The deaths of many black individuals have shaken the country. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah Mcclain ( to name a few) have been the cause of trauma for black people everywhere. Witnessing the deaths of black people at the hands of police brutality has devastating effects on the emotional and mental health of all who witness it, but leaves a deeper wound and creates lasting pain for black individuals. This is why it is it is important, (now more than ever) to be a source of support for the black people in your life. Keep reading to find out how to best support your black friends and colleagues right now.
Support The Movement
One of the best ways to be an ally for the black people in your life is to support the Black Lives Matter movement in any way you can. This includes donating, signing petitions, and calling government officials. Donating what you can and taking 10 seconds to sign a petition are small, but worthy steps you can take to show your support for the movement and for black lives. By calling, donating or signing a petition you are taking the appropriate actions, and steps towards change. You can also protest in solidarity, by attending peaceful protests in your city. This shows that you not only care about the lives that have been lost, but the lives of all black lives. By supporting the movement you are saying ” Black Lives are valuable, worthy, and deserve justice”. This is a message that your black friends, colleagues, and associates need you to understand.
Check In On Them
Check in on your black friends and coworkers. Send them a text, asking how they feel, and what can be done on your end to help. Check in on their mental health, and offer ways to help that are already natural to your relationship. If applicable, list the ways you have already supported the movement, and ask if there’s more you can do on a larger or more personal scale. Do not expect a prompt response, in fact do not expect a response at all. They may be preoccupied with ways they can support their friends and family, or they may still be processing current events. Give them time, as they are dealing with trauma. What matters is that you have offered to help. Make sure to keep an eye out for a response and maintain your promise to help, in the event that more ways to help are listed. Most importantly make sure to combine your words with action. You can do this by following the steps above.
Have the Tough Conversations
Take the time to evaluate you own beliefs about race and about the current events. Take in the beliefs of the people you spend your time with. Do their beliefs align with your own? Do you consider them allies? How are you promoting the idea of racial equality and are the people around you doing the same? if you are not satisfied with the way the people in your circle are dealing with current situations then it may be time to start having tough conversations, Discuss the importance of offering support, being an ally, and being part of the movement. Emphasize the importance of being part of the change. Disagreements may ensue but what is most important is that you have started having these conversation, and have started raising awareness of the injustices committed against black people.
Raise Awareness Where You Can
Use social media as a tool to raise awareness. You can post petitions, places to donate, and list numbers to call. You can also provide information about the circumstances surrounding the deaths of individuals like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Elijah Mcclain and so many more. Repost relevant information and links to resources. Text your friends and family about ways they can help, and stay up to date on newest developments and tell others about them.
Think About How You Can Continue To Support Long Term
Make sure your support doesn’t end here. Make sure your support persists when the movement is no longer trending in the media. One way you can do this is by continuing to donate, sign petitions, stay educated, and have conversations with the people around you. Another great way to keep up your support in the long term is to support black owned businesses. Lastly continue to educate yourself on resources that can be used to support the movement. Supporting the movement on a larger scale, still displays your support on a personal level.
Continue to take the steps towards change. Understand that your black friends, and coworkers experience deep emotional scars due to current events. Find ways to support them in this area too. Notify the black people in your life of therapy services that can aid them. Contact us to inquire about services that you can recommend to the black people in your life, or research other methods that can be of aid.