At Lansing Mom, we are actively striving, now and always, to be an ally within our community and beyond. We are bringing you this resource in order to unite us all in our community.
It’s important to say that you’re not always going to have it right…we certainly don’t. It’s not a topic we will remain silent on, but there have been times that we have stumbled on our journey to understanding racial justice. We hope you know that if you’ve ever stumbled before, or asked an insensitive question, or stood by silently, it doesn’t mean that you have to continue standing by. If you make a mistake on this journey, own it– and then get back to standing up for what’s right.
One of the very first steps in being an ally is acknowledging your privilege. You need to be aware and accepting of the fact that being white means that you have a privilege that other people don’t. This is also a great place to start with kids because it’s something that they will understand immediately.
Resource: This graphic by Courtney Ahn is a great place to start with your kids while unpacking what white privilege means.
Be An Ally In Your Community
Listen to the stories of the mothers in your community. What do they need from you? What can you do for them? We can assure that right now all across the country they are telling you what they need. If they have opened a conversation to you, take part in it. However, be mindful of pushing…don’t invite yourself into conversations that people didn’t ask for. If they’re talking, listen to what they have to say, and then start taking action. The biggest thing that we can say is that as you listen, listen to hear what they have to say, do not listen to respond.
Resource: While we want you to start in the community, it’s important to understand that it’s not the time to force black people to explain these issues to you. If you’re unable to find these conversations occurring in your community this article is helpful as to understanding why it’s not appropriate to start them, and what you can do instead.
There are so many ways to educate yourself on being an ally. You can choose the medium that’s right for you. We’ve linked a few resources below to get you started.
Find a Cause
A quick Google search will alert you to the many organizations that you can support in Michigan, but we urge you to dig deeper into your community, your city, your town, your neighborhood. Find the organizations you can support that will make you an ally. As you dive in, you’ll find an organization that is right for you.
Resource: This resource is a place to start with larger organizations in Michigan, but we urge you to look into your own backyard for community needs.
Use Your Voice
As a mother you’ve got the power and your kids’ ears! They will listen and follow your example when it comes to issues like this. This is why as a mother, it’s so important to not stay silent. Teach your kids how to safely intervene, speak up, and stand up, when they see something is wrong.