How to be an ally of #BlackLivesMatter

As you have probably seen all over social media and the news this last week, protests are being held and calls to action have been shared to end the systematic racism and police brutality black people face. This isn’t a new movement; black lives have been battling racism and police brutality for years. However, in today’s day and age, to be silent is to be complicit. So, what can you do to support #BlackLivesMatter and be an ally?

  1. Educate Yourself

The first step to supporting the #blacklivesmatter movement is educating yourself. If you feel as though you don’t know enough to speak out, do your research. This doesn’t mean asking the black people in your life to teach you, they have enough to worry about at this time. Remember, it’s a privilege to educate yourself about racism instead of experiencing it. It’s important to do your own research to truly understand how to be an anti-racist. Here are some amazing books, shows/movies and voices to look at and share:

To read:

Shows/movies to watch:

To follow:

And more resources:

2. Recognize subtle racism and racial inequalities around you

Racism is all around us, in health care, politics, criminal justice, education, and employment. It is in every sector of public and private life. Become aware of the little ways in which you and the people around you promote racism. This starts from noticing your own privilege. Have a conversation about racism in your homes, educate your children and challenge dated racist ideals. These conversations are uncomfortable, difficult and angering but they are vital in stopping the systematic racism happening around us.

3. Donate to funds and support petitions

Support platforms and initiatives which aid black people through this difficult time. It’s time to directly support the organizations that help fight for black lives every single day. Here are some organizations to donate to and petitions to sign:

To donate:

Petitions to sign:

And more resources:

4. Support black-owned businesses

Next time you’re thinking about getting dinner or going shopping, consider stepping out of your tried-and-true and supporting black-owned businesses. Not only does this allow you to experience cultures and flavours, but can create more opportunities for meaningful savings, property ownership and generational wealth for the black community. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are wealth builder in our society. When small businesses flourish, so do their communities and job opportunities are fostered.

5. Don’t stop!

Remember that this isn’t a trend; it’s a matter of human life. The in street protests might end and the social media posts may come in fewer but this isn’t a one-time battle. Continue to be vocally and blatantly anti-racist, call out those that have racist views and support black-owned businesses. Continue to learn, educate, donate and support. [!]

Allyship isn’t a one week act. It’s a lifetime commitment to educating yourself, listening, learning from your mistakes, doing your research and staying aware. Keep in mind that these resources are just the tip of the iceberg, keep researching.