Three Anti-Racism Resources for Thinking Differently During Black History Month

At Ketchum, we are a passionate group of media consumers—the value we bring to our clients is fueled by a voracious appetite for reading, watching, listening and learning. So last year, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and other developments shining a light on systemic racism in America, one of our responses was to compile an Anti-Racism Resource Guide, filled with recommendations of books, articles, podcasts, films and organizations, all suggested by our employees.

When we rolled out the guide, our commitment was to ensure we continue to add to the resources already collected and create an ever-growing virtual library of recommendations. In honor of Black History Month, we’re releasing an updated version with additional content that I hope you will find informative—and might possibly challenge your understanding of your own racial identity. Some of the new content may help you navigate past your own experiences with racism and examine ways in which racism affects all parts of your human experience, from professional to personal.

Ketchum Anti-Racism Resource Guide - February 2021

As I continue my own journey in working and supporting Ketchum’s DE&I efforts, I’ve made the effort to look, listen and learn more actively as I strive to be a better ally and create opportunities to build a stronger community not only here at Ketchum, but also in my own personal world. The work is not easy, but it is fulfilling, especially when the resources shared here have helped me to answer questions in understanding my own racial identity and where I fit into the communities where I take space.

While not intended to be all-encompassing, the additional updates will hopefully inspire and prompt you to do your own research and discover additional ways to help someone in their personal DE&I journey. The following are my top recommendations from the new material, but you might find others even more valuable. Either way, I encourage you to take a moment to learn, reflect and most importantly act on your new learnings, even if the action is to learn more.

Book: Me and White Supremacy, by Layla F. Saad
After starting out as an Instagram challenge, #MeandWhiteSupremacy has now evolved into a step-by-step reflective process, encouraging the reader with white privilege to examine their own racist thoughts and behaviors. As a BIPOC but also white passing woman, I was challenged to rethink my own privilege and unlearn years of internalized oppression against myself. There were some chapters that took me through an emotional experience, at times encouraging me to pause and reflect more deeply on what I was reading. As the book states, in order to do this work, you will need, “your truth, your love and your commitment”—it can feel overwhelming at times, but it’s highly rewarding.

Podcasts:  I am an avid podcast listener and often seek out new shows either for entertainment purposes or to hear other points of view on different topics. The following two have been especially insightful, challenging me to understand the opinions and perspectives being shared.

Mixed Company: In searching for resources to help my colleagues in the creative space, I came across this insightful and sometimes critical look at how DE&I in our industry sometimes gets it wrong. Simeon Coker and Kai Deveraux Lawson share their opinions as they “unpack current issues and provide real solutions” to those of us in the creative space. Their commentary is eye-opening and pulls no punches—as their tagline states, they are “making uncomfortable conversations comfortable one episode at a time.”

Intersectionality Matters! With Kimberle Crenshaw: Ms. Crenshaw is no stranger to the DE&I space—as an American civil rights advocate and leading scholar of critical race theory, she coined the term “intersectionality” in the late ‘80s. Through her podcast, she has been bringing her listeners challenging conversations with leaders, scholars and activists around a variety of topics related to racial justice in America , with results that are not only educational but inspiring.

As you can imagine the information available today online and elsewhere is vast, and this updated collection of resources only scratches the surface. My hope is that you, my curious learner, find these resources helpful and perhaps use these learnings as building blocks to heal from your own past experiences that can in turn lead to growing as a community. Please reach out to share any resources you’ve been watching, reading or listening to that we can consider adding to future updates.

Giannina is a VP, Director, Human Resources & DE&I, based in Ketchum’s New York office, who also oversees Ketchum’s DE&I Councils in the U.S.