How Can I Support Black People as an Ally?

 

Over the last couple of weeks, the anger, frustration and sadness from the Black community has hit a boiling point. 

The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have allowed white people to witness the exact thing that Black people have been complaining about for years. 

The justice system doesn't care about us. 

Story after story, video after video of White women weaponizing tears, White men threatening children for asking for help, Police serving and protecting other Police with a blatant distaste for people of color are hard to see, but harder to have as your lived experience. 

Now that White people have seen exactly what's happening, some are asking how to help. Here's a guide to help you do just that, and to mobilize your guilt, frustration and anger into tangible changes. 

I've created and will continue to build on an Anti-Racism and Unlearning Resource Library, with terms, videos, books, podcasts, petitions and places to volunteer and donate available here. Please share this article with those who you can benefit.

For allies trying to figure out first steps, I suggest the L.E.A.P. S. System. 

 

Listen - Listen to Black people and People of Color. They have been living life through a lens you probably didn't know existed, and are able to see things you might of never noticed. Please pay attention.  Listen to the way your body reacts, how you are feeling.  Are you angry, upset, confused? Is your Ego fighting the new information? Notice and choose to open up. 

 

Educate Yourself - Asking Black people for resources all the time is exhausting.  Please don't ask us to keep doing unpaid work.  Take the knowledge and spark discussion with your friends and family. 

 

Acknowledge - Understand that being Black is not a monolith, we all have different experiences. Understand that slavery and colonization were at the foundations of a lot of the systems we have in place today. This includes where Black people are allowed to live, healthcare, access to education, financial services, and more. They have had long lasting effects and continue to effect the quality of life for all people of color. This includes colorism, beauty standards, access to finances etc etc.

 

Participate - Jump in to study groups, online discussions, go to events around diversity and inclusion. Get out of your routine and go to events with new people. If you have no friends that are POC, you're missing out.  

 

Support - Support with your dollar. Attend markets of Black-Owned Vendors, look online for Black business directories, give referrals, and share contacts. Go to Black-led events. If you're in the position to start grants and sponsorships, do so. Hold your place of work accountable, ask what they are doing to support with fixing inequality. Ask your favorite brands for accountability. Follow up with them and see if they are doing the things they said they were going to do. If you're going to an event, notice if there's POC in their marketing materials, notice if they are on the expert line up, notice if they are in attendance. Call them out if they are not.

Support within your zone of genius. If you make shirts, make Black Lives Matter shirts (NOT ALL LIVES MATTER) and donate the proceeds, if you're in marketing or PR, help amplify the work of Black Creators you feel aligned with. If you have a bakery, donate a percentage of proceeds. If you are a stay-at-home Mom, talk to your friends, share books and learning materials for kids. Start and lead the conversations, even if it's not popular. More people are watching, learning and appreciating you then you know.

 

If you've found this useful, please share. This is a living document, so please check back regularly. If you would like to show thanks for the doc with a donation, please PayPal Cheryl@PleaseNotes.com.

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