By Gen Z for Justice
I used to not know much. Did not know about the corrupt criminal justice system and mass incarceration. Did not know about the horrendous amount of police brutality that black communities face, until I saw the video of Derek Chauvin's knee on George Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes. A man whose profession I thought was supposed to protect us. I knew we had to do something about it. I knew I couldn’t just stand idly anymore watching racism happen, couldn’t shut up anymore, and ignore the facts. This is the reason I wanted to join/start the blog with my co-founder.
Over the last month of this blog launching, I have learned so much through the power of social media and all of you who have submitted your work. We’ve also been able to share with our following as well, whether on our blog or Instagram.
One thing I've learned recently is the power of words. Some people say that words mean nothing. It's just markings on a paper, but they’re so much more. Words can spark ideas, change, and more. Anyone and everyone have the power of words, you included. This is why we are launching the Creating Allies Project.
We know that many people feel the urge to break the silence but are not comfortable doing much in the middle of the pandemic. With the recent shooting of Jacob Blake and the continued police brutality black people face, we ask you to stand with us in making the "uncomfortable conversations" less uncomfortable from the comfort of your own home.
The Creating Allies Project in Three Steps
1. Learn about police brutality and privilege.
On the Creating Allies tab on our website, we have a section called Knowledge Is Power. Here we have documentaries, books, podcasts, songs, and more for you to use to better understand racial privilege and police brutality.
2. Have a conversation with someone
Call someone you know! It can be a family member, friend, or classmate. We are trying to call at least three people. Our hope is everyone who we call will then call three more people to keep the conversations going. At the end of your conversation, tell them to visit our website for more information about how they can contribute.
We want to make it easier to have these conversations by providing a conversation structure for you. There are two different types of dialogues that we’ve created. One about racism and police brutality and the other about racial privilege. These sheets have 4-5 questions that you discuss with the person. Underneath the questions, we have provided statistics and facts that you can use to talk about. This sheet can be found in the Creating Allies tab on our website. The conversation structures are there if you need them but are not necessary.
We are not looking to start a fight; we are trying to educate and break the level of discomfort in talking about race. In the end, just having someone realize that racism exists is a huge stride. Most of the time one conversation will not change a person’s mind. We are simply trying to get people to look deeper into how injustice exists in our society.
3. Share with others
Once you have had a conversation with three people, then post about it on Instagram (if you have an account)! You can either take a picture of you and your friend having the (socially distanced) conversation. Or you can repost on your story or feed the post that will be up on our feed that says “I’m participating in the #CreatingAllies project and you can too.” When you're posting about it, make sure to use one or all of the following hashtags: #CreatingAllies #BreakTheSilence or #GenZ4Justice. Also, make sure to tag us @genz_for_justice! When you tag us we will shout you out on our story and our highlights. Finally, before pressing the post make sure to nominate 2-3 other people to have a conversation.
To start this movement we will be announcing who we are nominating on our Instagram; be sure to be on the lookout for that! You do not need to be nominated to contribute to this project, so tell your friends and family! If you have any questions or concerns about this project, please feel free to either dm us or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join us to be part of the conversation, One. Word. At. A. Time.
For A Better Future,
Gen Z for Justice