We Tried to Tell Y’all

Jan 15, 2021 | Woke @ Work

Read Time: 4 minutes

“Please stop saying this is not America, or we are better than this. America was founded on the violent taking of land and reliance on chattel slavery by white supremacist slave owners who documented their plan to commit genocide on Indigenous people. Just over 50 years ago, white police officers violently hosed and beat people trying to stand up for their basic rights and continue to do so. This is the only America some of us know.”   – Amanda Andere, EiC Board Member and CEO, Funders Together to End Homelessness




A week ago, a mob of white people loyal to the president attempted a coup. They are the embodiment of America’s centuries-long legacy of mob violence and domestic terrorism designed to consolidate and preserve white power and supremacy. This is who we have always been beneath the veneer of American exceptionalism, liberty and justice for all.

We have tried for centuries to tell y’all.

Every day, Indigenous people and Black people exist on a “continuum between hope and terror” (as Shayna Hammond describes it) that was forged in the cradle of American democracy. The horrifying and shameful root of that terror, white supremacy, was laid bare on live television last week.

Colleagues have asked how to begin a workplace dialogue about what happened and how we got here. Now, as always, it is critically important for white allies, in solidarity with Black people and people of color, to condemn and begin to dismantle a system of oppression that sanctifies the value of white lives above all other humans.

Below, you will find a list of resources we hope will aid in this effort.

Articles on Current Events & Structural Racism/White Supremacy

Norms to Guide Discussion of Current Events

Resources to Support Action/Activism


Screening and panel discussion of Dawnland, which documents the first official “truth and reconciliation commission” in the United States. The commission grapples with difficult truths, redefines reconciliation, and charts a new course for state and tribal relations in Maine. Register here for the 1/28/21 at 7pm ET webinar.

Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) webinar: White Backlash: why it happens and how we fight back. Register here for the 1/13/21 at 8pm ET webinar.

In November 2020, Desiree Adaway and Ericka Hines led Bracing for Impact, a webinar designed to help folks prepare for what we knew would be a volatile political period. If you missed it the first time or need a refresher, watch the replay HERE. If you prefer to listen like a podcast, you can do that HERE.

What is Your Role? Inclusive Life’s Understanding the Ecosystem of Social Change and Where You Fit In with Deepa Iyer. Listen to the podcast here.

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