Why a Mantra? Mantras can be either a civic or a spiritual practice and sidestep some the inevitable issues involved in current meme wars, othering and violence, and the lingering hopelessness resulting from headlines, blogposts, sermons, videos, social media posts, hashtags as well as the permeating pain of black anger, white guilt, vigils, protests, walks, marches and gatherings of solidarity.
Mantras require no adherent qualifications, no belief system to assent to, and no other requirements other than the commitment to practice and see what happens. That’s it.
For more information check out The Sowers of Justice Network

  1. Mantra FIVE: I will see enough, understand enough, and feel enough to take action to change conditions.

    The difference is between sympathy and shaming.
    Not to just assuage my feelings of uninvolvement or pity or guilt or peer pressure or to shame those who evidence unseemly racism.
    Instead, creating the conditions for nonviolent impact, empathy, and the common good.

  2. Mantra SIX: I will go to to the trouble to invest in businesses owned by people of color wherever possible

    The difference is between blackwashing and instead, and instead letting people of color determine their own futures in their own way and mentoring, resourcing, and connecting any person of color who wishes such blessing.

  3. Mantra SEVEN: I will lead with my heart in serving other leaders, especially when the leaders are people of color.

    The difference is between offering myself as an expert, activist, editorialist or Moses, or Messiah, or gadfly assuming a posture on social media and elsewhere that is often blaming, shaming, violent, or self-righteous and instead, offering myself as a nonviolent, compassionate servant and a pragmatic, connected, constructive, moral imagineer.

  4. Mantra EIGHT: I Will Say Only What Needs to Be Said

    When invited, I will speak to power, bear witness to the suffering of others and the systemic nature of structural racism and offer a practical way forward but never just an overpowering outline of the problem and its ramifications) The difference is between remaining silent, using another’s path instead of my own or creating ego driven or hopeless opportunities to talk about the scale or scope of racism and, instead, being ready for authentic nonviolent opportunities to engage in public and private progressive conversations about uprooting racism and engaging in day to day activities, while suggesting activities, experiments,and projects that pilot what answers looks like.

  5. Mantra NINE: I will do what needs to be done without credit.

    The difference is between claiming responsibility but using the work for ego or self- glorification or ulterior motives or proclaiming it as someone else’s work and responsibility and instead claiming personal responsibility for what I see that needs to be done, and offering what I can without the need for recognition or personal gain or to always be in charge, and in addition, through my service, to help others be better engaged in the work

  6. Mantra TEN: I will behave and appear in person, in print, online, and in social media in nonviolence

    The difference is between assuming a posture or posting the thoughts and memes of others and instead, letting your experiences and work in upending racism speak for itself to others, especially letting those in the white learning community and the community of color, if they wish, help you become effective, empathetic, active, and trustworthy.