Today’s episode is GOLD. I had the honor of sitting down with an insta-crush of mine, Dani Coke of So Happy Social and Oh Happy Dani to talk all about what it means to be an ally and to love our neighbors well.
Danielle Coke is a graphic designer and social media strategist from Atlanta, Georgia.
She owns So Happy Social, a creative studio that specializes in social media marketing for positive brands doing meaningful work.
She is passionate about social justice and uses her platform and her god-gifted talents to educate others on diversity and inclusion.
Listen to the Episode Now!
What does it mean to be an ally?
An ally is someone who is willing to go alongside someone else who is experiencing marginalization or oppression – a lack of justice.
As an ally, you’re saying, “I’m going to align myself with this person and support them and use the privilege that I might have in that circumstance to uplift them and amplify their voice.”
The root cause is a domino effect of how small injustices build up into oppression and the need for people to rise up and do their part to make a difference.
“You can look around every day and see moments where we are just in desperate need of someone taking a stand and saying, ‘You know, this isn’t the way we were created to live, and we can do something about it.'”
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The time for action is now, and we have no time to waste 👏🏾 let’s talk about allyship during a crisis (and beyond!) ⠀⠀ 🚦PICK A CAUSE. You’re more likely to be effective (and follow through with action) when you’re focused on one cause! Examples include: poverty, homelessness, immigrants + refugees, the Indigenous, frontline, the incarcerated, etc etc. ⠀⠀ 📦 UNPACK & LEARN. Become aware of the most urgent needs and comb through as much information as possible. The more you know, the more helpful you’ll be. ⠀⠀ 🏠 THINK LOCAL. Chances are, the orgs on the ground are more aware and knowledgeable of what’s high-priority. Before you act, listen and follow their lead so you can maximize your impact within your direct sphere of influence. ⠀⠀ 📣 TAKE ACTION. It’s time to pull-up! Assess your resources and take targeted, direct action that will lead to relief. Whether this means buying groceries for someone, donating computers to programs, or spreading the word about the cause – something must be done! ⠀⠀ ✔️ REPEAT! The work continues, and you’re needed for the long-haul. ⠀⠀ Which orgs will you partner with? Let’s turn the comments into a resource. Share below! ↓
Powerful quotes to sit with from Dani Coke
“I have to decide to just say the truth. I have to make the decision to choose pursuing justice over my comfort level and prioritizing the fact that we need to know what’s going on before we can actively engage in fixing it. Not that we can’t fix it without fully knowing, but fully knowing gives us more context to how we can specifically make a difference in these different areas of injustice.”
“It’s important to always look toward the light in every situation. Not everything’s going to feel good, but in every moment you can look and say, ‘what is the good in this? What is the good I can pull out of it, even though it’s not inherently good in and of itself?'”
“To intentionally stay positive in light of these issues is taking yourself and the issue and connecting the dots and seeing how can I make a difference in this area?”
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When it comes to the effects of the virus on black lives, the roots run deep. 🌳 ⠀⠀ This is one of the hardest illustrations I’ve ever done. Not because of the tree – but because of the overwhelming nature of the subject at hand. Seeing headlines like “Blacks are Dying at Higher Rates from Covid-19” SHOOK me! ⠀⠀ Now, more than ever, systemic racism has to be addressed. This list is only scratching the surface of all of the ways that racial inequity plays out in the day-to-day lives of black Americans. ⠀⠀ I definitely plan to do more content on ways we can practically love on and serve vulnerable communities during this time, but the foundation of it all MUST be acknowledged. It won’t be a quick fix, but we can all do our part to destroy inequity by hitting it where it really hurts- the ROOT 🤎
What else do we talk about in this episode?
- Dani Coke shares 5 steps we can take to address systemic racism and social injustices in our own backyard
- Dani shares some encouragement for when we need the stamina to keep going and pressing forward toward issues
- How to select the causes you want to personally support