Activism at University
For the past few days, I have been waking up angry. Every morning waking up to images of Black men and women being murdered. Seeing people that look like me getting brutalised. Bloodily too. Stuck between wanting to delete social media to protect my mental health and wanting to stay up to date on the continual struggle for justice. It is a privilege for some people to be able to switch yourself off from the world completely. However, if you are like me, you know that is not an option for it is an ever-ongoing fight.
Growing up a lot of us, Black people and other people of colour, had to adopt thick skin as a coping mechanism in order to survive through school. Taking the microaggressions on the chin to avoid conflict or to be branded as the ‘rude Black girl’. Only now, we look back and question all the things you let slide. However, I encourage us all to go easy on ourselves – we were young and simply surviving. Now, however, I want to be able to live.
Coming to university is a step into the real world. A place where you have more autonomy. For me, this encouraged me to want to take a more active role in fighting for liberation. Contrary to popular belief, there are ways you can get involved in such work here at Warwick. Societies such as Warwick Anti-Racism society as well as Warwick Anti-Sexism society are both societies that are committed to a radical intersectional feminist approach in liberation. The societies often collaborate to discuss and organise for issues such as racism, decolonisation, islamophobia and so much more. Here, I found a safe space where I could both learn and unlearn things. Where I could meet likeminded people, who share my passion.
When you grow up in a society where all the odds are against you, it is helpful knowing you are not alone. This is why, now more than ever, we are calling upon our non-Black friends and family for solidarity. We need our voices heard and amplified. Allyship can come in many forms, there are many ways everyone can get involved and help. We must however move past the chain messages and performative acts if we really care about change.
I hope this blog post has inspired you to play a more active role in the fight for a more equal world and shown to you how you can continue doing such during your time at Warwick.
For the time being, I share advice and link different resources you can use now and explain how they help:
– Avoid sharing traumatic content as this is dehumanising and traumatising.
– Checking in on your Black friends, family, and colleagues as emotional support is important in this trying time.
– Reading anti-racist work. It is not enough to be neutral or just be against racism, you must be actively anti-racist.
o Layla Saad: Me and White Supremacy
o Ibram X. Kendi: How to Be an Anti-Racist
– Sign petitions and donate to funds which help in protecting protestors and demanding justice