Best of N.A.H.

I’ve written hundreds of posts since I first created this blog, and hope to write many more over the course of my lifetime.  I love them all, but there are some which stand out to me more than others for a variety of reasons.

This space will house links to selected notes that have either been some of my most popular, or notes that I’m most proud of. Whether you’re a new visitor or a long-time supporter, consider these as “Must Have” staple posts for fans of Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian.

This post will be regularly updated at the beginning of each month. If you have favorites that I didn’t include here, feel free to highlight them in the comment section.

June 2020

Representation Matters in Social Work: We Need More Black Therapists

You Deserve Better. White Friends Who Need Disclaimers in the Fight for Racial Justice Are Not Truly Your Friends 


May 2019


March 2019

Talking with Kids About Death

August 2018

Is This Thing On?

July 2018

Sometimes, We Really Let Each Other Down in Social Justice Work

April 2018

Every Minute Matters

March 2018

Crowdsourced Interview Questions for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Positions in Education

February 2018

White Denial, Mental Health, and Mass Shootings

January 2018

Ways to Raise Kind People

White People Need to Be Better People

“Your Black Friend: An Animated Short

Depth and Breadth of Awareness

October 2017

“Positive Vibes Only”


August 2017


July 2017

A Tip For Socially Just Supervision: Incorporate Intersectional Feminist Praxis

Intragroup Reflections: Survival in Higher Ed is Important, But So Is Moving The Needle

May 2017

Considering Age as a Shared Identity Creates Opportunities for Empathy

April 2017


“You Can Keep That”

In Dialogue, “Ground Rules” Are Meant to be Liberatory

March 2017

katie gordon Speaks on Interfaith Understanding

Resources for Processing “Get Out”

Confronting Systems of Oppression in Higher Education

Trans 101: A Resource for Support

February 2017

For When Imposter Syndrome Creeps In

Toxic Masculinity

The Importance of Empathy


6 Reasons Colleges and Universities Should Face Race and Not Ignore it

January 2017

“How Often Do We Choose Not To Know?”

White People: Increase Your Racial Stamina: Take The Pledge



Brief Thoughts After Hidden Figures

January 5th, 2017

December 2016


N.A.H. Rewind: The Best of 2016

October 2016

On “Inspirational” Comparisons Between Light and Darkness as Tools of Anti-Blackness

September 2016

More Thoughts on Ubuntu

Maya Angelou On Love, Black Pain, Submission, Survival

On Protest: A Public Service Announcement

August 2016

Write Your Dreams Down, And Don’t Crumple The Paper

July 2016

The Keys To Success Should Not Be Rooted In Anti-Blackness: On Internalized Racism And Despising Black Hair As Access To Employment.

June 2016

Perception Is A Powerful Thing

When Diversity Means Everything, Diversity Means Nothing

Colorblindness Won’t End Racism

On Telling Black People Apart

May 2016

Education Technology And Teaching In Higher Ed

Your Outrage at the $15 An Hour Crowd Is Misdirected

Denial Is The Fuel That Feeds Rape Culture

I’ll  Never Be Here For The N-Word In Any Of Its Forms

April 2016

Conservative Christian Beliefs & Sexual Orientation in Social Work: N.A.H.Podcast Episode 3


N.A.H. Podcast Episode 2: For Your Inspiration

My Favorite Response to Buzzfeed’s 27 Questions Black People Have For Black People Video

March 2016

N.A.H. Podcast Episode 1.

10 Rules of Survival If Stopped By The Police

Notes For The Field: A Collection of Essential Notes For Social Work Practitioners and Other Helpers

Is Saying “Everything Happens For A Reason” Helpful or Harmful? My Answer: It Depends On Who You’re Talking To

A Beginning List of Readings for New Social Work Students

On Power & Privilege Denial, and “Hurt Feelings” in Social Justice Work

February 2016

Need a Doorway Into Talking About Differences and Conflict? Use Bath Towels

9 Pieces of Advice I Learned From Meeting A College Athletic Director

Yes, Anger Does Influence My Work for Racial Justice, and No, We Won’t Calm Down

January 2016

An Unexpected, But Very Welcome Gift

Create Your Personal SWOT Analysis

5 Pieces of Advice I Took From A Meeting With A College President

Support Notes From an Aspiring Humanitarian

Moving From “Non” To “Anti” In Social Justice Work

Need Blogging Inspiration? Check Your Comments

Changing Directions 

December 2015

N.A.H. Rewind: The Best of 2015

When 17+49=9

Updates, Changes

November 2015

When Your World Grows, Things Change

Having Trouble Connecting With Oppressed Groups? Maybe It’s Not Them. Maybe It’s You

We Are Not Beholden To Our “Allies”

An Open Letter To The Parents Of College Students: 8 Things Those Students Want You To Know

Respect Others’ Way Of Thinking

Getting In The Space To Write: 4 Things I Use

Sometimes, Looking Back Can Help You Move Forward

A Story In A Single Image: Challenging The Myth Of Meritocracy

Hope: One-Word Inspiration

15 Things I’ve Learned While Working For Social Justice

I Write Because…

October 2015

Moving Beyond Writer’s Block: 3 Tips for Writers For Social Justice

Please Consider Supporting My Work

Randomly Organized Thoughts From 35,000 Feet

Do You Drive Your Blog, Or Does Your Blog Drive You? On Blogging Schedules and That “Must Publish” Feeling

On Death Denial

September 2015

Stay Committed, Be Consistent

Non-Religious Belief ≠ Lack of Morality

Same Campus, Different Experiences: First Generation College Students Share Their Stories

A Charge to Schools of Social Work: Be Accountable in the Work of Racial Justice

Hurry Up and Wait: On Social Justice Elitism and Eagerness for Change

On Internalized Racism: Moving from Anger to Compassion

August 2015

Throwback Thursday: What Areas Would You Like The Social Work Profession To Focus On?

June 2015

“I Will Try Again Tomorrow”

May 2015

The Truth: White People Should Talk To White People About Racism

There’s Room For Us All In This Work

Degrees Are Not The Final Say

Do You Take Your Coffee Black, Or With Cream And Sugar? 14 Articles For White Folks Willing To Do Their Own Work

April 2015

What Is “The White Community” Going To Do About Racism?

Measure Your Life In Love

Kids Are Not Here For Our Boundaries

Getting In Our Own Way: Barriers We Contribute To That Limit Social Change

 March 2015

Love’s In Need Of Love

February 2015

We Make Black History Everyday. We Rise, We Survive, We Fly

Social Work and Public Health: Partner Professions in Social Justice

Twitter Chat On Macro Social Work Offers Important Resources for Students, Professionals

Everybody Can Be Great: Til The Very Last Minute

On The Social Construction of Disability

January 2015

The Art of War: How The Masses Are Convinced to be Complicit With Oppression

All The Good Things

December 2014

N.A.H. Rewind: The Best of 2014

From Everyday Feminism: “5 Ways Marginalized People Can Recognize Their Privilege in Other Areas

Give the Gift of Inclusion This Holiday Season: Multicultural Children’s Books

More Resources for Teaching About #Ferguson

An Open Letter of Love to Black Students: #BlackLivesMatter

A Collection of Narratives for Reflecting on Police Brutality, #Ferguson and Beyond: #BlackLivesMatter 

November 2014

Our Values Inform the Actions We Take, and The Paths We Make

October 2014

One, Human Family: An Example of Why We Should Work Together

Men’s Non-Violence Educator Shares Resources to Engage Men in Gender Based Violence Prevention Work

Racism Makes You Question Everything

It’ll Be Alright in The Morning

September 2014

Honor The Bridge Builders

Chronic Illness Bingo

(N.A.H.) Reaches 500 Posts

A Brief Reflection on Dialogue and Teaching

August 2014

“What is Your Responsibility to Your Country?”

6 Questions for Social Workers, 6 Answers for Social Work Students

When Things Aren’t Working Properly, Invest Some Time in Unclogging The Pipes

Talking About Microaggressions

July 2014

3 Messages that Can Be Used to Shut Down People of Color When Talking About Race, and 3 Reminders for People Who are Tired of Those Messages

June 2014

A Riddle for the Ages

May 2014

A Meaningful Memory

Who’s Labor is it Anyway?

We Always Have Permission

April 2014

3 Examples of Structural Racism in Action

“Don’t Burn Your Opportunities”

3 Ideas for What Men Who Work With Boys and Other Men Can Do to Help Them Challenge Sexism


March 2014

Man I Need You To Name It: Why The Delivery of The My Brother’s Keeper Initiative Put A Bad Taste in My Mouth

February 2014

For Potential Social Workers: 6 Sources of Advice

There Are No Short Cuts to Commitment

January 2014

You Still Can’t Touch My Hair

Bloggers for Social Justice: Promote Yourself, Your Blog Here

December 2013

Repair What Has Been Broken, While There’s Still Time

On Doing a Double Check: What If You’re Not Missing Any Information?

Treat Others How They Want To Be Treated

7 Resources on Cultural Appropriation

The Danger of A Single Story


Embracing Vulnerability

November 2013

“Blindspot” Redacted: Uncovering Privilege

Test Your Awareness

Allies Who Are Not Allies: Blogs You Should Read

The Black Bruins–Spoken Word by Sy Stokes

October 2013

On Being Called Out: Shut Up And Listen, Or, Resistance is a Choice

From WhereIamGoing: Personal Stories About Stop And Frisk

What A Shrink Thinks: Blogs You Should Read

September 2013

A Resource for Dialogue: White Privilege Denial Bingo

Sometimes We Need A Bridge: Lessons from Life’s Classroom

August 2013

From Feminist Frequency: Damsel in Distress: Tropes vs. Women in Video Games

2 Informative Resources on Implicit Bias Related to Race

Why Focus on So Many Issues? Inside N.A.H. Part 5

July 2013

From Where I Enter: When Being a Good Ally Goes Wrong

Who Are You Writing For? Inside N.A.H. Part 4

Safe Spaces for Everyone: Radio Interview on Street Harassment

“How Does It Feel to be A Problem?”

Sometimes, Even A Tow Truck Needs to be Towed: Lessons from Life’s Classroom

June 2013

On Beginning A Website: Inside (N.A.H.) Part 2

12 Topics About Social Media That I Hope You Write About

Reader’s Choice: How Do You Use Social Media?

May 2013

From Codeswitch: The Questions People Get Asked About Their Race

“Ok, But Where Are You Really From?”

4 Ways to Stay Mindful of Social Justice Issues in Group Work Practice

2 Exercises for The Grateful 

April 2013

From Alexandra Dal: Questions

Sometimes, Being “Used” Isn’t Such A Bad Thing: Lessons from Life’s Classroom

Have a Story to Tell? Just Write It Because It Could Be Just Right for Someone Else

March 2013

Reader’s Choice: Can You Revisit The Climate?

The Climate

Reader’s Share: We Need to Talk About an Injustice

Reader’s Share: The Wrong Side of History

(N.A.H.) Rewind: On Social Work in Society: For Me, It All Comes Back to Ubuntu

February 2013

On Relationships: When In Doubt, First, Do a Double-Check: Lessons from Life’s Classroom

A Brief Note of Gratitude

For Would Be Allies on the Road to Equity: To Move Beyond Misrepresentation, We Must First Acknowledge the Facts

Social Workers for Social Justice: An Interview with Relando Thompkins

On Being Black and Non-Christian: Sometimes, “Keeping it Real” Goes Wrong

2 Conflicts, 2 Articles, and 2 Conversations Worth Having About Race and Black History Month

From Tumblr: Dear Liberal Allies–What Your College Courses on Oppression Didn’t Tell You

An Exercise in Media Literacy: Superbowl Bingo

January 2013

7 Productive Ways to Manage Yourself When Times Get Rough

From Gawker: The Unbearable Invisibility of White Masculinity: Innocence in the Age of White Male Mass Shootings

13 Compelling Social Work Blogs

December 2012


On Communication: Duplicates vs. Complements

On Communication: Debate vs. Dialogue

November 2012

Four Corners of Bullying: Towards Breaking the Cycle

October 2012

Playing Oppression Olympics Gets Us Nowhere on the Road to Equity

We All Need Allies, and We All Need to be an Ally

Reader’s Share: The Glorification of White Crime

September 2012

Understanding “Kid Fun” as a Secret to Success: Lessons from Life’s Classroom

Racial Discrimination in the Workplace: On Hair Politics

A Valuable Resource: The Social Worker as a Consultant Series

August 2012

Are YOU A Community Organizer?

Equity Through Non-Violent Communication and Social Action: An OU Interview with Relando Part 7

Brief Thoughts on Dialogue: An OU Interview with Relando Part 2

“One Thing I Wish I Learned in Social Work School”: A Follow-Up

On Mentoring: One Response

Skills for Entrepreneurship: One Thing I Wish I Learned in Social Work School

July 2012

Social What?

Sometimes, It’s Good Things Don’t Work Out: Lessons from Life’s Classroom

June 2012

Remember Something New Everyday: Lessons from Life’s Classroom

May 2012

A Challenge, A Change in Diet, or Something More?

April 2012

An Important Reminder

“When You Get, Give. When You Learn, Teach”

Different Stories, Common Themes

“I Just Want to be Helped and be a Helper”

March 2012

On Being an Ally

It’s the Journey That’s Important

February 2012

“How You Spend the Dash”

January 2012

To Serve

December 2011

What’s With the Conflict? Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

October 2011

Dealing with Conflict: A Tale of Monsters & Two Wolves

September 2011

Barely Scratching the Surface: Thoughts on Social Identities, Power, Privilege, & Oppression

August 2011

An Aspiring Humanitarian’s Advice to Future Students Pursuing Studies for Social Justice Work

July 2011

Re: “Can I Touch It?” The Fascination with Natural, African American Hair

It’s Not a Compliment, It’s Harassment

Brief Thoughts on Intergroup

June 2011

To the African American Father: You Are Appreciated

Breaking the Silence: A Lesson Learned in My Ongoing Development as an Ally

May 2011

Respecting Diversity in the Classroom & Beyond: Multicultural Guidelines

Sincerity & Humility as Credibility

April 2011

Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian (N.A.H.)



From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW, LLMSW



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Written by

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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3 Responses

  1. June 2, 2016

    […] notes from throughout the years can be found on The Best Of N.A.H. […]

  2. July 1, 2020

    […] out the June 2020 archives for more notes from that month. Visit The Best Of N.A.H. page to find more of my personal […]

  3. August 14, 2020

    […] Best Of […]

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