Here’s how you can still be an ally despite the protests being over

The world united in solidarity following the death of George Floyd, after ex police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck for nine minutes during an arrest.

There were banners and protests and social media blackouts, but what happens now after the performative gestures are over?

Here, we take a look at what can be done to continue the conversation.

1) Support education for our future generations.

At Uspire, we are backing Scotty Emmons’ Help Our Children Read About Race project.

This local hero kickstarted a GoFundMe page to raise money in a bid to get books that explore different heritage into primary school libraries for kids across the UK to read.

The sample bundle, of 22 books, covers literature that will help every young person in the classroom feel represented.

In addition to Scotty’s mission, teaching immigration and empire to secondary school students will change how young people question systemic structures, building awareness and equality education into the curriculum.

[Credit: Vince Fleming]

2) Educate ourselves as adults, not just the kids.

One of the main objectives to evolve from the BLM conversations is that being against racism is no longer enough, people must be actively anti-racist.

This means calling out racism wherever we find it, whether from strangers or loves ones.

Pop culture has seen a huge shift in helping understand race issues, with Netflix, iPlayer and other media creating space to push Black Lives Matter voices to the forefront.

Trans activist Jules Guaitamacchi summed it up perfectly when they explained how education should not just be left to marginalised groups to teach others, but that the public should seek to educate themselves to stand as better allies.

[Credit: Chris Henry]

3) Continue to ask questions.

Last month, Matthew McConaughey sat down with Emmanuel Acho for his show Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man.

During this interview, the Hollywood actor shone a light on how he hopes to continue to educate himself by asking what he can do better as a white man.

McConaughey made it clear that while the world may have its eyes open properly for the first time, the work is only just beginning.

Acho said that in order to make progress, we have to acknowledge implicit bias – in that for whatever reason a black man is viewed “as more of a threat than the white man, probably because society told you to” – and continue to question our actions.

[Credit: Alex Radelich]

4) Just do what you can.

While the wave of support online has been nothing short of incredible, sometimes it can still feel competitive to see who can accrue the most likes or appear the most woke.

So, Stormzy’s approach to do what works best for you might resonate with a few folk as it alleviates expectations.

In a recent interview with the BBC, he said: “As humans, we should do whatever we can in whatever capacity we can.

“For some people that’s a tweet saying, ‘black lives matter’. Or it might be a letter to their MP. Or them protesting. Do whatever you can.”

5) Dismantle racist institutions.

Open conversation and supportive banners are all well-meaning, but unless we see active change then the future is unlikely to be rewritten as we would hope.

Opinions editor at gal-dem magazine, Micha Frazer-Carroll, believes we can achieve this by dismantling racism and the institutions that disproportionately punish black people.

She said: “How do we show our communities that we can dream bigger than models of justice focused on punishment and exclusion?

“Fortunately, alternatives already exist, such as models of restorative justice, which involves communities working together to heal harm.

“Following Floyd’s death, local government in Minneapolis swiftly pledged to dismantle its police department and replace it with a community-based system of public safety.

“If you had said only a month earlier this would happen, few would have believed you.”

Whether police forces in the UK will ever be dismantled is still up for debate, but by funding supportive community services and promoting health and safety within communities, we can see a ripple effect of change in a brighter future for all ethnicities.