Actions speak louder than words. Words are the plaster over the wound, but actions give space for healing. Every time I’ve experienced racism, discrimination or prejudice, I’ve been consoled by words and empty promises rather than action.
To a lot of people, actions signify acceptance, allyship, kindness and unity. One can argue that words can also do this, however actions are what make the difference. For centuries, the challenges faced by black people have been pushed aside by weightless words, leaving little to no room for any noticeable change. With the rise of social media, more awareness has been made around issues such as - racism, inequality, discrimination, etc. Many people have become educated and more aware of such issues because of the media, and this has led to an influx of louder conversations around matters that usually held so much silence.
It’s a good thing that many allies are no longer silent. But on the other hand, a lot of people who hold the power to make decisions to help minorities simply choose to have a passive presence than make a viable difference. Yes, they may be involved in conversations online and showing some sort of support, but how far can that really bring us without the necessary intervention?
Without action, there is no change. Without movement, there is no progression. The conjunction of actions and words results in the birth of noticeable difference. Many people say that “the time for change is now”, however I, and many others believe the time for change was a very long time ago. Up until now, a lot of people in power have made empty promises to the black community, promising that they will be the ones to make a difference, that they will contribute to making our lives better, to make us feel more welcome in a world that has excluded us for so long. However, unfortunately, in today’s society we are still constantly fed empty promises.
But that’s not to say that we have received no support whatsoever. Many companies and individuals themselves have made a stance and put in effort to make a difference, including the pharma industry and STEM at large. For example, Wayne Pharmaceuticals is a pharma company that is working to close the disparity health gap in the black community in America. This company is one of the only black-owned pharma companies in America, where its products are centred around health conditions heavily faced by the black demographic, such as stroke and heart disease. Companies like this, help to close the gap of medical racism, when many health conditions prevalent in the black community are given little to no attention. Further research and advancements into neglected conditions such as Sickle Cell, have made a huge impact on the community, giving hope and resources to those who previously had none. The achievements of black people in STEM is quite an extensive one. It’s important for us all to understand and to be comfortable with having conversations about the lack of diversity in science, usually caused by lack of visibility. Recognising the contributions made by ethnic minorities in STEM, will inspire and enable more people to believe that they too can make a difference in a field that they may not be represented in.
Our skin colour is something that has held us back for so long, but now it is something that gives us power. We deserve action that isn’t temporary, to remove us from the never-ending narrative of trauma, we deserve action to magnify our voices, allowing us to be remembered. We live in a world full of inequality, uncertainty and discrimination against minorities, so it’s vital to remember that black lives will always matter.
Support black businesses, don’t be afraid to speak out if you see someone being treated unfairly and become familiar with organisations that help the lives of minorities. All of us can work together to create a world free of issues that have been around for too long.
About the Author
Sophie is a Bioprocess Technician at Pfizer with a BSc in Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science. She enjoys reading and has a love for writing. With her personal blog “The Sophiesticated Blog”, she loves to write stories and poems in her free time.