“I tell my students, 'When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.” ~ Toni Morrison
If the past weeks have taught us anything it’s that we’ve got a lot of anti-racism work to do, and opting out of it is not an option. It’s about time we all take the time to actively fight for racial justice, and take action to ensure that BIPOC are not only safe but have the same opportunities to thrive in this society as white people. There are many ways to help make change and it’s important to keep in mind that a lot of the work happens within ourselves. That being said, for this post we’ve focused on five concrete ways to help right now. Let this list spur us all into action!
1. Help get Black history to the UK Curriculum
The British education has failed to include Black lived experiences and contributions in the curriculum, and this only serves to perpetuates white supremacy and racism. The Black Curriculum is a social enterprise founded in 2019 by young people to address the lack of Black British history in the UK Curriculum. They’ve made it super easy for us to take action and help get Black British history finally in the agenda. Just follow this link to get an email template you can send to Gavin Williamson who is the Secretary of State for Education (his email address is included in the template). Such an easy, quick way to help create much-needed change!
2. Email your MP
Writing to your MP is an effective and underused way to get your voice heard. After all, it is your MP’s job to raise issues that are important to their constituents in Parliament. We really ought to be contacting our MPs more! So, send an email to your MP regarding stopping selling teargas and rubber bullets to the US, getting justice for Belly Mujinga and including Black history in schools’ curriculums. You can find a great email template for this from here (we came across this via Gina Martin’s post). If you don’t know who your MP is, find them here.
3. Support Black-owned businesses
“Support POC-owned business. Economic exploitation is one of the cornerstones of racial oppression. You can help preserve financial independence for people of color by working with and spending your money with POC businesses.” ~ Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race
This might require a little research but making an effort to spend more of our money with businesses owned by Black and other people of colour is really important. Spending a little time researching is a small price to pay for a more equal and just world.
Just a few examples to get you going: If you’re in the mood for dreamy, vegan donuts (who isn’t?) check out Dominee’s Doughnuts. If you fancy some high quality Bean-To-Bar chocolate, take a look at Lucocoa. Looking for vegan beauty products? Have a browse at LIHA’s website ! For beautiful homewares and more skincare products, check out what Our Lovely Goods has to offer. Oh and what do you think of these gorgeous handwoven baskets, placemats and fans by La Basketry?
4. Donate money
It’s not all about the money, money, money but there is no denying that monetary donations can really make a difference. So, if it’s a possibility for you, please do consider parting with your money and supporting organisations fighting for racial justice and protecting Black lives and minds. Below are some examples of great organisations you can donate to. Remember, even a very small donation is better than no donation.
5. Share what you learn
We’re all influencers, no matter how many followers we have. So, keep sharing useful resources, petitions, organisations to donate to, lessons you’ve learned, Black-owned businesses and Black & other POC influencers with your friends, family and rest of your network. Remember, you might be able to reach someone that no one else can.
You can find some petitions and other resources that we put together last week here.
“It doesn't matter how strong your opinions are. If you don't use your power for positive change, you are, indeed, part of the problem.” ~ Coretta Scott King
Let’s not forget that anti-racism work is not a sprint but a lifelong marathon - so, keep up the work!