2022 Fakequity Pledge — Home Edition

Fakequity Pledge 2022 – Home edition Picture of a black and white blanket in the background and a black coffee mug on a white and gold coaster

For the past four years, Fakequity has published an annual pledge. This is an annual list of things to think about and pledge to do better in the coming year. After writing the pledge for four years, I had a minor freakout about how to make this year’s pledge fresh and new. I almost thought about not doing it this year, yet as always happens while walking and listening to a podcast the thought of home. It feels like a fitting focus due to continued COVID pandemic life and the continued need to not gather and spread COVID’s omicron variant.

SOME NOTES: When I say home, I encourage you to define home in ways that work for you. Home can be the literal and physical place, or it can be extended to other places that you feel connected to. Some pledge points are meant to appreciate the neighborhood and city where you live, not just your physical home. Do not feel like you have to pledge to all of them at the same time. This is meant to be personal to each of us and to be used as a way of resetting or discovering new ways of deepening our commitments to racial justice and anti-racism.

In 2022 I pledge to:

  1. Know whose land I am on – learn about Native/Indigenous rights, lands, and people. Read the treaty/ies between the tribe who’s land your home is on and the government. (With thanks to J.L. for teaching me about the importance of Native treaties.)
  2. Correctly say the name of who’s land you are on – properly pronounce the tribe and nation names of Native and Indigenous people.
  3. Not use the word decolonize unless your Native/Indigenous. Example, I will not say “I will decolonize my diet/bookshelf/backyard plants,” “We decolonized our Thanksgiving by…” Native/Indigenous people have asked non-Natives not to use the word decolonize as a metaphor (see link).
  4. Learn about my personal culture by reading a book, watching a movie or documentary, listening to music by a creator who identifies the same. Understanding our personal culture and beliefs is important to understanding others.
  5. Cull my books and media (e.g. podcast, social media feeds, apps, etc.) for items that no longer fit your racial beliefs. As an example, growing up I loved the Little House on the Prairie books. As an adult I’ve learned more about the author’s beliefs about Native Americans and choosing not to keep them. Same for the Harry Potter series due to the author’s transphobic beliefs.
  6. Name, call out or call in, people who say or perpetuate racism, especially when it happens in our homes.
  7. Shop at POC locally owned businesses, perhaps in walking distance to your house to invest hyper-locally.
  8. Learn about how housing contributes to generational wealth and racial wealth disparities.
  9. Make my home more accessible – clearly list house numbers, if people are picking up things from your house and you have stairs offer to move the item to a more accessible spot, keep sidewalks clear, request the city put in curb cuts, etc.
  10. Walk the neighborhood. When we walk we discover new things about the neighborhood and can grow connections and appreciation for the diversity in it. Recently I noticed a huge heritage tree in someone’s back yard. This tree is over 100 years old. Had I been in the car I wouldn’t have noticed. While this doesn’t have a lot to do with race, it helped me appreciate, discover, and be open to learning more about the neighborhood overall. While not everyone is physically able to walk, tailor this point to however you choose to appreciate your neighborhood outside of the normal.
  11. Appreciate local street art, especially by artist of color. Bonus: research the artist or art, especially if the art is featuring a person of color.
  12. To remember people make towns/cities/neighborhoods function. Consider the service workers and people who take care of the place you consider home. What is the racial makeup of the people who serve your town/city/neighborhood? (With thanks to @ainamomona on Instagram for sparking this thought.)
  13. Register to vote and vote if you are legally able to. Help others understand local political issues. Follow POC voting guides. Voting in local elections is important for POC interest.
  14. Engage in a meaningful way with the people who make my home possible. Think about the POCs who interact with your house and how to make your home more welcoming for them.
  15. Thank my home for being a space of peace, reflection, and reflection of self. Marie Kondo (KonMari) does this very well if you want some inspiration.

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I am writing from the lands of the 29 federally recognized and non-federally recognized tribes in now Washington State, including the Coast Salish people — Duwamish, Muckleshoot, Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Native American organizations that have treaty rights and have been here since time immemorial. I give my thanks to the elders, Native and Indigenous colleagues and relations, and the land itself. Fakequity pays “rent” to Native organizations in Washington and Hawaii; a small act to repair and work to be in more justice based relations.