13 Racial Justice Educators To Follow, Learn From & Support Right Now
One of the biggest lessons I, as a white woman, am learning from the response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery is that I (and a lot of other nonblack folks) need to educate ourselves about race and our place within a deeply racist system—and that won't happen over the course of one scroll through Instagram. Facing, questioning, and untangling biases will be an active and long-term process. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources that already exist to help inform and guide this ongoing edification.
Here are a few of the many racial justice educators who offer anti-racism classes, books, journalism, podcasts, and webinars. Follow them; support them; invest in them. Let's get to work:
1. Layla F Saad
Anti-racism educator Layla F Saad (@laylafsaad on Instagram) is the author of Me and White Supremacy, a bestselling book about challenging white supremacy that was inspired by her viral social media challenge of the same name. As the host of the Good Ancestor podcast, Saad interviews inspiring guests—primarily women of color—about what it means to be a good ancestor and incite positive, lasting change. She has also translated the theme of good ancestry into a Good Ancestor Academy—a collection of online classes that range from 60 to 90 minutes in length and touch on topics such as Dismantling White Feminism and Parenting & White Supremacy. Saad is also active on her YouTube channel.
2. Rachel Cargle
In the off chance you're not one of the 1.2 million people already following Rachel Cargle on Instagram @rachel.cargle, check out her feed for new ways to practice unlearning racism. You'll find a template for holding employers accountable for racial justice, recorded lectures on unpacking white feminism, a public address on revolution, and more helpful tools. While many of them are free or donation-based, Cargle recently posted a few ways to support her work financially under the "Support" highlight on her IG feed.
Offerings: Speeches, lecture series, downloadable templates
3. Austin Channing Brown
Austin Channing Brown is a writer and producer whose work explores racial justice, faith, and Black womanhood. Her memoir, I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, is a recounting of how Brown has seen allies' actions fail to live up to their words over the course of her life. Since its publication in 2018, Brown has released a digital discussion guide that further explores some of the book's themes. Her latest venture is a web series called The Next Question, which just wrapped up its first season. In it, she and cohosts Jenny Booth Potter and Chi Chi Okwu interview inspiring people in the racial justice space. Sign up for Brown's newsletter Roll Call to read and watch her latest works and do daily "homework" assignments on the subject of anti-racism work.
4. Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis
Licensed psychologist, ordained minister, and artist Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is a mental health expert whose work focuses gender, race, and the role that culture plays in trauma recovery. You can engage with her work by following her on Instagram @dr.thema, reading her books (Thriving in the Wake of Trauma: A Multicultural Guide and Tweets for the Soul: When Life Falls Apart) and tuning into her Homecoming podcast. The most recent episode on self-care for change activists and agents could be especially valuable right now.
Offerings: Thriving in the Wake of Trauma: A Multicultural Guide book, Tweets for the Soul: When Life Falls Apart book, and Homecoming podcast.
5. Trabian Shorters
Trabian Shorters is an author, speaker, and founder of BMe: an organization that trains companies such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Heinz Endowment in matters of diversity and inclusion using asset-framing, which seeks to define people "by their aspirations and contributions before exploring their deficits." He's also the editor of Reach: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding.
6. Monique Melton
Monique Melton offers a variety of anti-racism workbooks and online classes, including the 12-week Unity Over Comfort Experience: an intensive deep-dive into white supremacy, racism, and feminism. She also hosts an anti-racism 101 course and a course for parents teaching their kids about racism. On her website, Melton reiterates the fact that these resources are not meant to be comfortable or easy: They're meant to inspire growth. Learn more about her approach by tuning into her Shine Brighter Together podcast.
7. Myisha T. Hill
Myisha T. Hill is a mental health activist whose new book, Check Your Privilege: Live Into the Work, invites readers to embark on their own anti-racism journey—knowing full well that it won't look perfect. "In a society that promotes perfectionism, anti-racism work is made tougher, paralyzing those of us who want to do better with worry that we might make a mistake," the book's summary reads. In her Co-Conspirators Lounge, Hill broadcasts a monthly anti-racism masterclass, shares biweekly writing prompts, and hosts two virtual meetups per month.
8. Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi is a prolific writer, speaker, and founder of the Antiracism Center. He's the author of two New York Times best-sellers, How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas In America, and his new book, Antiracist Baby, is set to be released later this month. You can browse a collection of his journalism here and watch him discuss some of the themes of his work here.
9. Attia Taylor
Attia Taylor is the founder and editor-in-chief of Womanly, a stunning health magazine that tells stories primarily geared toward Black and underrepresented women and nonbinary people. "This magazine is in response to centuries of violence and oppression, and that comes with a number of challenges in reaching people in a way that can actually effect real change and leave a lasting impact," Taylor says in an interview with thecnnekt. For every magazine sold, Womanly gives five free copies to underserved women around the country. You can also donate directly to the mag and learn from them on Instagram @womanlymag.
Offerings: Womanly magazine
10. Nova Reid
Activist, inspirational speaker, and writer Nova Reid is the host of the new Conversations With Nova Reid podcast and creator of an online class about racism and white privilege. She cautions that her class is not for complete beginners and requires a baseline understanding on what white skin privilege is, which Reid says can come from books like Me and My White Supremacy or Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race). Her TED talk on racism and microaggressions might be a better resource to get started with.
11. A.J. Ali
A.J. Ali is a producer whose work focuses on ending systemic racism and improving relations between police and people of color. The service-disabled Air Force veteran is the founder of the L.O.V.E. Is The Answer Movement, which provides training, guidance and opportunities for people to come together, learn, grow, and heal. Check out his documentary about racial profiling in minority communities, Walking While Black: L.O.V.E. Is The Answer, and his book, L.O.V.E. Is The Answer.
12. Sonja R. Price Herbert
A leader in the fitness space, Sonja R. Price Herbert is the founder of Black Girl Pilates, a collection of Black female-identifying pilates instructors, and the co-founder of Melanin Brothers of Pilates, which is geared towards Black men. Her webinar, Introduction to Anti-Racism for Pilates Studios and Instructors, calls attention to the lack of diversity within the pilates industry and calls for a more inclusive future.
13. Rachel Ricketts
A leading voice in the anti-racism space, Rachel Ricketts hosts online classes focused on Spiritual Activism, which is all about getting "comfortable with your discomfort around discussing and addressing race and racism" and becoming an advocate for racial justice. Ricketts, like so many on this list, wants it to be known that anyone thinking of following her on Instagram @iamrachelricketts or taking one of her classes should be ready and willing to engage in anti-racism work, not just the performance of it.
Offerings: Spiritual Activism workshops
Do you have any names to add to the list or more anti-racism resources you wish mbg would cover? Send me an email at email@example.com.
Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.