What does being an Ally look like? I've asked myself this on several occasions, but most recently during the Families Belong Together march in San Diego this past weekend.
In this digital age it's easy for us to leave activism on the screen; post a picture or popular meme, drop a few words and bam you feel part of the conversation. More than that, you feel like you contributed something.
Some leave activism are the rallies and marches. They attend, bring their friends and march for a few hours for the cause. Some leave activism at policy-making, seeing it their marches and rallies into the courtroom. Some leave it at their finances, donating money instead of their time to the organization's that support the same causes they do.
All these are forms of activism, but as I marched in the street I was wondering about their impact.
For those who stick to social media, is it enough to leave our activism at a picture and a caption? Okay, we went the extra step to attend the March but then we made it about ourselves by posing with signs that we didn't even create. I know that sometimes we do it for the cultural capital, we want to appear to be "woke," knowledgeable and versed on a subject, but does it do more harm than good when we're steering the conversation towards ourselves as opposed to the issues?
Is cultural capital more important than the impact?
How about those of us who donate money? Are our lives that busy that we can't give our time and energy to the problem? Donations need to be incentivized in the first place; tax write offs, savings, etc. Monetary resources are necessary, but the work doesn't stop when the money runs out so why should our help stop there too?
I ask these questions, not as a judgement but as a survey. I want to know what Allyship look like to you. I want to know how you participate in it. Where does it begin and where does it end? Is that okay with you? How do contribute to conversation of solutions. How do we? While you comb through the gallery of images from the March I attended, I challenge you to think about how you steer the conversation.