Chrisley Knows Best returns July 9 at 9/8c on USA Network

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Savannah Chrisley and Chloe
Savannah and Chloe Chrisley
| Credit: Savannah Chrisley/ Instagram

Savannah Chrisley says it's her "duty" to stand up for her biracial niece Chloé against racism and discrimination.

In a wide-ranging interview promoting the new season of her family's reality show Chrisley Knows Best, the star tells PEOPLE she's faced "judgment" while out with 7-year-old Chloé. (The new season premieres Thursday on USA Network.)

"I take Chloé out with me and we'll go get our nails done or we'll go have lunch and we'll just have a day to ourselves and the looks that I get from people — it's just devastating," she says.

Chloé is the daughter of Savannah's eldest brother Kyle and has been raised by their parents, Todd and Julie Chrisley.

"To see the judgement from people. ... We're in 2020, this should not be happening," she says. "It's my duty to stand up for Chloé and for people and all young girls and women and people of color. It's not enough to say you're not racist. I mean, we've heard that line a zillion times."

The reality star stresses that in order to initiate change in the fight against racial injustice, you must be willing to match your words with actions.

"If you're not putting any action behind it, then it means nothing. So, I think that's what we as a family are trying to do — trying to put action behind it and just learning because you have to take a second to talk to people," she says. "That's one of the best things I've done, just have conversations with friends who are of color just to hear their points of view and how they're feeling. I mean, I've never really looked at it that way. It's a great time to make a difference."

Savannah shares that she's also taken time to reflect on her own privilege and wants to make sure Chloé understands where she comes from.

"Chloe is biracial and she needs to know both sides of her family and where she comes from. The whole Black Lives Matter movement should have been something that happened a long time ago and it makes me so sad to see that racism is still alive."

Chrisley Knows Best
The Chrisley family
| Credit: Cythina Hicks/NBCUniversal via Getty

She continues: "The way that we grew up, we were taught to be accepting of everyone. For me, I am a privileged white woman and I think a big problem is that a lot of people are having a hard time admitting the privilege that they do have."

"There are a lot of things I haven't had to deal with, certain hardships and adversities and it's truly so sad that skin color can either make your life easier or harder," she adds.

As for what's next on their show, Savannah's brother Chase teases new dynamics.

“I think that in season 8 you see a lot of growth what Savannah and I are both going through with our struggles, and how we are going to overcome them and grow as people and in both of our cases as partners in relationships and just trying to grow as individuals," says Chase, 24.

"For me, I kind of open up about my struggle with endometriosis and my mindset on that and how I start to think about kids," Savannah adds. "We go much deeper, and I’m excited for it because I feel a lot of things that we touch on are going to help so many other people. That’s just what our role is. We’ve been a platform and hopefully that helps other people in the process.”

Chrisley Knows Best returns July 9 at 9/8c on USA Network

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.