If you have a voice…


August 3, 2020

In this Connect post we engage with Desmond Tutu’s challenge, “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”. George Floyd’s murder has highlighted not just one horrific incident of injustice but systemic inequalities that we all have power to fight.

I’ve found myself moving between feelings of powerlessness, anger, cluelessness, frustration, determination… I can only imagine what others have felt at this time. As a white woman I’ve spent a lot of time trying to learn, listening and reading, letting the words of black friends, and those black influencers who are so eloquently speaking into this time, shape my thinking and response. And, honestly, my main recommendation would be for you to do the same, as much as you are able.

But I can definitely relate to the feeling of not knowing where to start so here are a few general suggestions. I’ve also been building up a list of specific resources that I’ve found helpful so please do get in touch if you’d like me to send it to you.


Begin with social media if that’s most accessible for you. Start to hear the ideas and feelings that are being expressed, follow those you find helpful (even if not comfortable!) so you can continue to journey with them. Podcasts, vlogs and blogs are great too, as they allow you to hear more than a soundbite, giving more depth, nuance, and clarity to the thoughts and emotions being shared.

And I will always champion the value of books. Not only can you engage so much more fully and richly, but being willing to pay to be able to hear the voice of BAME authors signifies much more than a ‘like’ or ‘follow’ that costs you nothing. It says that you want to invest your own resources into reading and understanding the perspective of that writer. It says to the book industry that you recognise what is being said is important and worthy of publication. And it supports the authors with finance and acclaim. Definitely worth it.


It might not seem like much but even signing a petition is a way of using your voice to speak out against systems that support white privilege. You can also take actions like writing to your MP, asking questions about what is being done and sharing your hopes and concerns. Not only do these actions let those in power know that we want to see change, it also says to those being marginalised that we recognise the issues and are prepared to stand with them and take action.


Celebrate the wisdom you hear, share it with others both online and in person. (Made Unique has a Pinterest board where we gather quotes that inspire us – I’d love you to send me words that inspire you too!) Seek out and champion BAME creatives who express their experience and perspectives through images, words, music, dance… Enjoy engaging with those from different backgrounds on all sorts of topics, not just issues of race, to gain greater insight and build deeper connection.

The image above is from Joke Amusan, an artist whose work I absolutely love. Rather than try to summarise her work in my words, I’d prefer you to visit her blog and hear her share about the materials and the message. She also has some really helpful suggestions for how we can all support black people , not just now but going forward. Aside from how incredible her work is, I admire Joke for her courage, creativity, and the way she embodies her own message: IF YOU HAVE A VOICE, SPEAK.

As Nelson Mandela encouraged us,

“it is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it”.