10 ways you can continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement
There is a long way to go, and your support should not end after Blackout Tuesday
By Clodagh Meaney
Even though Blackout Tuesday has passed, that does not mean you're excused from further participation in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
At EMPWR we are committed now and always to ending injustice and promoting equality and representation, and we encourage our readers through education and self-empowerment to do the same.
In line with this, here are 10 ways you can continue to support black people, and the Black Lives Matter movement in both Ireland and the United States.
If you can afford to help fund black and migrant organisations, do.
There are several causes that urgently need funding such as bail funds for those attending riots and protests in the United States, as well as groups in Ireland that are organising protests and working directly with people in Direct Provision.
Here are some donation links:
If you are safely able to attend a protest such as the Black Lives Matter protest taking place in Dublin this weekend, do so.
MASI, MERJ and Black Pride Ireland have organised a socially distant rally due to take place this Saturday at 3 pm outside the United States' embassy in Ballsbridge.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 it is important that only those within 5km of the embassy attend. It is also important to wear a mask and refrain from attending if you're showing any symptoms of Coronavirus.
As time goes on, continue to show up at other demonstrations, especially those organised by the black community and protests to abolish Direct Provision.
You can help black communities in Ireland, and across the globe by continuing to sign petitions.
Here are some to consider:
Educate yourself about racism and white supremacy.
It is not up to your black friends to educate you on your unconscious biases, it is the responsibility of every white person to learn about how to be a better ally.
Here's a list of books on anti-racism that we compiled.
If you are a white business owner, editor, artist, event organiser or in any other position which requires you to select people to represent you or your brand on social media, in the media or through advertising, it is important to ensure you select diverse people to do so.
Representation Matters Ireland has highlighted the lack of representation of POC in the Irish media numerous times.
Speaking to EMPWR last year, Yasmin O'Connor, one of the movement's instigators highlighted the prevalence of the issue on these shores "The media, in particular, has a huge influence on how much diversity we see. I felt like in Ireland we didn't have much diversity at all and that conversation really needed to start being had so I created Representation Matters Ireland."
Where you can purchase images from POC photographers.
However, if you're a not-for-profit or an unfunded organisation, CreateHER stock have a range of free images of women of colour to ensure representation. Unsplash and Google Image advanced search also provides license-free photographs.
Buy books written by black people. Buy their music, and show up to their concerts. Watch their films. Buy their art. Encourage participation.
It's that simple.
Here are some creatives that you can begin with:
If you're in a position where you have a large following on social media, it is important to use your reach for good.
Share black people's art, encourage your followers to sign petitions, donate to organisations and engage with activism.
The same goes for media editors; platform black voices, platform their work and ensure diverse representation.
Following black organisations on social media and liking and sharing their posts will help them to grow. It is also important that it is from these grassroots organisations that you take your ques, and not from political parties led by white people.
Here are some organisations to get you started:
Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland
Migrant Ethnic groups for Reproductive Rights
Black Pride Ireland
Representation Matters Ireland
Abolish Direct Provision
Black Lives Matter
Talking might seem pretty obvious, but talking to your family members and friends who may not be as active on social media about being anti-racist is an important step.
Sometimes it can be easy to think that everyone is on the same page as our social media feeds become an echo-chamber of people expressing similar views.
While it is important not to speak over anyone, a conversation about race with your white friends and family could gently remind them about the reality of the situation.
Again, this one might seem obvious and pretty self-explanatory, but what we mean is listen to black people. Listen to their experiences.
It really is pointless taking all of the above actions and knowing when to speak up if you don't know when to stop talking also.