Black Lives Matter activists have launched a toolkit designed to help rural communities across the UK tackle racism in their area.
Their campaign, BLM in the Stix, aims to build on the momentum of June and July, when more than 260 towns staged anti-racism protests, from Monmouth in South Wales to Shetlands in Scotland. It offers support to rural communities to take a stand against racism at the local level.
The online toolkit kicked off on Saturday with a protest along the banks of the River Colne in Essex.
“This toolkit aims to get people who are not racist to become anti-racist, especially for people who live in rural areas who might think we don’t have as much racism here,” said Gurpreet Sidhu, founder of Wivenhoe Black Groupe Lives Matter and co-organizer of the event.
“Racism is everywhere and there are people in your community who often suffer in silence.”
The toolkit, developed by supporters of Wivenhoe BLM with help from Stand up to Racism Colchester and the Local Equality Commission, provides resources on how to start a rural campaign, outlining some of the main challenges as well as the means to overcome them. It is aimed at white people in rural areas who want to fight racism but who may not know where to start.
It includes information on how to organize an event, organize educational events and create action plans.
After organizing a BLM protest in rural Gloucestershire during the pandemic, Khady Gueye of the Forest of Dean was able to help Sidhu create a resource for people to share their experiences and ask questions.
“In rural areas like mine, there is this idea that we don’t need things like these because there isn’t a large ethnic minority, but there is a lot of secret racism.” , she said.
“People need a platform to share their experiences of racism and prejudice in these areas, where you are a much more extreme minority than in big cities, and people who don’t really understand need to. a starting point for trying to engage. and tackle these issues.
Gueye, 24, said open dialogue and the sharing of resources are helping to create change. “Especially in places where there is little or no exposure to people of different ethnicities and cultures, people need a platform where they can ask questions, have these difficult conversations and be directed to questions. books, articles, movies, podcasts – whatever they are – to give them insight into racial injustice and prejudice. They need a place to start.