Instead of riding waves of scandal-spurred activism from one news cycle to the next, do this to fight inequality and create a lasting impact.
The world is full of creators. Business owners, inventors, artists, performers, writers, the list goes on and on. And now, well into the 21st century, we still have issues with underrepresentation. Acting roles for disabled people keep going to able-bodied actors. Creative works that “look” a certain way get downplayed as dangerous or low-brow. The landscape of our media is littered with harmful stereotypes that many of us are assaulted with every day.
If you're a person of color, a woman, a queer person, a poor person, a disabled person, if you struggle with mental illness— the world's a vicious place. Merely existing is exhausting. Click To Tweet You have to push three, four, maybe even five times as hard to access the same resources as someone in a more privileged position. And it can feel like no one cares. Like no one listens. Like your voice doesn’t matter.
How do I know? I belong to multiple of the aforementioned categories. And I have battled for recognition over the years. I still do. Maybe some of you do, as well.
And that’s why this post is so, so important. We need to support each other.
And allies, you need to support us. Sure, those profile pic filters and marches are nice and all. But. They don’t feed us. And they don’t buy our life-saving medication. Heck, they certainly don’t allow us to rise up from subsistence living so we can thrive. If you want to really support us, use your voice. Give our businesses and creative endeavors reviews. Click To Tweet
Obviously, it’s amazing whenever you buy our products, creations, and/or services. And that’s the equivalent of giving a hungry man a fish, as the proverb goes. If you want us to stop going hungry completely, get up on your soapbox and lift that voice. Small businesses require word of mouth to succeed. If you have a friend struggling to start a business that you know is solid and you're not shouting on the rooftops about them, shame on you. Click To Tweet
Take the Time
Like the book you’re reading? How about the movie you’re watching? A well-written news article, great video game, fantastic song, [insert rad creation here]? Take a couple seconds of your life and rate it. Especially if it’s by a lesser-known minority. Want to support the local minority-owned store in your community? Go online and rate them. Write about them. Talk about them. Tell the world what makes this shop so wonderful. These acts may seem small, but they can be the difference between staying afloat and receding into obscurity.
When it comes specifically to books, rating on Goodreads is okay. But for most self-published and indie authors, reviews left on the store site (Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, etc.) can make the difference between whether or not we can afford dinner. Yes. YOUR voice is that important to us. And there’s an ocean of phenomenal yet under-represented businesses and creators out there who are begging for your input.
Can you hear them calling?
I can. I’ve made a personal commitment to leave reviews for every lesser-known business I come across, especially ones run by minorities in my neighborhood. Will you join me?
PS: Don’t forget to share this post!