Conversations on how to be an Ally

On Nov. 14th the Marblehead Museum and the Marblehead Racial Justice Team cohosted a Conversation on how to be an Ally.

“Our goal is for people to present statements that reflect their own thoughts and feelings so that we can start to understand each other better and hope that we can continue to learn and grow together. So that we can make this our community a stronger community, that’s not racist,” said Pam Barker from the Marblehead Justice Team.

Being an Ally means that you’re taking on the struggle as your own so that you are not just the observer. Transferring the benefits of your privilege to those who lack it and understanding that your education is up to you and no one else.

One of the members discussed never witnessing any situation where people of color were being mistreated or misunderstood in public in Marblehead. “As a matter of fact, I never met any people of color in Marblehead.”

“I think any of us who have participated in some of the demonstrations with George Floyd and even with Reverend Andrei in Marblehead and other activists, that there is an importance of some people participating and supporting what the goals are for the less powerful. So, we do have an opportunity to actually make an impact by supporting people of color,” said Barker.

Barker points out the importance to listen and that all members should be aware of the bias that we are currently facing, “based on the fact that we live in a society of structural racism and we even if we don’t believe we have biases, they are there,” said Barker.

Barker also spoke about the importance of researching, “the history, every day trying to take a little piece of information and try to internalize that to really better understand who we’re trying to be an ally with and understand what some of those challenges are.” Sais Barker.

“We need to really understand the oppressive system and how we got to the place that we are today, “added Barker.

Three main points covered in the presentation on how to be an ally include, not taking the responsibility of being an ally lightly, as an ally, you need to own your mistakes and be proactive in your education, every day and learn how to listen and accept criticism with grace.

On Monday, Dec. 12 the Marblehead Museum will meet again to speak about what Afro-Latinos want you to know about racism. To learn more, please visit www.marbleheadmuseum.org