February is Black History Month. This is a month designated to intentionally honor and amplify Black voices. The Yo Quiero Dinero platform, as one that aims to be inclusive of all women of color, wants to push itself and its community to engage in this intentionality.
If you are someone who is non-Black and have a brand or public platform, we encourage you to do the same. Taking one month to intentionally amplify Black voices will teach you how you can do this as part of your brand. It’s 2021; we should not be having this question around inclusivity anymore!
For the duration of February, we will be releasing podcast episodes with Black creators, publishing pieces on why we should always be talking about race when we talk about money, and introducing you to different Black creators within all things money and side hustles.
Here are five things we’re doing to amplify Black voices that you can think about practicing as well:
Back in June 2020, millions of people participated in “Black Out Tuesday,” which was a day where people were encouraged to post a black square on their social media profiles.
But if any of these influencers had actually been listening to what Black organizers and activists were calling for, they quickly would have realized that this wasn’t what they wanted. Many who participated used the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, which drowned the hashtag feed with black squares instead of actual information regarding planned events, bail funds, or educational content. People did not listen, and, instead, did what made them feel better. To amplify Black voices, we need to first listen to what is actually wanted or needed from us.
2. Read and Do Your Own Self-Education
We should not wait for explicit instructions from Black communities. There is a balance between listening and taking the initiative to learn what you have to learn. We should listen, but we should not expect, nor should we force the Black people in our lives to educate us.
It’s 2021, we got everything we can need at the palm of our hand, AKA Google is your friend. Got some questions? Google it? Don’t understand something? Google it.
Last year, we put together a massive resource guide with some racial justice educative content. Start here.
3. Share Space On Your Platform
Look for Black creators within your niche. If you run a lifestyle brand, what other Black lifestyle brands can you elevate? Run a fitness and wellness brand? There are many Black fitness and wellness creators.
There is enough room for all of us. Especially as women of color, we need to uplift each other. Remember, the world wasn’t made for us. So we have to show up for each other.
4. Think Sustainably
As you learn more and try to make space on your platform, start thinking through how you want to make space sustainably, permanently.
What we saw in June was a massive wave of businesses, creators, platforms, celebrities, literally everybody trying to make space. The only problem? For many of these platforms, we saw representation and visibility for about two weeks, maybe the whole month or summer. Now? Silence.
February, Black history month, cannot be another example of that.
5. Stand Back
Once you’ve created some space on your platform, the best way to amplify Black voices is to let these folks speak for themselves. That is the definition of “amplify”—to provide a platform. Do not try to interpret things into your own way, into your own story, or into your own brand.
Let their story, history, and perspective stand on its own. Do not wash over what they are saying.
For our podcast, this isn’t difficult. Fundamentally, each episode is storytelling. By intentionally inviting Black creators onto the show, we are making space for them to tell their story in their own words. We are amplifying, introducing them to our community of poderosas.
As we kick off Black history month, ask yourself: have you been intentional in your inclusivity?