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You are here: > Campaigns > Black Lives Matter > Time for action

Time for action

Picture: Maria Oswalt

Learning more about racism in the UK is an important step - but it is not where the journey ends. In order to bring about change, we must use what we have learned to speak out and support others through whatever means we can.  

Donate
After the murder of George Floyd, a lot of links to donation sites were circulated - and understandably, a lot of the organisations being promoted were US-based. But, as noted further above, there are plenty of worthy UK-based charities who would value a donation - so if you’ve wanted to contribute but felt uncomfortable doing so for organisations so far from home, now you know where you can turn.

Remember, in the most recent issue of the TiC newsletter we suggested that you donate the cost of an activity or purchase which lockdown had prevented to a charitable cause - if you have not done so yet, any of the above-listed organisations would be good choices.  

If you are not in a position to be able to financially contribute, don’t worry - there is still plenty you can do.  

Petitions
In the wake of George Floyd’s death, social media was awash with links to petitions for people to sign. The majority of these petitions have been hosted on Change.org and for some causes, this may well be the right platform.  

However, in May this year Jacob Rees-Mogg stated that the Government would not debate petitions which were not hosted on the official parliament.uk website - so if you want to make sure these issues are not lost, petition.parliament.uk is where you need to go.  

Some currently open petitions relating to this cause as of 18th June:

Teach Britain's colonial past as part of the UK's compulsory curriculum:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/324092
Improve Maternal Mortality Rates and Health Care for Black Women in the U.K.:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/301079 Require all police officers to take Anti-Racism education:
 https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/324879
Suspend future sales of tear gas and other crowd control equipment to the USA:
 https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/324208  

If you use social media, you will be given the option to share petitions you have signed with your feeds. You will also be advised of who your local MP is, with a link for you to contact them and voice your support for the issue.  

Talk to loved ones; hold each other accountable
We’ve probably all been in a situation where we’ve been with friends or family, and someone says something inappropriate regarding people of other ethnicities. We may not agree with it, but often we simply grit our teeth and let it slide because it’s easier, because we don’t want to upset loved ones. But it’s this silence which allows racism to endure, which allows it to be continued to be seen as a social norm rather than bigotry which needs to be wiped out.  

So share what you know. Talk to friends and family about what is happening. Share links and book recommendations - either you’ll set someone else on the path to self-education or you’ll find they’ve already been doing some learning of their own and have links and recommendations to share with you in return. Talk across generations - your children and grandchildren will have insights and experiences that you do not, so take the time to listen to and learn from them.  

And if someone does say something inappropriate in your hearing, call them out for it - you can do so calmly and politely, but stand firm. Even if there’s no-one else around to hear what was said. Often, people will assume that, for example, it’s okay to make racist comments or jokes about black people as long as no black people are present - by challenging them, you are truly acting as an ally and force for change. You may not change that person’s mind there and then - but you will at least make it clear that you do not approve and that might spark a change.  

Of course, we all make mistakes. Old habits die hard, even those we are trying to break - but if you do slip up and are called out for it, resist the urge to get defensive. Apologise, and take time to reflect on how you slipped up and how you can avoid doing so again.  



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