Start Watching Inclusive Movies!
This may be the easiest way anybody can start their journey to becoming a better ally.
I've provided a small and current list of thought-provoking movies that have inclusive creative talent on-screen, as well as behind-the-camera. They all are unique because they provide multiple perspectives from different genres on a diverse array of issues that range from to domestic to national.
1. Roma (2018 film), written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón.
2. Little Women (2019 film), written (for the screen) and directed by Greta Gerwig
3. Crazy Rich Asians, directed by Jon M. Chu
4. Black Panther, co-written and directed by Ryan Coogler
5. Dolemite Is My Name, directed by Craig Brewer
6. Honey Boy, directed by Alma Har'el
7. The Farewell, written and directed by Lulu Wang
8. Hustlers, co-written and directed by Lorene Scafaria
9. Parasite, written and directed by Bong Joon Ho
10. Queen and Slim, directed by Melina Matsoukas
Start Reading Inclusive Books
For those who enjoy reading and want to take a step further in enhancing their open-mindedness, I've attached a short list of books meant to discuss the harsh realities we live in.
2. The Color Purple, written by Alice Walker
3. How to be an Antiracist, written by Ibram X. Kendi
4. City of Night, written by John Rechy
5. So You Want To Talk About Race, written by Ijeoma Oluo
6. The Tradition, written by Jericho Brown
7. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, written by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Reach Out To People Who Are Different From You
Actively try to expand your friendships to include people from different backgrounds, cultures, skin colors, religions, sexual orientations, genders, etc.
If you feel that everyone in your immediate circle is similar, thinks the same way, and acts the same way, they may not be offering you all the experiences and possibilities that come with having a diverse group of friends. This is not to say you should abandon your friends if they are like you, but the purpose of this is to expand your horizons.
Life becomes more fulfilling when you're offered new interactions, and you have more opportunities to prevent monotony when you have an inclusive mindset.
Needless to say, staying informed on current political events gives you the knowledge and power to leverage conversations to your advantage, especially with close-minded people.
Pointing out inconsistencies in others' arguments and being equipped to respond back calmly can lead to a fruitful conversation in which the other debater will see a new point of view.
Always watch out for what news source you are receiving information from, and if you cannot tell, do not immediately believe it without fact-checking. I have, personally, fallen victim to this when I saw a tweet that cropped out the news source only to find out it was from The Onion.
Remember that you are allowed to disagree with family and friends. Only you can decide what your opinions are, and as long as you are properly informed, you can see both sides of an issue before forming that opinion.
The current social and political environment has increased radicalization on both sides, which has consequently led to name-calling, immediate denial of others' beliefs, and potentially dangerous physical interactions.
Maintaining composure and responding with kindness will ease any conflict. If you get riled up in a conversation, they will too, and nobody will learn anything from it.
In general, spreading kindness to friends, family, and even random people will brighten their day. You have the power to change the course of somebody's day by saying something nice to them. This is especially important because you will be seen as someone who can be trusted, and this increases your position as an ally to everyone.
You got this! Start your journey to becoming your best self, and don't forget that no one is born a perfect ally. It's a never-ending process because there are always opportunities to learn and grow. Now, go start watching one of the movies I mentioned at the top!