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  • Writer's pictureEngaging Across Difference

Please & thank you

Tips for accomplices: Say "excuse me", "please" & "thank you". Those words go a long way especially since many folks of color are not used to hearing white folks use them. Also, be aware of your surroundings and the space you take up. I cannot count the number of times that I have watched a white person get on a bus or train and stop as soon as they enter, unaware or oblivious to the people around and behind them. It is also common to see a white person enter the grocery store with their cart and stand right in the entryway so it is almost impossible for anyone else to enter or exit. Be aware of yourself, the space around you and be polite!

Self-care tips for folks of color: Stop code switching and start being unapologetically YOU. White people continue to be uncomfortable around us because they are so often protected from who we are. We often change the way we talk, the way we wear our hair (we pretend it's not black), what we like to eat and drink, the music we listen to, etc.

Start in small increments. Decide that for one hour a day you will not code switch. Commit to being honest about the food and drink you enjoy. The more you commit to being the authentic you, the easier it will become.

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