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Some of you may feel tired and saturated but we ain’t done yet... so here’s a thread on how not to be a performative ally. This is both for organisations and those working in the sector. 1/16
An ally who is performative is someone or an organisation that is making statements, in this case about #BlackLivesMatter, but is not taking any action. It’s great to see a number of organisations stand in solidarity. Now we need you all to act. 2/16
Please share resources with your staff and your audiences. Donate. Sign petitions. Support Black owned businesses. Speak.
Tell us what steps your organisation is taking to help Black employees and to diversify your workforce. What plans do you have in place? 3/16
Stop posting on social media about things not related to the cause. All eyes need to be focused on the movement. Do not post about promotions that are adding unnecessary noise to the conversation. 4/16
Challenge your audiences. Yes you’re going to get called out. Respond and admit you have a lot to learn. Yes, some are going to want you to say nothing. Others may entirely disagree. Respond and tell them they are not welcome. 5/16
This is true solidarity. If you have any tolerance for hate speech or those denying the importance of this movement, you are actively saying to the Black community that your organisation is a space where such views will go unchallenged. 6/16
For too long, the drive to make museums representative has been dismissed because of the threat of the white patron who doesn’t want to reckon with the legacy of Empire. But people can surprise you. And if they don’t - do you want to be an organisation funded by racists? 7/16
Policing museums, galleries etc. according to the thoughts of this imagined white patron, validates the racism and ignorance which has propped up the far right and fascist governments we see in power today. 8/16
Many of you have committed to listening. We applaud that, but now is the time to use your voice. If you’re an introvert, we get it. But there’s so much activism you can do by donating, sharing and having conversations in small groups. 9/16
If an issue is raised by a Black member of staff, you have a duty as an allied colleague to amplify and echo their thoughts. Make sure people hear it and then respond. 10/16
Whatever you are doing, it is not enough. This might be hard to hear, but the plans an organisation has to diversify its workforce are steps on the journey. There will always be more that can be done. 11/16
If you feel daunted by this - we don’t blame you - but many will give up knowing this truth. A true ally has stamina and you need to build this within yourself. When the hashtag stops trending, you need to continue having the conversations. 12/16
Black people do not need to die for you to think, reflect and act. So we need communication plans from organisations that are dedicated to fighting this fight all year around. We need organisations who will continue these conversations with employees. 13/16
We need organisations with trustees and directors that are willing to step down because they contribute to a system where different voices are not heard. We need museums and galleries that are willing to make radical statements and acts that will get people listening. 14/16
We need change. So museums, galleries, heritage sites and the rest of you - what are doing to change? Gather together and discuss what can be done. The resources are available. Set aside your fear and act. 15/16
And if you still don’t know what your organisation can do to create change, you should not have the job you have. Give it to someone who can actually speak to these issues. 16/16
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