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Black History Month: How to be an advocate and an ally, this month and every day

Celebrating and honoring Black History Month means many things for everyone all over the nation, and even the world, and we shouldn’t limit this to just the month of February.

There are many events, museums, and virtual happenings that provide use with knowledge and cultural experiences we may have not witnessed before. Learn more here:

Another example, is to always ask within your community or call local agencies and ask, “how are you celebrating Black History Month, and do you need an extra hand?”

The basis of allyship is to ask questions when you are unsure, and to understand that your position is one of learning and to advocate when it is necessary. It is a time to look inward to understand that researching independently for our questions and answers is also important; it is not other’s responsibility to educate the masses.

Advocacy is another way to honor this month, by looking at what you and others are doing to provide positive change. Identify a few ideas that you and your family can implement to advocate for all. How can we as individual increase equality, justice, and equity for all within Western New York?

Lastly, know that any positive thoughts and efforts are seen and heard. One voice and small change can be the loudest in a crowd. Know that you matter, and that your change will be heard.

Cassandra Dunner, LMSW

Erie County ACT Co-Occurring Specialist

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