How can we contribute to a world with less racism

Gabriela Oliveira, author of “An Attitude Per Day For A World With Less Racism”, shows how we can combat racism by adopting simple attitudes in everyday life.

Gabriela Oliveira, author of “An Attitude Per Day for a World with Less Racism”, shows how we can combat racism racism adopting simple attitudes in everyday life.

How to build an egalitarian society between whites and blacks? Small, daily attitudes are the key. This is what Gabriela Oliveira, entrepreneur, designer, professor and marketing consultant, TEDx Speaker and author of “Uma Attitude Per Dia Por Um Mundo Com Menos Racismo” (Editora Belas Letras) says.

“It is small, everyday attitudes that perpetuate racism, and many of them are not even conscious. That’s why it’s necessary to move from ideas to practice”, says the author. “I don’t want to wait for society to change in 2050. To begin the change, we need to increase awareness so that everyone understands their role as an agent of this transformation.”

Gabriela emphasizes that, contrary to what many people think, racism is not a problem that should be discussed only among black people, but by everyone, and that raising awareness among white people is fundamental. “In this anti-racist movement, white people have to become an ally, an agent of transformation. But before that, you need to understand that she is part of the problem.”

For her, this social change towards a world with less racism will not happen naturally, but rather through joint action. “It is important for white people to understand that society was structured in a way that privileges them. Therefore, we all have a responsibility to act so as not to perpetuate prejudiced attitudes.”

In her book, she provides a hundred tips on simple attitudes that we can adopt on a daily basis to reinforce the anti-racist movement, such as, for example, talking about racism among white people, stopping using racist expressions and encouraging black people who work in your company. For those who don't know where to start, she recommends three very simple, but very effective steps to raise awareness and combat racism in everyday life.

Step 1: observe how many black people you live with

Gabriela's first tip is to do what she calls a “neck exercise”, that is, look to the side at work, in a restaurant, at the cinema, at parties with friends and count how many black people there are in the place. “Ask yourself if these black people are serving you or living with you”, explains the author. “This perspective is extremely important to understand how structural racism is already present in your daily life.”

Step 2: Read an article or book about racism

To better understand racism, read an article or book on the topic (and then do more reading, of course). “Those who seek this knowledge and personal development find it easier to identify their actions and the prejudices that are rooted and that often go unnoticed”, says Gabriela. “We need to learn how racism acts in society and understand that it is not an individual problem, but a structural one.”

Step 3: get to know the work of a black person

Ask yourself if you consume products, services and content made by black people. “How many black entrepreneurs are you buying from? How many films by black screenwriters and directors have you watched?”, asks Gabriela. To rebalance the game and enable more black people to play a leading role, she suggests consuming content from black influencers and thinkers – and not just about racism. “Black people don’t just talk about racism, they talk about technology, fashion, beauty and other topics. How many of your references are black people?”

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