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For would-be white allies, a path to navigate privilege

Courtesy of Catalyst Project, via their Facebook

At a time of increasing racial polarization in the United States, white people who want to provide support across racial and ethnic differences are often confronted by complex issues of privilege and sensitivity.

What role can or should they play in supporting people of color on issues related to discrimination, police violence or marginalization? That conversation can be complicated and full of sensitivities, triggers and boundaries. A lack of awareness means that well-intended people may end up offending others.

That’s where RahulaJanowski comes in. She’s part of Catalyst Project in San Francisco, and has worked for years training people on how to be effective and respectful allies.

"A lot of times, we can be committed, and yet we're still bringing our white privilege with us. And it's splashing all over all the people we're working with. And so showing up committed doesn't actually mean that you know how to do it yet."

Click the audio player above to listen to the full interview.   

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.