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Stand Up

Trigger / content warning: potentially sensitive content regarding racism, black lives matter, LGBTQ+.

Cornish Ramblings is available to all.

Pure and simple.

We do not discriminate against anyone. And especially anyone looking to enjoy walking and being outside in our beloved Cornwall.

However, it has come to my attention recently that I have never really made it entirely clear or specific about what I really mean by, "Cornish Ramblings is available to all."

Cornish Ramblings was born of a need to explore further afield, connect like-minded people, and create a strong allyship between those relationships and the outdoors.

Cornish Ramblings is a community group bridging the gap between those looking to explore Cornwall on foot, with those in need of a friendly rambling experience.

We endeavour to provide an inclusive and safe space where everyone is welcome.

As it states on the home page of the Cornish Ramblings website (see above) our mission is to encourage everyone to get up, head outside, go for a walk, and fully embrace and enjoy what's out there on your doorstep. Whether you ramble with us or not, Cornish Ramblings is more than just a walking group.

Safe Space

I want to ensure those who read my blogs, who follow me on social media, who befriend me on a ramble, and who plan to join us one day for an adventure, actively know and understand that when I say we welcome everyone, we mean that in every sense of the word.

After attending an event hosted by Black Voices Cornwall recently, they mentioned safe spaces and being able to signpost people of colour to places in Cornwall that are just that, a safe-space for culturally diverse minorities. After attending this event and, if I am honest, becoming extremely awoken to the issues people of colour in Cornwall face everyday, I knew I had to do more to become a true ally.

It is our responsibility to encourage an actively anti-racist environment and I want to ensure that Cornish Ramblings is just that.

To anyone reading this, if you are part of a marginalised group, please know that you are welcome within Cornish Ramblings. Marginalised groups: and by this, I mean anyone who is part of a culturally diverse minority, anyone who is part of the LGBTQ+ community, anyone with physical and mental disabilities, and regardless of their socioeconomic level.

Who is Black Voices Cornwall?

"Black Voices Cornwall exists to enable Cornwall to become an actively anti-racist region, by improving awareness and empowerment through Communication, Education and Unification by 2035"

Following the global rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, members from the Black and Ethnically Diverse communities in Cornwall felt empowered enough to begin raising their voices to bring a much-needed change. Black Voices Cornwall (BVC) is just that; an organisation to give Black and Ethnically Diverse people a voice. However, BVC is also about educating, challenging authorities, developing effective partnerships, holding institutions and organisations to account, and enabling Cornwall to become actively anti-racist.

You can find out more about Black Voices Cornwall and the important work they are doing by clicking the button below.

How can you be actively anti-racist?

To be actively anti-racist in your day-to-day life doesn't necessarily mean you have to do anything drastic.

Below are just a few areas in which I am becoming more and more educated in ways in which I can be actively anti-racist...

Education: Kendi, a leading scholar on anti-racism, argues that the heart of racism is denial. You cannot acknowledge or change that which you deny or choose not to see. Thus, the first step toward dismantling racism is breaking through that denial, by educating oneself about the history of African Americans and the Black experience. By this, I simply mean take the time to learn, to educate yourself.

Do you actually understand racism and what the definition of racism is?

Consume literature and content by black creators: we need to put the work in and educate ourselves by seeking out works from the voices that were missing in the narrative that we were taught. Actively read books and articles by Black authors!

Below are a few links to get you started...

Reflect on your own biases: it's easy to take on board other people's views and opinions and nod and smile to keep the peace. We have been conditioned to view different groups of people differently and are all susceptible to internalising what the world is telling us. But take a step back, reflect on your own biases, recognize your privilege, and learn about the Black experience.

Starting with yourself and recognizing your shortcomings is the first step to becoming truly anti-racist.

Listen: if you really want to be an ally, it is so important that you take time to stop and listen to their voice. Racism is not new and to be anti-racist, you need to listen to those who have experienced it because although you will never fully understand what it is like to encounter racism, you will start to build a picture of what people of colour experience on a daily basis.

Attend events, rallies, and protests: one way you can start becoming actively anti-racist is by attending a protest, donating money, signing a petition or voting. Black Voices Cornwall has recently updated their Cultural Calendar which highlights events you can attend. Click the link below to see what's coming up: BVC Cultural Calendar

Speak up to friends and family: within family and friendship circles, there could be a divide on political and social issues with the older generations (and unfortunately, sometimes younger ones too). You may have relatives that are openly racist behind closed doors and although you may not have said something to them before, the next time you are at the dinner table and one of your relatives comes out with an offhanded, racist comment...say something.

I recently had a wonderful conversation with my Nan (who is over 80 and the most beautiful soul you'll ever meet) about her thoughts on racism and what it meant to her, and although I had to correct her on a few terms, Nan really did take it on board and made a concerted effort to listen, understand, give her views and actively change the way she explains certain terms after I corrected her.

We won't always get it right...

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” — Maya Angelou

Admittedly in the past, I have been worried about using a wrong term or saying something that could cause offence without meaning to. But over time, I have realised that as long as I learn from it, correct myself, educate myself and do better next time, I am still doing something to live an actively anti-racist life.

One thing to remember is, we might get it wrong. But as Maya Angelou once said, do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

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