Interpersonal Racism: How can we effectively call people in and productively intervene in racist behavior?

Interpersonal racism is real. It may not always play itself out in outrageous and overtly intentional ways, but rather show up in subtle and ignorant ways. Everyone, and especially white people, have a role in calling out racism and bigotry, and this can be a hard thing for some people to do. Even if it isn’t difficult to do, it can be difficult to do in a way that is ultimately productive, inviting someone who has said or done something that perpetuates racism to change or to consider changing.

We invite you to look over one or more of the following resources and consider how you see your own role and responsibility around “calling in” (as opposed to “calling out” or shaming) others in your family, community, workplace, or school.

Are you comfortable with intervening around racist behavior? If so, what have you found effective? What has not worked?

If you have not been able to intervene productively, why not? What is needed to be able to do this?


CHECKLIST: Racist behaviors and interventions
CHARTS: Sources of White People’s Resistance Regarding Racism
BLOG POST: “Love While Challenging Racist Behavior”
ARTICLE: Detour Spotting for Anti-Racists(habits that derail self-declared white anti-racists from actually doing the work)


(<4 minutes): A Trip to the Grocery Store(an example of leveraging privilege to intervene)
(<9 minutes): Getting Called Out – How to Apologize