I took an unintentional break from the podcast for a couple of months. There are number of reasons for this, which I will share with you now. But I also want to address something much bigger than the podcast.
Black lives matter.
It is absolutely imperative that I make this statement without caveat or reasoning.
Black lives matter.
With the recent global protests and elevation of the injustices that black people are facing every single day, it’s important to add my voice and platform to support the movement.
Black lives matter is not just a moment in time. It is a movement. And the movement needs momentum. For that reason I held back from restarting my podcast as I did not want it detracting from elevating black voices a month ago.
We have already seen some great progress. I have noted large numbers of white people waking up and learning anti-racism work. We are finally seeing the challenging of a system of white supremacy. We are finally opening eyes to the institutional nature of racism. And we are finally seeing all people committing to doing the work. To doing anti-racism work.
Because it’s not enough to just be ‘not racist’, we have to be actively anti-racist. This requires work. It requires learning. It requires listening. It means you are going to be uncomfortable.
I began my active anti-racism work a couple of years ago. It was something I was going through quietly. It means long term commitment to listening. Challenging my assumptions. Sifting through what has been ingrained into me at a societal level. It has been an acceptance that there is a long term process to unpicking and detangling.
Anti-racism work has been learning terms such as ‘white centering’, ‘white fragility’, ‘spiritual bypassing’, ‘microagressions’, ‘racial gaslighting’, ‘institutional racism’, ‘internalised racism’, ‘model minority’, ‘intersectionality’, ‘virtue signalling’, ‘performative ally’, ‘allyship’, and so on.
Maybe it seems overwhelming if you are white and this is the first time you’ve been confronted with the realities of racism. But that really is nothing compared to the everyday lived experience of black people, and all people of colour.
I share this not, in a performative manner. I was not intending to share the past anti-racism work I have been doing. But I came across an anti-racism model called the ’social change ecosystem’ that maps out how difference people have different roles in social change.
It’s not enough to just be quietly doing anti-racism work. There needs to active social change action as well.
The social change ecosystem lists out a number of roles we take on to work on equity, inclusion, liberation, justice, solidarity, resilience, interdependency.
Depending on your skills, your platforms, your influence … you will likely be best suited to one of these roles including:
* Frontline responders
I won’t go into the details of each one. As always, I will list and link to resources discussed here today over on the show notes at elizabethdhokia.com.
It was seeing this social change ecosystem that I realised what else I can be doing. I have this online platform that I have been building for over a decade. I have listeners on my podcast, readers on my blog, followers on social media. I can make a difference by sharing stories.
And that is exactly what The Good Life Unravelled is for. It is to share a diverse range of voices and perspectives as we try to figure out what a good life means.
Along with the work of elevating the voices of a diverse range of people. I am also pledging to donate all of the advertising revenue from my blog to Black Minds Matter UK for the rest of 2020.
I serve ads on my blog and every month I will donate whatever is raised through my ad platform to Black Minds Matter. It’s a UK-based initiative that provides therapists specifically for black people.
Their mission is to support in making mental health topics relevant and accessible for all black people in the U.K. This aim to fulfil this by connecting black individuals and families with free professional mental health services across the U.K.
Black British adults have the highest mean score for severity of mental health symptoms, yet they are least likely to receive treatment for mental illness.
Whilst researching the best cause to donate to over the past month, I settled on Black Minds Matter as I know firsthand how debilitating mental illness is. As a mental illness sufferer myself, my life has been severely hampered in so many ways. I can only imagine how much harder that must be being a black person in the UK.
With institutionalised racism making mental health services harder to access, I know how vital the work of this organisation will be.
So if you visit my blog over the next 6 months, know that any of those ads you see displayed are making a small contribution to this organisation. I thank you in advance for visiting the blog.
I am not an anti-racism expert. It is still a journey I am on to learn and change and make a difference. So I have listed a number of books, podcasts, and websites as resources for you over on the show notes to this episode. I urge you to take the time to start learning.