How We Can Continuously Support #BlackLivesMatter


The bubble of social media can lead you to believe that what you see on your Instagram and Twitter feeds is reflected in the real world. Unfortunately, it's not. This movement should not be the trend of the week, it needs to be something we continue to promote in our daily lives. I apologise for not speaking up online sooner (I have been acting on this and speaking about it offline but I realise not using my platform is/was a loss). In light of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I want to share some people, content, businesses and resources on my platform whilst admitting that this may not be the right thing to do or enough.


Speak up in the real world

Think about some of the defining moments in the past decade like the vote for Brexit in 2016, Trump winning the US election in 2017 and the Conservatives winning a majority vote in the UK in 2019. Judging by my social media feed, none of this should have happened. But it did.

We follow people whose views align with our own and so our judgement of the outside world (the world beyond what we see on social media online) can become clouded. When we see so much of what we agree with on our feeds daily, you would be forgiven for assuming that outside of your social media bubble, the rest of the world is following suit.

It's as important, if not more important, to speak up in the real world. We must have conversations about race with our family and friends and young children too even if it may cause tension. Where the internet can quickly become saturated, it's easy to forget about the world offline - particularly in times like these where we have spent so much time confined to our homes - we need to continue these important discussions offline. Make an effort to have conversations with people who may not have access to the internet and all of these resources, particularly amongst the older generations and people with differing views.


Vote

Every year it comes to light that countless young people do not use their power to vote. Unfortunately, as individuals we do not have the power to change the world BUT if we all come together as a collective, we can bring change like we have seen this week already. Voting is one of the biggest ways we can advocate for change in our country and it is so important that we all exercise our right to vote to make our voices heard. Research the parties and politicians and their policies, make decisions based on your own research rather than based on who your friends and family are voting for.

In the UK? Register to vote in the UK here. In the US? Register to vote in the US here.


Educate yourself

There are many ways that we can educate ourselves: follow Instagram accounts that share resources; read books by Black authors, which not only depict the past but also Black culture and current affairs; watch documentaries, films and TV shows; listen to podcasts; do research online; and have conversations about racism.

I found this document: anti-racism resources for white people compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein really useful and I have linked to more useful websites at the bottom of this blog post.

If you are a parent and/or interact with young children and teenagers frequently, it's also important to educate those young people around you. There are many petitions asking for change in the school curriculum in the UK which you can sign to make this a compulsory change within the education sector (linked below).


Sign petitions and donate

Thanks to the internet, there are many web pages sharing petitions we can sign and where we can make donations. I've listed some websites at the end of this blog post, under useful websites and articles.

Visit change.org to see all the petitions you can sign and/or to create your own.

If you are unable to donate, there are some YouTube videos you can play and all adsense money is being donated to causes behind the #BlackLivesMatter movement.


Advocate for change in your workplace

Here I can only speak on my own experience as a blogger and the injustice and inequality within the influencer industry which is continuously becoming more and more apparent.

I am guilty of saying yes to work opportunities - events and/or sponsored campaigns - without asking whether it is inclusive and I am guilty of working with brands without researching their diversity, or lack thereof, beforehand. It is clear that not being a racist is not enough, we must be actively anti-racist. If brands are not stepping up to make the changes themselves then it becomes our responsibility to push for change in the industry.

A useful email draft for influencers to use:

Hello,
Thanks for getting in touch and bringing forward this opportunity.
I would love to work on this campaign/go to this event. Before we proceed, could you let me know whether there has been planning to make this an inclusive campaign/event? 
If you are in the process of finalising details, I am happy to send over a list of diverse influencers who I think would also be a great fit for the brand.
I look forward to hearing from you.

This in itself is a luxury. Many people will not be in a position to leave their job or say no to opportunities in light of inequalities in the workplace. So if we can start the conversation and advocate for change then we must try to.

At the bottom of this post I have included additional links to websites with more email templates you can use for your place of work and to email your local MP and so on.


Diversify your social media

Whilst it remains fundamentally important for us to educate ourselves on the history of the oppression towards Black people, it's also important that we see the successes of many Black people in the world today.

I was going to share some of the Black influencers that I follow on social media however, I am aware that some Black influencers, business owners and authors feel conflicted by this - gaining a following on the back of the death murder of a Black man. For that reason, I won't share any specific accounts but you can follow the hashtag #DiversifyYourFeed on Instagram to discover more diverse influencers, creators and businesses and make your social media feed more inclusive.


Useful websites and articles

#BlackLivesMatter on Twitter : tweets about the movement (lots of useful threads are available)

Accounts you need to follow and learn from : (article) by Evie Gifford for Happiful

An Anti-Racist Reading List : via GoodReads

Anti-racism Resources : (google doc) by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein

Black Content Creators (UK) : a database for Black content creators in the UK *asking for submissions*

Black Female Businesses to Support Now and Always : (article) by Sophia Pelosi for Blogher

Black Lives Matters : ways you can help the movement

Black Minds Matter : support for young people's mental health and wellbeing

Black Owned Businesses You Can Support Today : (article) by Shanna Shipin and Talia Abbas for Glamour

Black Visions Collective : Minnesota based initiative

BLM Websites : several links to websites where you can donate and sign petitions

BLM LDN : Instagram page dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement in London

BLM Stan Guide : what non-Black people should be doing to spread, support and respect the movement

Cody Fern and Angelica Ross discussing systematic racism : (video) Instagram live uploaded onto YouTube

Discover Petitions : most popular petitions updated weekly

Epiphannie A : price comparison and discovery platform for Black beauty

Exist Loudly Fund : donation page to support Queer Black young people

Five Fifths : Black business lists, news and interviews

How To Help Black Creators/Influencers : an Instagram post by @GraceFVictory

How You Can Support Black People Today, Tomorrow & Forever : (article) by Jessica Morgan for Refinery 29

Influencers Speak Out About Industry's Diversity Problem : (article) by Liz Flora for Glossy

Jamii : discount card and discovery platform for independent Black owned businesses in the UK

Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) : the movement for Black lives

My Advice and Experience as a Black Woman : (video) Patricia Bright discussing racism online

Netflix category - Black Lives Matter : powerful and complex stories about systemic racism in film and TV

Pending Petitions : petitions that haven't met their goal yet

Pinterest board - Black Lives Matter : a collection of pins sharing tips and educational resources you can share

Reading African Literature : (video) discussing 7 books of African Literature

Say Their Names : how to help the movement

Shoppe Black : curated content relating to Black business ownership and culture globally

Show Racism The Red Card : anti-racism educational charity in the UK

Stand Up To Racism : sharing local groups in the UK, upcoming protests and more

Stand With Black Lives : UK-centric resources including various email templates

Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust : working with young people to inspire and enable success in their career

The Africa Centre : contemporary African culture and heritage in London

The Loveland Foundation : resources for opportunity, access, validation and healing, particularly for Black women

The Sentencing Project : working for a fair and effective US criminal justice system

UK Black Owned Businesses : a directory for Black owned businesses in the UK

UK Black Writers Forum : news portal for UK based African Caribbean authors

Use Your Voice : safety while protesting

Ways to Focus on Current and Systematic Change : a Twitter thread by @TatianaTMac

6 Ways To Be Ant-Racist, Because Being Not Racist Isn't Enough : (article) by Rebecca Ruiz for Mashable

8 Educational Black Voices To Listen And Learn From Now : (article) for Vogue

10 Anti-Racist Podcasts That Are Helping Me Become a Better Ally : (article) by Christopher Rosa for Glamour

10 Brilliant Black-Founded Beauty Brands To Have on Your Radar : (article) by Hannah Coates for Vogue

12 Ways You Can Help Eradicate White Supremacy : (article) for Ben & Jerry's

19 Black founded fashion brands : (article) by Alice Newbold for Vogue

101+ Black Owned Businesses : a list of some Black businesses you can support

If there is anything that you feel is wrong or should be added, changed or removed then please let me know.

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