Thoughts on taking action #takeactionwednesday
Updated: Jun 28
This post starts with a disclaimer - I am white, I am female, I am UK born and I am privileged! Why am I starting this post like this? Because I believe that until we recognise which position we are coming from and looking at a situation from, I am not sure we can fully understand both the positive impact we are can have but also the limitations of understanding we can have! Our position impacts how we view the wider issues that are going on in the world!
In my career, I have worked in a supportive role of young people and families who have had very different life experiences than myself and have faced disadvantage. I can not sympathise with them because these experiences are not mutual experiences but I aim to be able to empathise. I am fortunate that I have never had to experience fear when I am pulled over by the police (in fact in the nature of full disclosure, I have never been pulled over), whilst I have been short on money I have never had to make the choice between food or rent and I have never felt such fear that I have to flee my home.
So why am I saying all this? What is the point of this blog post? Well, these are my thoughts about taking action and I invite you to go on this ramble with me.
It is my view that taking action is important. It you want to consider yourself or be described as anti-discriminatory, anti-racist, anti-oppressive you need to take action. This does not replace our own reflection and learning but it is part of the process. Regardless of your employment status, your financial income and many other things we can all take action in our own individual way.
Action feels difficult and scary, I get that! There are so many things to worry about - What if I get it wrong? What if I say the wrong thing? What if I am supporting the wrong cause? What if I offend people? I know some information but what if I don't know it all?
I get these worries, I share them - the last thing I would want to do is offend people but does this fear, excuse me from not saying anything, I don't think it does. Again, I highlight that this is a position of privilege that I can take and am fortunate to have. My life is not at risk if I voice a view contrary to the government of my country. I will not be subject to violence, threats or harassment when I publish this blog post. I am in a position of power and I need to utilise this!
There are many ways that we can take action, here are just a few that I intend to do:
Talk to people!! Hopefully not that scary. These can be your family, your friends, your employers, anyone really. Lets ask questions of each other, lets have honest and open discussions about how privilege affects all of us, lets challenge each other in a respectful way to think about our view points and see if there is any learning that can take place.
Do our research!! Again not too scary. Think about the things you are interested in, or the causes that you are hearing about or not hearing about at the moment and get on google, read the books, watch the documentaries, view the art projects, enjoy the music and start learning, inform your views and then share them.
Share what you learn!! Ok maybe getting a little bit scarier, but remember this can be done by just talking to people, which was hopefully not that scary. Feeling a bit braver, maybe a picture and caption on your Instagram account, maybe a video for your stories, a Facebook post, a Pintrest pin, a blog post or a podcast. If you have one conversation or one person sees what you have written you are taking action.
Go to community events!! Ok definitely more scary, but you can go, be at the back and just watch - you are there and your presence adds further weight. Just by attending there will learning, there will people that inspire you and an added benefit may be you meet more people who share you views.
Promote others!! Back in the not too scary category, but still important. When you research, when we learn, when we go to community events, we gain information which informs us. If you find something that has been valuable to you, I bet it will help someone else so share it. If you find a brand that has an inclusive attitude to their staff, a company that shares your ideals around the environment or an author who has written something that informs you - share it, tell people about it, put a post on Facebook, it all helps.
Put your voice forward!! Definitely back in the scarier category but not as bad as it seems. You can contact your MP (link below so you can find out who it is) and put forward your views, sign a petition or the scary bit contact people in power. If you like a clothing brand but am not sure what their modern day slavery policy is ask them and if they don't have one say they should create one, worried about information you have read concerning their pollution email them to say so. It feels scary but it is achievable for everyone.
One last thing to consider, just because you are taking action one day per week, doesn't mean you can put blinkers on for the rest of the week, this is just a way to document and share what you are doing, but if you see oppression or discrimination challenge it regardless of the day, time or hour!
So what I am going to do? Well simply, I am going to take action. Once a week, I am going to set aside some time to do something to take action. I am calling it #takeactionwednesday and I invite you to join me. This will be our way to respond to the wider issues that are going on in the world. Why Wednesday? There is not a particular reason to be honest, Wednesday just seemed like a good day. It's hump day (I really hate that phrase) and so people often feel positive about being half way through the week so they have new found enthusiasm. Or, people are feeling tired and struggling to feel motivated, so maybe #takeactionwednesday this will be the added sparkle to the week.
What are you going to do?
I hope that after reading this post you will feel inspired to take part in #takeactionwednesday. Please use the hashtag and spread it wide across all your social media pages, tell everyone about it and lets see if we can take action about the issues affecting individuals and community in the world. Take this as a call to action for you to get involved, learn, understand and respond. I believe we can do it and make a positive change in the world.
Say it with me, I care, I listen and I help create change!
If you liked this post, please consider sharing it. It would really help spread the word on what we are trying to create as a community.