Doyin Richards '98 doesn’t pull any punches in the Anti-Racism Fight Club. Blunt honesty – real talk – is what he’s all about.
Richards founded the Anti-Racism Fight Club in the summer of 2020 after the murder of George Floyd.
“There was a strong appetite for anti-racism education, but a lot of what I witnessed completely missed the mark,” he said. “I decided to leverage my 16 years of training and development experience – and lifetime of being an anti-racism Black person – to create a no-nonsense, behavior-changing anti-racism course.”
“I dish out harsh truths and thrive on making people uncomfortable because I know that meaningful growth happens in uncomfortable moments,” he continued. “So if I determine a client is giving lip service to inclusion and equity but not actually doing anything, I’ll call them out on it. If a company thinks they’re committed to diversity, but they have no diversity on their leadership team, I’ll question their motives.”
But Richards’ frank approach hasn’t scared anyone away. In fact, corporations and schools are embracing his course and the reason he calls it the Anti-Racism Fight Club.
“The point is that being quietly ‘not racist’ isn’t good enough anymore. We have to actively fight against racism and end this nightmare once and for all,” he said. “Since July 2020, I’ve trained over 6,000 people to be anti-racist, and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.”
Which is why he’s also offering his brand of real talk to kids. In an age-appropriate but no less impactful way, Richards’ new book introduces young readers to diversity and inclusion through a special story.
Watch Me, his third children’s title, was written in memory of his father, who died of colon cancer in February 2019. It tells the story of his father’s immigration to the United States.
“Over the past few years, there has been some inflammatory rhetoric circulating about how immigrants from so called ‘s***hole countries’ don’t add value to America,” Richards said. “My dad was born and raised in a small West African country called Sierra Leone that fits that description.”
“He ended up getting a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and became an award-winning professor. I kept thinking I could inspire so many kids from third-world countries to do great things by empowering them to believe in themselves.”
Richards lives in Southern California with his wife and their daughters, Emiko (10) and Reiko (7). He studied psychology at Union.
“In the interest of keeping it real,” Richards said, “Union wasn’t the most diverse school during my time there and I didn’t have the easiest time fitting in with the student body. I think that if I was a student at Union now, I would feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin.”
Richards loves all types of cheesy pasta and is a diehard Los Angeles Lakers and Dodgers fan. He’s also the head coach of Reiko’s basketball team.
“I absolutely love it,” he said of coaching. “I find myself laughing at (and also dishing out) some of lamest dad jokes out there. Dad puns – that’s how eye roll.”
To learn more about Richards, the Anti-Racism Fight Club, or to watch his TEDx Talk, visit doyinrichards.com. Learn more about his books here.