For those looking to stand in solidarity and be an ally in helping to stamp our racism, there are lots of small things you can do to help. In a world where all are responsible for creating equality and justice, its time to step up and give as much support as you can. Here are a few ways you can build upon your own knowledge and resources and be a better ally in the fight for equality.
Start at Home
The most important thing to do right now and also one of the most challenging things to do is to start looking at yourself and unraveling your own institutional biases. We all have them and we all have work to do to break down those systemic beliefs. Understanding white privilege is a task all white-passing people can do to help as this will give us the inherent knowledge we need to change our own behavior and the education to help others around us change theirs. This is a great starting point for those looking for a jumping-off point.
One of the simplest ways to start being an ally is to donate money to those who are working to turn the tide on racism. From the Black Youth Project 100 to the Equal Justice Initiative, do your homework and find a non-profit you support and donate if you can. You can also opt to support black businesses across different avenues of commerce by taking a look at this list.
There are so many amazing books, blogs, think pieces and articles out there to help you on this journey. From Reni Eddo-Lodge and her book Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race to Robin Diangelo’s White Fragility, and The New Jim Crow, there are a ton of non-fiction books on the topic. This resource guide on books to read to help be a better ally is another amazing place to dive right in. If you have small ones in your life, then look at introducing them early to books that offer diversity when it comes to character and plot.
Listening to the lived experiences of others and making space is another of the most important things you can do right now. From podcasts to video essays and interviews, do your research and take the time to hear people’s stories in a way that doesn’t put the emotional labor on them. Independent research is key right now. This list by Elle maps out some essential antiracist podcast listening.
Try not to shy away from uncomfortable conversations about privilege and race with the people around you. The only way we can make a change is by overcoming the discomfort, getting to a place of understanding and guiding each other through. Do your best to spread the message and to make people care.
While all eyes are on the movement right now, there is every chance that momentum will fall. Don’t let it. Keep going with the fight, keep educating yourself, use your voice and your privilege to help raise others up and constantly do the work to unravel your own inherent belief systems.
Do you have any other tips for being an ally? Share in the comments.