A guide to how you can support marginalized communities

Each time these incidents happen, many of us are left wondering what we can do to support our African-American friends beyond anguished online posts — and in real, meaningful ways.

Being an ally — a person who is not a member of a particular marginalized group but seeks to help end the oppression of those in the marginalized group — is a constant process. Allyship can mean different things to different people, and it can be tough to know where to start.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are some ways that you can support marginalized communities.

Reach out

Offer support and comfort.

Check up on your friends who don’t look like you when a high-profile tragedy or incident takes place. Affirm that you are there for them in whatever ways they need.

Educate yourself and others

Do your research.

Do what you can to educate yourself before you ask others to explain things to you. There are a wealth of resources available to you online. Google is your friend.

Ask questions when needed.

We’re all learning, and it’s OK to ask questions.

But be mindful of who you’re asking, says writer Courtney Ariel. Don’t lean too heavily on people of color or other marginalized groups to be your “experts.”

It’s best if the person you’re asking is someone you already have a solid relationship with. And be prepared to accept that some people may not want to discuss those things with you.

Brush up on history.

Asking “How could something like this happen?” when another police encounter turns…

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