By Marie Prendergast - Talent Development
Being an ally is confusing, uncomfortable, frustrating, upsetting, hard work and scary. I know what you’re thinking...cry me a river! But please let me explain this self-centred statement. I am a person who thrives on fixing problems and making things better for people. My first answer to fixing things is to educate myself. So that’s what I did with BLM. I tried listening, reading and very quickly I learnt how uneducated I was. Reading made me realise how many things I was blind to, including Black history and inequalities in the System and Society. I did not understand ‘colour blindness’ and had no clue what ‘white privilege’ was. This hit me hard as I considered myself to be passionate about equality.
Also, for the first time I felt like my learning was not giving me the answers I expected. I expected to be able to discover ways I could make things better. What I did learn was that the answers were not simple, but more than ever I felt compelled to help make a change. Yes, being an ally is confusing, uncomfortable, frustrating, upsetting, hard work and scary. But it is my white privilege that actually feels those things. It is also my white privilege that I can step away from all those difficult feelings and get on with life as I know it. I am not prepared to do this. As an ally I am committing to keep listening and learning so I can help to support change.