Over the last few weeks I’ve had so many people slide into my DMs or send me e-mails that basically say “I want to do this, or I want to say this – but I have to check, do you think this is ok?”.
It’s been very clear to me that many people want to speak up for the Black Lives Matter Movement and in support of diversity as a whole or start initiatives, but are nervous about how they come across, especially in public forums.
There’s also that element of extra pressure because it seems like nowadays, saying the wrong thing or saying something that’s not quite perfect can lead to public backlash and humiliation.
So I started to think about how I could help and the answer came to me as I was scrolling through my social media. I’ll be honest, the last few weeks on social media have been particularly hairy for me. It’s probably the least amount of time I’ve spent online because every time I logged on I would only get to scroll for a little bit before seeing something that either made me sad or enraged or hopeless. Part of that is because I’m so entrenched in the Black Lives Matter movement that everything at the moment feels more personal. But it’s also because there’s just some horrific things out there. I’ve used the “Block” button more in the last few weeks than I have in my entire life on social media. My feed is a rollercoaster of “No! Please don’t!”, mixed in with some “Oh you were so close!” and fewer “You’re amazing! Thanks for making me feel better!”s.
My aim is to log in and see even more awesome stuff, so I started thinking to myself:
If I could give the good people who are currently staying silent because they are unsure, the courage to speak up and share their voices I could change the shape of my social media.
And that’s what I decided to do.
Next week on Mon 06 July and Friday 10 July I’m going to be running a free 1 hour session called “Is This Ok?” that centres on how to express yourself well when it comes to discussing matters of diversity and inclusion publicly, especially on social media. I use some of the same posts that have had me on a rollercoaster of emotions across the last few weeks to give a framework and how-to guide, alongside things to look out for and pitfalls to avoid to help inspire you with confidence to be more outspoken as an ally if you really want to, but have been nervous about it. I showcase some of my favourite people and brands who consistently get it right, alongside some who were well-meaning who missed the mark a little … and some others who were downright wrong (with identifying details hidden of course). We’ll have a great discussion about what makes the greats great – and what the others could have done better to make more of a mark. There will also be time to ask questions.