I’ve been following the #BlackLivesMatter movement closely. Racism is such a BIG, confronting, ugly issue that works as an undercurrent to thwart us in so many of the causes I work on.
I’m white. I’m trying to stand back and let people of colour speak for themselves and set the agenda. I’m listening and learning. I’m watching with quite a range of emotions – helplessness, anger, inadequacy, disgust, discomfort and disbelief.
As an ally I’ve participated in our local Australian #BlackLivesMatter movement, led by the Traditional Owners of our country. I’ve had discussions and supported the campaign to demand long-overdue answers about Aboriginal deaths in custody. I’ve been moved by the eloquence and anger of indigenous people as they share the story of their life. I sit uncomfortably, listening to the daily indignities and discrimination they face.
In this post I simply want to document and acknowledge the organisations who have made public statements of support for our First Nations and the Black Lives Matter cause. From my role as a marketeer and communicator within the progressive movement and not for profit sector in Australia, I’ve been particularly interested in the types of solidarity messages that have been made by various organisations.
It should go without saying that in Australia we will focus on local issues, and I’ve been really heartened that most organisations absolutely went out with clear messages of support for our Traditional Owners. Some didn’t even reference George Floyd or the #BlackLivesMatter campaign exploding in the US.
Here is just a snapshot summary of the messages Aussie non-profits put out in solidarity.
- Raisley’s statement was about First Nations Justice and #BLM
- ActionAid Australia led with ‘Aboriginal Lives Matter’ and an urgent call for racial justice.
- The YWCA acknowledged Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders, Black and People of Colour.
- ACF’s message of respect was 100% about Australia’s First Nations people and Traditional Custodians.
- Environment Victoria stated that Black Lives Matter and wrote about Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
- The Indigenous Literacy Foundation said George Floyd’s death has illustrated the system challenge our First Nations people continue to face here in Australia.
- Global Citizen called on its supporters to stand up against all systems of injustice, inequality and racism. These systems are broken and that we must work to change them.
- And ‘Digital Marketer’ a blog that I follow – put out the first statement I got, making a pledge to ‘stand together with the black community against racism, social injustice and violence” and vowing to use their voice to speak up.
Parachute Digital supports many causes. We are responsible for campaigns and messaging that goes out into the world and we do our very best to collaborate and communicate and deliver the change we want to see in the world.
Every cause (we work on) is important. Climate Change. Disability advocacy. Medical Research. Women’s Empowerment and more.
But you and I have to stand up for what we believe in.
We have to have difficult conversations.
We have to GIVE UP SOMETHING to make change happen for people who are disadvantaged.
Racism is just so wrong. It undermines so much good in the world, for no good reason. And that’s why we are joining the Facebook advertiser boycott in July 2020 to make a stand, a values statement, against hate speech and discrimination, and Facebook’s lack of action to remove hate speech from their social network.
Collectively our advertising dollars can send a message – not just to Facebook but to all of big business – that we demand better. The current situation is not good enough.
Racist attitudes and policies need to change, now.