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As a white person doing anti-racism work, it is important that I intentionally create opportunities to hold myself accountable to the values I aspire to live out. I need to commit to continually learning, practicing, and evaluating my own behavior so that I am more able, more often, to do less harm. This means doing my own research and education. It means being mindful that the research and education I’m seeking out is authored by People of Color (POC), is current, and is meaningful. It means intentionally seeking out POC, that I’ve developed relationships with, to practice receiving open and honest feedback without defensiveness. It also means connecting with other white colleagues who do anti-racism work so that my POC colleagues aren’t doing all the work for my education. To that end, I have started participating in a white study group with other white anti-racism facilitators as a way for us to hold one another accountable.
Accountability Groups are becoming common practice in many fields and industries e.g., nursing, education, media, graphic design etc. They can serve lots of different functions and mean lots of different things to different people. But they are essentially any group of like professionals who want to provide support, personal and professional growth opportunities for, resources to, and build relationships with others in their field. They exist in response to the questions; How can we get better if we aren’t holding ourselves accountable? Who’s evaluating our competency? Where are the other people in my field who struggle with what I struggle with?
So, what are some benefits of these groups?
Personal and Professional Growth
How do I start an accountability group and what are some important things to keep in mind?
Please let us know if you are currently in an accountability group or if you plan to start one and have insights to share!
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