Racism lives in our minds and bodies—to end it, we must first find and feel it.

Like so many in our country, I am sick—not from the coronavirus, but by the ways systemic racism continues to shackle and kill people of color in our country and by the ways in which too many white Americans continue to deny it, look the other way and/or fail to see how there lives benefit from it.

In the U.S., systemic racism is one of the primary default programs all citizens use to filter day-to-day experiences. The random fact of being born white comes with unearned power and an unseen advantage over people of color. I have learned from antiracist friends and colleagues that racism is so deeply embedded in our societal structures and subconscious minds that if you live your life without examining your biases and the biases of people who were instrumental in shaping your beliefs, you will inevitably replay the learned racism consciously or unconsciously.

For many white people, it is too easy to believe that you care deeply about social justice but are too busy with work, taking care of kids, or paying the bills to join an all-out war on racism. It’s been too easy to only think about Black lives mattering immediately following the killing of another Black person by the police. The mass of diverse protesters across our country are screaming in one voice that inaction is no longer tolerable. It is time for white people to take responsibility for changing the culture of racism by changing themselves and the unequal social structures they have created. Silence is not an option.

In more intimate groups of well-meaning white people, I have heard many share how they feel stuck, frozen by guilt or fearful of doing or saying the wrong thing. They want to jump in but don’t know how or where to start. Taking responsibility must begin with an increased awareness of one’s own biases—how they were created and how they benefit