Awareness of racial injustice is spreading and many white people are wondering how they can challenge white supremacy and act in solidarity. Here are details of an Australian organisation led by people of colour, Democracy in Colour, their solidarity program for white supporters, and some thought-provoking resources.
About Democracy in Colour
Democracy in Colour is a national racial and economic justice organisation led by people of colour. We run campaigns that tackle structural racism and build the power of people of colour to shape the critical issues that affect our lives.
Nearly half of all people of colour in Australia experience racism in their lifetimes. This has profound impacts on people’s wellbeing, health, sense of belonging and participation in society – but it is often invisible. Our society currently faces the rise of white supremacist groups, a political consensus on offshore island concentration camps, vicious racialised crime panics, calls for Muslim bans and increased fear mongering. Communities of colour are used as convenient scapegoats to cover for the failings of a broken system of inequality by power brokers, politicians and institutions such as the conservative media.
- We are led by people of colour, and always seek to amplify the leadership of frontline communities.
- We focus on the systemic causes of racial injustice. We pick the bold, ambitious fights that get us closer to a world where justice is real.
- We work to strengthen communities, shift the relations of power away from those with money and influence and towards everyday people, and expand the realms of what’s possible.
- Social change is an ecosystem and we believe in partnership, not competition.
- We are fiercely independent – we do not take government funds so we are answerable to our members and mission only.
About the Solidarity Network
Throughout history, powerful social movements have been led by people of colour and backed-in by a community of allies who know that the people who are closest to the pain are best placed to lead the solutions.
Racism is built into so-called Australia’s history, governments, institutions and colonial culture. White people benefit from this everyday. From when you apply for a job or a house, to the people who you see on TV and in your Parliament, to the way you’re treated by police or security – you have white privilege.
To dismantle structural racism, we need a growing community of allies who amplify the voices of people of colour, self-educate about our racist colonial history, be willing to show up and speak out, act as a resource when called upon, and most importantly, give regularly to power campaigns that tear down white supremacy.
By becoming a member of the Solidarity Network you’ll join a community. Democracy in Colour will send you readings and podcasts, as well as opportunities for you to raise the voices of people of colour and show up or donate at key moments. You might be on-call for some data entry or phone banking, you might take on racist trolls online, or you might marshall a rally to keep people safe from cops.
Democracy in Colour recognises the crucial importance of decolonisation and justice for First Nations. We stand in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and encourage you to also make regular donations to Traditional Owners or First Nations campaigning groups where you live.
To get you thinking about what solidarity means and how to be active co-conspirators, not just allies, with people of colour see these resources:
- What does solidarity mean to you? A short video from another Australian anti-racist campaigners Colour Code. Includes perspectives from white people and people of colour about solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- The “Good Refugee”: why are only some asylum seekers worth fighting for? – article by Tim Lo Surdo, National Co-Director of Democracy in Colour.
- Confronting racism is not about the needs and feelings of white people – Ijeoma Oluo
Solidarity members have access to many more resources and forums to discuss them with each other.