Let’s be honest; if you are a person of color, then the world is potentially scary for you lately. Despite the fear, however, you want to do something, anything! Yet, you realize that you might not have the time. How can you be active in your community or with issues you care about if you’re swamped with work, school, or life? (The oppressive machine keeping you in check, people.)
Here are a few examples of what I found to be most helpful when I can’t be physically active in my community:
1. It starts at home
To be engaged you don’t need to leave your house. Sometimes, we feel anger or sadness which results in wanting to be physically active, but that feeling doesn’t need to equate full out activism via joining a protest or organization. It can be as simple as having someone to talk to that’s close to you about the issues you care about. Start by talking to close family members and sharing your feelings with them. Heck, even talking to your partner about current events can be a great beginning. Then take it a step further, talk to someone within your family that doesn’t share your point of view. Those types of conversations are challenging, but they’re an excellent way to solidify your values, expand them further or change your opinions.
2. Find alternative ways to spend your money
We know that dollars can equal activism. When you donate to a charity, the act of giving to an organization making a change that you value is a great way to help, but there are other ways. If you’ve exhausted your will for charitable giving then why not spend it on clothes, shoes, art, candles, skin care – literally anything that you use on a daily basis? However, do it the right way, by purchasing those things from your local community. Exercise your spending power with those who need it most. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at your local shop, then look online. Our community is savvy and is starting to understand the value of the internet, give them a boost by visiting their websites and providing them uplifting reviews. If you still can’t find what you want from your local google search then look for latinx, or POC owned shops anywhere. Your money provides a living for those small business owners who need it most. Let’s show corporations where economic bounty actually lies. To spread the wealth with our POC communities by boosting our local economies is a perfectly acceptable form of activism.
3. Have time and talents, why not provide a small service?
Have social media skills? Offer to manage an Instagram account for your local taqueria. I think skills in the business marketing fields are the most undervalued or underappreciated for small POC businesses. The local grocery shop could have fantastic deals, great products, and amazing customer service, but no funds for marketing and outreach. In which case, they’ll always be outperformed by more prominent grocery businesses because of their ability to pay for advertising. In that same vein, if you do have professional marketing skills, why not offer classes to local small businesses? Teach them how to create a marketing budget, how to start social media accounts, and how to do local advertising. Regardless, any skill that you could potentially offer is bound to be helpful for someone. Every little bit counts.
As you can tell, there is a multitude of ways to be charitable with your time and money that don’t include being physically present. If every one of us provided one tiny gesture of service, we would all be better for it.