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Where Do I Begin? Alumna Creates Daily Reading Plan

June 9, 2020

book coversOutraged by the murder of George Floyd and systems that devastate black, indigenous, and communities of color, School of Education and Social Policy alumna Amy Sanchez (BS15) curated a 28-day reading plan that includes news stories, podcasts, and videos on institutional racism, white supremacy, policing, protesting, and more.

“As a white woman, I've learned about racism through reading and listening, rather than through experiencing,” Sanchez wrote on Facebook. “I care deeply about my black and brown students, and at the same time I will never understand what it is like to be a child of color. I have the freedom to choose when to expand my understanding of systemic oppression. This is an astounding privilege. I am choosing to expand this understanding now.”

Sanchez, a social worker and counselor, created the daily reading format but credits many others for the content, including Tatum Dorrell, Jourdan Dorrell (WCAS17), Matt Herndon (BS17), Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein, the AntiRacism Project, The AntiRacist Resource Guide, and Rachel Ricketts.

One of Sanchez’s goals is to help white and non-black people of color consistently educate themselves on the issued, long after the momentum has slowed.

“Institutional racism, police brutality, outrage over murders aren’t new things – they just have the national attention right now,” she said. “We need to make a longer commitment to re-educating ourselves in order to support efforts for lasting change.”

Each day includes content that can be read, listened to or viewed in 15 minutes or less, though links to longer pieces are available. “None of the pieces are peer-reviewed journal entries; my intention is to make this learning highly accessible without compromising complexity and depth,” Sanchez wrote. She stresses that the plan "is only a starting point" and not fully representative of the range of experiences of institutionalized racism.

“Learning is one action, but not the only action,” she added. “Donate money. Vote. Call out racism (in yourself and in others). Use any privilege you have to support BIPOC communities.”

To continue the conversations and discuss the readings and other media, join the Facebook group Where Do We Begin? Aspiring Ally Reading Plan.