BLACK LIVES MATTER: RESOURCES TO EDUCATE, BECOME ANTI-RACIST, AND AMPLIFY BLACK VOICES



If I’m being completely honest, I sat down this afternoon to write and publish a blog about an exciting, surprise proposal. And when I looked at my blinking cursor, sharing that experience didn’t seem appropriate without first addressing what is going on in the world right now. What’s much more vital for me to share currently is my heart and share some resources with you.


My heart is breaking. These past few weeks have been devastating, but I’m looking forward with hope and optimism. Why? Because change is happening. It's slow and painful, but it is happening. I've seen more people speak out about Black Lives Matter (BLM) and educate themselves on white privilege than ever before. I have seen more Black, Indigenous, and People of color (BIPOC) on my feed, hearing their voices, listening to them, learning from them. I have seen people come together around Metro Detroit to protest, stand next to their neighbors, and stand up for what is right. And you know what? The protests are working, people are listening, and change is happening. It's not nearly enough, but it's progress.⠀⠀⠀⠀


For progress to continue and change to keep happening, it’s important for everyone to educate themselves and learn about what is truly happening and how to help. It’s vital to evaluate your own thoughts, feelings, opinions, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. Over these past couple of weeks, as I took a deeper dive into my own white privilege and what it truly means to be anti-racist I realized that I can be a better advocate, and I will. So, I’m writing this to share resources and ways that you can make a difference.


If you are unsure of how to help, keep reading!


PROTEST: Protests are not all riots with looting, they can be peaceful. Remember, one person may not be impactful, but an entire community surely is. Change is happening because of the protests, so if you are comfortable and able, check out this source for protests in the Metro Detroit area.


DONATE: Here is a list of organizations and nonprofits you can donate to support the Black Lives Matter movement. If you are unsure of which organization to donate to, check out this site to guide you in informed giving.


SUPPORT: It's important to support local Black-owned businesses - check out this website for a great list of Downtown Detroit’s Black-owned businesses! I personally love Detroit Vegan Soul - they serve up amazing vegan soul food you’ll love even if you aren’t vegan!


FOLLOW: If you’re on social media, follow BIPOC, and support them! This is a great list of inspiring Black Women on Instagram! Obviously, it’s not an exhaustive list. Also, check out these accounts for individuals and organizations for anti-racist education. @nowhitesaviors @rachel.cargle @laylafsaad @ajabarber @urdoingreat @yassmin_a @iamrachelricketts @munroebergdorf @rinnyriot @blackandembodied @jessicawilson.msrd


EDUCATE: There are so many resources available for you to educate yourself. Ignorance is deeply embedded in what is happening. You don’t know unless you know. Take time to read, watch, or listen!

VOTE: The change that needs to be made is deeply rooted in policies, institutions, and governmental systems. If you don’t like what is happening, vote for change. Check to see if you are registered to vote here.


So, with all those options, there is really no excuse to step up, speak out, and help promote change. You don’t want to look back on this in 10 years and realize that you were silent and compliant the entire time. And if you’re afraid because you don’t know what to say or that you are going to say the wrong thing, it’s okay! Learning, making mistakes, and growing is all part of the process.


Friends, I understand that what I am writing is coming from my own white perspective and truthfully still limited understanding; however, these are resources that everyone can benefit from. I know I am going to make mistakes along the way. I know I have so much more to learn. I know that this is just the beginning. But I am willing to learn, grow, and experience the painful moments because change needs to happen. We cannot go “back to normal.” We must push forward and fight for anti-racism.


I encourage you to share this blog with others or pass along information because one thing you say or do could make a significant impact!


All my love,


NOT JUST ANOTHER "PHOTOGRAPHER"

Nicole is a wedding and portrait photographer based out of the Metro Detroit area. Residing in Royal Oak, she photographs in Michigan and abroad. She began her career in 2012 and is now a published artist and professional photographer. Nicole started documenting weddings in 2014 and passionately pursues photography daily, teaching film and digital photography to high school students, and documenting life and love on the weekends. Specializing in Weddings, Portraiture, and Lifestyle photography, she is a diverse and creative artist. Does this sound like the photographer for you?

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© NICOLE LEANNE PHOTOGRAPHY 2020