20 Things You Can Do As An Ally Right Now

The image has numbers 1–20 of 20 Things You Can Do As An Ally Right Now. Each one is listed in the text below in the article.

Twenty things you can do as an ally right now

  1. Amplify Black voices and experiences. Black stories aren’t heard enough, featured enough, listened to enough, respected enough. Use your power to ensure Black expertise is shared and appreciated. And listen and learn from them.
  2. Tell the world that Black Lives Matter to you, that you stand against racism, and that you are working to change it. Model this for other white people. And fulfill that promise by doing the hard work of change.
  3. Create change in your industry. Lead by example. Convene leaders and collectively commit to creating change, then hold each other accountable. Build industry best practices around inclusion. Partner with organizations working on systemic change.
  4. Create systemic and culture change in your company and on your team. Focus on people, processes and power. For company-wide work, hire skilled and experienced people, then follow their guidance, give them authority, fund the work well, & hold all leaders accountable for change.
  5. Ask your company to provide more support for Black employees: time off, safe spaces to connect with other Black people, therapy, funding for employee resource groups, and work on inclusion and equity (please ask your Black colleagues what they need!).
  6. Check in on Black friends and colleagues, let them know you care about them, ask them how they are doing. (Don’t expect them to respond, they may have a lot going on right now.)
    Note: DO NOT MAKE THIS THE ONLY THING YOU DO ON THIS LIST. You have to do the hard, change-making work so that this stops happening. Got it?
  7. If you protest, listen to Black people and follow their lead. Keep Black people safe. That means wearing a mask, putting your body between Black people and police if needed, helping anyone who gets hurt. And do not instigate or incite violence.
  8. Call your local police department and ask what they are doing to train officers and prevent killing of unarmed Black people. Demand that they address this. Make sure they mandate body cams, but they also need training, policies & leadership to address this.
  9. Call your legislators and ask them what they’re doing around criminal justice reform, economic disparity, and discriminatory practices inside companies and industries. This is important all the time and especially now as Black people are disproportionately affected by layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  10. Support Black-owned businesses. Buy from them and invest in them.
    There is severe inequity in the venture capital and banking systems, where Black founders do not receive the funding they should. Support them with your dollars.
  11. When you see something, do something. Whether it’s on a train, a sidewalk, on social media, tv, or in a meeting — it’s our job as allies to step up when we see racism, bullying, harassment, biases and microaggressions. (For biases and microaggressions, consider talking with someone privately if it’s not malicious, rather than publicly shaming. For the rest, it’s illegal — so intervene, record and report.)
  12. Financially support organizations working to create systemic change. I’ve shared a lot of these on my Twitter feed — please feel free to share resources in the comments (and on your social feeds too!)
  13. Volunteer for organizations working to create systemic change. If you don’t have money and you do have time, there are often ways you can help.
  14. Raise children who are actively working against racism — and for justice, inclusion and equity. Talk with them about what’s happening and why it’s wrong. Enroll them in doing the work with you to create change. Model this for your children, so they grow up in a better world.
  15. Buy books and toys that represent diverse experiences. Lots of amazing dolls, books, games and toys out there to give your kids more diverse representation in their play. And of course, diverse playmates and classmates are very important as a child grows up, builds empathy and understanding, and creates their worldview.
  16. Work on your self. We all grow up with biases and often racism too. Learn to recognize when these come up and correct them in yourself. This is the hard and important work of change. You got this. 👊🏼
  17. Learn from Black people: read articles and books, watch videos and movies, listen to podcasts, attend events, follow Black people on social media. And (re)learn history from the point of view of Black authors. (History books are usually written by white men.)
  18. Hire and promote Black people. Rather than blame “the pipeline,” work harder to find skilled, talented Black people. They are out here, you may just need a different way to reach them and convince them to join you.
  19. Do your jury duty. Black people need allies in the courtroom, as they are disproportionately incarcerated (6x more likely than white people).
  20. VOTE. Vote for Black candidates. Vote for candidates with track records of correcting systemic inequities and injustice, and who work to build wealth, health and sustainability for everyone. Help fight voter suppression, which happens most in predominantly Black & Latinx neighborhoods.

More Reading:

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store