to see how people from different countries think about this fight, how they perceive people of colour, what they think about white supremacy, and so much more.
Claudia recommended Rachel Cargle, who offers several incredible free courses on effective allyship and tips on how to look after yourself in this movement as a person of colour.
Claudia also added that most of the resources out there are American-centric, so she urged people to look into INAR’s website. There you can find resources about racism in Ireland, a guide on how to respond to racism and other interesting content. She also recommended several other Irish-centric resources, which are listed below.
A short documentary, which exposes the horrific abuse of hundreds of children in Ireland’s industrial schools. Christine Buckley bravely recounts the extent of the atrocities she experienced as a child in Dublin’s Goldenbridge orphanage.
Rosemary Adaser was one of many mixed-race children considered illegitimate who was brought up in institutions run by the Catholic church in Ireland between the 1950s and 1970s. She tells of the abuse and racist treatment she suffered, and returns to her school in Kilkenny for the first time in 40 years and attempts to answer questions about her past.
Direct Division: Children’s views and experience of living in Direct Provision, a report by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office 2020.
This report shows some of the racist experiences faced by children in Direct Provision in Ireland.
Expert on integration, diversity and equality in Ireland and the UK.
Don’t Touch My Hair, by Emma Dabiri
Áine added that if you are looking for something that focuses on the Irish context but also rounds it in a global context, this is a fantastic book that really weaves the personal and the universal experiences Black women have. She also recommended several other resources, which are listed below.
White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
In this award-winning book, sociologist Robin DiAngelo argues that our largely segregated society is set up to insulate whites from racial discomfort, so that they fall to pieces at the first application of stress.
Kimberlé Crenshaw talks about intersectionality focused on race and gender. She says that if you’re standing in the path of multiple forms of exclusion, you’re likely to get hit by both. In this moving talk, she calls on us to bear witness to this reality and speak up for victims of prejudice.
Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable.
Erica is a musician, who shares a lot of relevant content about racism in the Irish context, including her own experiences.
Dr. Ebun Joseph is a Nigerian lecturer, author, and consultant. She is co-founder and module coordinator of the first Black Studies module in Ireland at University College Dublin. She is the chairperson and founder of the African Scholars Association Ireland (AfSAI), she founded The Unforgettable Women’s Network (TUWN) and is a founding member of the African Women Writers Ireland. Joseph has spoken about her experiences of racism in Ireland as well as highlighting the prejudices that other minorities, such as the Travelling community, can face.
Non-binary activist, writer, sex educator and podcaster.
Constantly refresh your feeds.
Áine finished the discussion by suggesting that everyone take a look at their Twitter and Instagram feeds, and if you notice that ‘the last 50 photos have all been white people’, then maybe it’s a good idea to diversify your connections and ensure there is a balance in perspective. Go follow 5 people of colour, people who are trans, who have a disability, and you will end up on a self-exploratory journey where you learn by osmosis!
Miriam Sweeney, one of our guests, mentioned on the chat that Google has recently announced two programmes for startups, one focused on female-led companies, and one for Black founders.
Miriam also shared this really great IGTV done by 3 Irish Black siblings talking about their own experience in Ireland.
Hannah Mc Mahon shared this petition to try and get more authors of colour on the leaving cert syllabus.
Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Hannah also recommended this book by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, which tells the fictional story of a young Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, who immigrates to the United States to attend university.
What about you? Do you have any resources to recommend? Add them on the comments below!