Hey there! Guess what? Speaking out on social media is not the only way to be an ally.
You can be a supporter of a particular cause without ever having to Tweet it, Instagram it, or post a Facebook update. Of course, social media is a fabulous way to generate support for a cause or purpose. Social media gets the message out to a bunch of people, simply by clicking the “enter” key on your laptop.
But, being vocal, in public spaces, doesn’t work for everyone.
Some people are new to this. They see what happens when other people speak out for what they believe to be right and just and decide they’d rather not jump in just yet.
Some people are introverts. They value their privacy. They don’t like to draw attention.
Some people work for a company that has policies about when and how and where they can speak out publicly. These people want to keep their jobs, and rightfully so.
Some people are weary.
All of these (and others) are completely legit reasons for not speaking out publicly about a cause or on behalf of a person about which or whom you feel passionate. Assuming the people closest to you know how you feel about a certain thing you can take your activism public without speaking out in public.
Pass along your gifts. Here’s an example:
When I posted that list of 100 Books by Christian Authors of Color, I posted exactly that. A list. Then, I shared the link with some friends I know and asked them to share it, if they felt comfortable doing so. Immediately, one friend messaged back to say, “You need to link to each book.”
Boo. That’s way too much work, I thought.
Then, another friend chimed in to say, “She’s right. You need to link to each book. Here’s how,” and she gave me quick tutorial on a fast and easy way to link to each book. I had 100 books linked in 13 minutes. Yay!
Then she said, “You also need a Pinterest graphic.” Boo, again. I’m not a Pinterest-er. By then, another friend was chiming in to say, “Yep. You definitely need a Pinterest graphic, and here’s where you can make one.” So, I did.
And do you know what? That Pinterest graphic has been shared over and over, getting the message out to more and more people than would ever have seen it if I’d stuck to my well-intentioned yet unlinked and un-Pinterest-ed post.
Those three ladies are my allies. They have their own, legit reasons for not always speaking out in public about this thing or another. But, when they saw a weak link in my strategy, they stepped up and helped make it better.
Who can you help in a similar way? What gifts and knowledge do you have to offer? Where can you look for opportunities to pass along your gifts?
Yes!! Deidra, thank you for this! I have pulled back from online advocacy when I started to notice it was building walls with people who might believe different than me… instead of opening conversations. They felt attacked or shut down. I want them to feel heard, even if we disagree.
I also noticed that the reason I was posting things towards the end was more for the people “on my side” than to build conversations. Almost a “Look at me! I’m in this club! I care!” I didn’t want pride and self-promotion to be my motivation.
I stepped back from those online platforms as a means of communicating issues I care about, but it didn’t mean I stepped away from thinking about or conversing about those issues. I have wondered since then if I could still be considered an ally, or have I failed my friends who I am united in heart with on important issues? This post was a gift. Thank you.
Good word. Always important to support our friends.
A great reminder that we can all speak in our own way. (P.S. I had to click on this post because of the picture. One of the most intriguing ones that I have seen!)
Thank you, Deidra. I was posing some of these very questions this morning. I am finding ways, some of which are only evident to people who know me in real life.