Elizabeth Bray: Be that change that you want to see

Change starts with the individual

Change starts with the individual - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It has been a couple weeks since the start of the global Black Lives Matter protests and the awareness, passion, or message of this movement does not seem to be fizzing out any time soon.

Black lives matter, fight against racism

Black lives matter, fight against racism - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

My social media feed has become a sort of echo chamber; however, it would be naïve to think the world has not been malnourished of change.

I do not want the names of George Floyd, or Ahmaud Arbery, or Mark Duggan or anyone who has died an unjust death, to become 'yesterday's news' as we have allowed so many to already do so.

Living in a predominantly white community, the Bay - and other surrounding towns and cities - have not shied away from supporting this movement. We have witnessed the world band together.

I have also become aware of the positive online community between Torbay's young people. Tuesday, June 2, saw social media experience what is known as 'Blackout Tuesday'.

Elizabeth Bray, columnist for the Torbay Weekly

Elizabeth Bray, columnist for the Torbay Weekly - Credit: Archant

You may say this was a social media protest: the purpose was to 'go silent' on many worldwide-loved apps, especially Instagram, to reflect on recent events and to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement

I not only saw many close friends, distant friends, friends of friends, family members and celebrities taking part but they were also sharing petitions and reading materials, encouraging each other to share their voice, and it was one of the rare times I understood the positive influence of social media.

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As a young person, I often feel intimidated by these events – they can seem incomprehensible at times, as well as daunting.

How can your voice be heard in a movement being shouted out by so many? Does my vote have any real power? There are already so many supporters, do they really need one more? I am from a small town in Devon, what relevance is this to me?

These are only some of the questions I have come across and they are valid. However, if you are to take anything away from this column let it be this Paul Coelho saying: 'I saw that everything really was written there before me, and that the doors had only been closed before because I hadn't realised that I was the one person in the world with the authority to open them.'

Change starts with the individual. Be that change you want to see.