White Antiracist History; White Antiracist Mobilization: The Vision Statement for the White Antiracist Ancestry Project

Lynn Burnett
4 min readMay 20, 2022


Foundational Principles: The Importance of Mobilizing White People

This project is grounded in the longstanding call from the Black Freedom Struggle — historically and in the present — for White people to mobilize other White people for racial justice. This project takes seriously that we cannot end systemic racial inequity unless we bring masses of White people into an active concern for racial justice. It recognizes that if those concerned with racial justice don’t mobilize White people, opponents of racial justice will. Furthermore: mobilizing White people is essential for changing voting behavior in the country, in ways that are essential to all the causes we hold dear.

The mobilization of White people for racial justice is also the foundation for one of the most important priorities of White antiracists: building stronger support for Black and Brown-led racial justice efforts. It is only when we mobilize White people that we bring their skills, networks, access to power structures, financial resources, and time and energy into the service of Black and Brown-led efforts.

It is therefore of the utmost importance that White antiracists envision the strategies and resources they need to mobilize as many White people as possible. We need to be willing to invest in those resources in order to make them a reality, and to maximize their impact. The White Antiracist Ancestry Project is one such resource.

The Premise

The premise of this project is simple: it will be easier to organize White people for racial justice, if they have powerful examples of White antiracism to learn from and be inspired by.

By lifting up the stories and lessons of White antiracist history, this project is helping to ground committed White antiracists in a rich legacy of antiracist practice. It is providing teachers and parents of White children with resources that will help them raise a White antiracist generation. And it is giving average White Americans the opportunity to imagine new possibilities of how they can show up as White people in this world.

Since the winter of 2021, this project has offered over 40 workshops to dozens of White antiracist organizations, helped to train over a thousand activists, worked with a range of incredible movement elders, and created resources seen by hundreds of thousands of people. Below, you can find descriptions of the types of resources being created by this project… including how they each have strategic value. But first: please join us in helping to make this good work a reality, by supporting the Go Fund Me.

The Resources

1. A growing collection of dozens of short stories, about a wide variety of White antiracists in U.S. history: Short stories are highly accessible, which allows them to get out into the broader public. Their accessibility makes them excellent resources for parents and teachers of White children, which aids in the incredibly important task of raising a White antiracist generation. Presenting a wide range of White antiracists also helps people discover figures they might relate to, or be personally inspired by. For examples of this type of resource, see the project’s Examples of White Antiracism in U.S. History, which can be found in the White Antiracism section at CrossCulturalSolidarity.com.

2. A series of chapter-length stories, exploring the most essential examples of White antiracism in more depth: Chapter-length stories can portray the emotional journey and growing process of White antiracists, which allows these stories to become platforms for self-reflection. These longer-form pieces explore the humbling moments and mistakes made, giving White antiracists today the opportunity to avoid making mistakes themselves, as well as providing important examples of resilience and healing. These longer pieces offer deep-dives into strategic brilliance that can ignite our own strategic imaginations and support our organizing. For an example of this type of resource, see the project’s story about Anne Braden, as well as the journaling and discussion questions that will accompany each chapter-length piece.

3. Telling the stories of our elders: It’s important to tell the stories and record the wisdom of our movement elders, while we are still blessed to have them with us. The White Antiracist Ancestry Project is in touch with and hopes to interview and write about dozens of elders. For examples, see the project’s interview with SNCC’s Mike Miller; the project’s longform story about George Hrbek… as well as the project’s In Memoriam for George, which reinforces just how important it is that this project gets the support it needs to succeed NOW.

4. Developing a body of work that helps us theorize the purpose and potential of White antiracist history: This project is in touch with a number of historians of White antiracism as well as key movement thinkers, who will be interviewed to explore how we can best use this history to strengthen today’s antiracist efforts. For examples, see the project’s interview with Anne Braden’s biographer, Cate Fosl; and the project’s interview with Tim Wise.

5. Building workshops around these stories: These resources have their greatest impact when studied and discussed amongst people who organize together. In that context, community and shared movement knowledge can be built around these stories. See workshop testimonials here.

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