It’s the beginning of Black History Month and as a Black woman, it doesn’t surprise me that there is still a heaping amount of racism in the world. Though what does surprise me is that in 2023, we are still dealing with blackface, the use of the n-word (in casual conversation, at work, while listening to music), and Karens who believe that the Black Lives Matter movement is racist. I mean, really?!
Even though Gen Z is a more progressive generation, there are still racist people out here, whether they are friends, coworkers, celebrities and/or influencers. Now, it can be easy to cancel people and cut them out of your life when they exhibit racist behavior, but I think it’s very important that we educate our peers. How are people who never go through what we do everyday supposed to understand what it feels like to be discriminated against because of the color of your skin?
That is where anti-racism courses come into the conversion. These free (or affordable) online courses pack a lot of information into them so that people can get a better understanding of the culture we live in. If you think you need a bit of a wake-up call — or know someone in your life that could benefit from learning more about these topics — here are five anti-racism courses to get you started.
- Anti-Racism I
In this course, the instructor will teach students about racism in America, white privilege, and modern-day movements, as well as speak on the history of racism in America and define terminology critical to understanding the course. The curriculum flows from week to week, going from defining to identifying, and finally applying. One reviewer gave the course 5/5 stars and wrote, “Excellent course! I learned so much from Shawn and Jennifer. The readings and assignments were well chosen and designed, and the growth throughout the 3 weeks was immense. I highly recommend taking this course!” on January 25th. Seeing as this course is taught at a beginner level, it leaves room for students to continue learning but teaches students much about how to take action and become an ally in equality.
The University of Colorado Boulder offers this course for free, with either Shawn O’Neal or Jennifer Ho as an instructor. The course is 100% online, takes about 16 hours to complete, and at the end of the course you’ll receive a completion certificate. This course has a 4.74/5 rating on Coursera and is course 1 out of 3 in the Anti-Racism Specialization, in case you’d like to further your anti-racism studies afterwards.
- Shine Class: Black Liberation
Monique Melton is an educator, author, content creator, international speaker, and podcaster with many courses available on her website. Shine Class: Black Liberation is her introduction class, where she defines Black liberation and the importance of Black liberation in the world. In addition, Melton teaches actions that can be done daily in order to commit to anti-racism.
The class costs $47 to enroll, which is only about a week’s worth of coffee (just saying). Melton goes over how Black liberation is a commitment to anti-racism. The course consists of six lessons and 30 minutes worth of video content.
- The Anti-Racist Jumpstarter Guide
Tony Nabors is the owner and founder of Racial Equity Insights, and he created this guide for people tired of the injustice they see happening in the world. The intended audience he is reaching are people who want to be change makers and advocates. With this course, Nabors is hoping that people develop skills that will make them take action, not just when big things happen in the news but in everyday life.
During this course, Nabors will break down how to take action as well as develop an anti-racist mind, heart, and body. This course is a bit pricier at $97, but the knowledge that you’ll learn will last a lifetime.
- Diversity and Inclusion
Free and available on the edapp, this course will go over the definitions of diversity and inclusion, speak about unconscious bias, and how to become more inclusive. With choosing this course, you could either do it solo or even take part in it with coworkers, seeing as some lessons focus on the workplace. It has a 4.5/5 rating, with one reviewer writing that it is “easy to understand” and giving it a five star rating.
- Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History
This course, offered by The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and taught by James D. Anderson, teaches students about how race, ethnicity, and culture shaped America. Going from the past to present, this course takes a deeper look at the relationships and differences among the diverse groups in the country.
This beginner-level course is 100% online with a 4.76/5 rating on Coursera. It’ll take about eight hours to complete and a completion of this course comes with a certificate. A recent review called this an “exceptional” course!
As Amanda Gorman once said, “We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice.” These courses are here to make taking action, speaking up, and educating ourselves the societal norm. Taking these courses are the first — but by no means last — step towards anti-racism.