By Meylani McCorvey
In the last thirty days, the nation has witnessed George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Italia Kelly, David McAtee, and many others lose their lives due to a system that was created to further the oppression of Black and Brown folks. However, among all of this injustice and pain, communities have come together from every walk of life, to promote change and to hold members of this unjust system accountable for their actions. Although this doesn’t bring back the lives of fallen community members, this revolution inspires hope and demands change. I wanted to write this letter as a way to inspire my fellow Talent Development Pipeline members to help out with the cause and be a leader in your community. Regardless of how small we feel, our voice or action or contribution is, we can still impact change.
So what can you do? Taking action can be from the comfort of your own home. Because of this COVID-19 pandemic, not all of us can take to the streets, so below is a list of actions you can take if you want to join the movement.
Donate your time by signing petitions, joining the efforts in protesting, or cleaning up the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Donate your voice, by speaking up against systemic racism, educating people in your life, and proposing a call to action among folks in your community. Calling members of congress and demanding change, is another major way to promote change.
Donate to food drives/supply drives, donate monetarily if you can do so, even the smallest amount can help!
Visit here to see a list of communities and spaces around the twin cities accepting donations.
Being an ally means being willing to act with others in pursuit of ending oppression and creating equality.
How to be an ally:
Being an ally is a full-time job, your alliance shouldn’t just be when you are around members of Black and Brown communities. To be an ally is to be one even behind closed doors.
Listening is another major part of being an ally, especially listening to Black and Brown community members about their experiences. And when you listen, do not listen with the intent to reply but rather, with the intent to understand what is being shared with you.
Educating yourself: education is a beneficial skill, and to be educated is to be aware. We are fortunate enough to have a plethora of knowledge that is easily accessible. Not only does education help you and others, it also helps you identify bias within the media, testimonies, and among those around you.
There are many different ways to show your alliance, and I urge all of you to further your knowledge about what it means to be an ally. Do your research, as it is not the job of Black and Brown communities to teach allyship. If you want to be an ally, your own research is required.
Remember the names of Black people who have died at the hands of police brutality and an unjust system. Say their names, don’t forget them.
Please stay safe out there everyone, change is inevitable, it will come.
Meylani McCorvey, Class of 2018 Young Professional