How can I help? What can I do? I’m only one person – can I really make a difference?

After every TEDxLondon event, the audience always asks these kinds of questions. It’s inspiring how much you all want to help create change, but we understand it can feel overwhelming to know where to start. 

The good news – this blog post is here to help! We’ve collated 9 things you can do right NOW to support women and non binary people on International Women’s Day.  These actions are all inspired by our speakers from our last TEDxLondonWomen event. An event, much like International Women’s Day, that challenges the status quo and demands better for women and nonbinary folk the world over. 

The theme of International Women’s Day this year is ‘I choose to challenge’ and in this spirit, the ideas below should help you challenge the status quo – from racism and climate change to immigration laws and child marriage.

Dr Claire Malone, TEDxLondonWomen 2021, (C Karla Gowlett)

1. Share our talks from TEDxLondonWomen

Our latest talks invite us to take action on climate change, institutional racism, human rights and burnout culture. The speakers encouraged us to think differently about our careers, food and the universe itself. We learned to be kind to ourselves, face shame, allow Black girls to be girls and about the campaign to oppose child marriage.

Now we invite YOU to watch and watch again, share your favourites and help our speakers bring about change.

2. Support speaker Payzee Mahmod and her campaign to end child marriage in the UK

A survivor of child marriage, who lost her sister Banaz in a tragic “honour” killing, Payzee Mahmod is a British Kurd who campaigns with IKWRO to raise awareness and eradicate harmful practices, such as FGM and child marriage. You can help her end child marriage in the UK with three simple actions:

  1. Watch and share Payzee’s talk about her and her sister Banaz’s experience of child marriage.
  2. Sign the petition to end child marriage in the UK
  3. Find out who your MP is and write to them asking them to support Payzee’s campaign.

3. Support speaker Temi Mwale and the 4Front Project transform our criminal justice system

Racial inequity drives violence.
The criminal justice system drives violence.
Unaccountability drives violence.

The 4Front Project is building a powerful youth-led movement to transform the way peace and justice are understood by centring healing rather than punishment. As the Founder & Executive Director of The 4Front Project and one of our TEDxLondonWomen speaker, Temi Mwale, is focused on fighting against institutional racism and working towards a world where we use a radically different approach to resolving conflict within society

Support the 4Front Project

Temi Mwale TEDxLondonWomen 2021 (C Karla Howlett)

4. Learn about eco-anxiety with speaker Clover Hogan

Did you know that over 70% of 18-24 year olds in the UK experience eco-anxiety? The fear, stress, panic and guilt experienced in the face of the climate crisis. Many of us feel powerless to tackle such a complex issue as climate change and remain stuck in despair or denial. 

Yet, Clover Hogan and the organisation she founded, Force of Nature, are empowering young people to realise they can be agents of change, whilst also driving intergenerational solutions to fight climate change.

  1. Whether you are a young person, business leader or educator, check out these resources to help you understand and manage your eco-anxiety.
  2. Subscribe to Clover Hogan’s podcast ‘Force of Nature’ to learn more about climate action and eco-anxiety.

5. Challenge our immigration laws by following speaker Sangeetha Iengar’s three simple actions

Sangeetha’s TEDxLondon talk was a rousing call to discover how our own liberty is being threatened under the guise of immigration control and laws. She has three simples steps that you can take today to fight our unfair and unjust immigration laws. 

  1. Resist the hostile environment by using this practical toolkit made by The Joint Council for Welfare of Immigrants.
  2. Sign and share this petition to end inhumane indefinite immigration detention.
  3. Sign up to Liberty’s Newsletter to be in know about legislation, laws and policy and how it can impact us all.

6: Invest in a safe space for Black Girls by supporting speaker Ebinehita Iyere’s Milk and Honey Bees 

Milk and Honey Bees is a Female-led, expressive safe space that TEDxLondonWomen speaker Ebinehita Iyere founded in 2017. The aim of Milk and Honey Bees is to allow young women to feel empowered and heal from their experiences. Ebinehita also wanted Milk and Honey Bees to be a place for Black girls, who are often deemed as hard to engage, with a space to feel supported and access opportunities to help them navigate in society. 

Support Milk and Honey Bees

Ebinehita Iyere, TEDxLondonWomen 2021 (C Karla Gowlett)

7. Learn more about your unconscious biases 

Many of you were inspired by Sophie Williams’s TEDxLondonWomen talk: “Why women and people of colour fall off the glass cliff”. As an anti-racist advocate and campaigner, Sophie reminded us how important it is to learn more about our unconscious biases.

  1. Take Harvard’s implicit bias tests.
  2. Check out our blog here for more resources in being actively anti-racist.

8. Listen to new podcasts

TEDxLondonWomen speakers have some pretty amazing podcasts that will open your eyes to new perspectives, ideas and actions. 

If you want to better understand the future of work and how we need to make careers work for everyone, then check out Squiggly Careers by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis.

Listen to Squiggly Careers

Nutritionist and trainee counsellor, Pixie Turner, casts a critical eye over health documentaries and the “claims” they make with co-host cardiothoracic surgeon Nikki Stamp in their brilliant podcast ‘In Bad Taste’.

Listen to In Bad Taste

9. Read read read

There are so many brilliant authors out there, but we have a real soft spot for our speakers’ works. They are inspiring and beautiful – and they are going to help change the world, one sentence at a time. 

  • NEON by Bethany Rose 
    A collection of poems that softly lights the shadowy path of LGBT issues, mental health, school, grief and longing. Delve into a mind of swimming pools and hospitals, planets and supernovas, classrooms and therapy offices, playgrounds and the sky – all bound together in tight poetry spliced with light.
  • Diary of a Drag Queen by Crystal Rasmussen
    Northern, working-class and shagging men three times her age, Crystal charts her day-to-day adventures over the course of a year. We encounter tucks, twists and sucks, heinous overspending and endless nights spent sprinting from problem to problem in a full face of make-up. This is a place where the previously unspeakable becomes the commendable – a unique portrayal of the queer experience.

    P.S. Don’t miss out of Crystal’s new book in 2021: First Comes Love.
  • Anti-Racist Ally by Sophie Williams
    Do you want to be an anti-racist ally? This punchy, pocket-sized guide shows you how, whether you’re using your voice for the first time, or are looking for ways to keep the momentum and make long lasting change.

    P.S. Don’t miss out of Sophie’s new book in 2021: Millennial Black.
Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis, TEDxLondonWomen 2021 (C Karla Gowlett)
  • Squiggly Careers by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis
    Today, we’re living in a world of squiggly careers, where moving frequently and fluidly between roles, industries, locations, and even careers, is becoming the new normal. This book will fuel your growth and help you be happier, and ultimately more successful in your career.
  • The Insta-Food Diet: How social media has shaped the way we eat, by Pixie Turner
    Pixie guides you through the various ways social media has affected our food choices, our restaurants, and our food policy. By the end, you’ll be armed with knowledge and tactics, so you can take back control and make social media work for you.

  • In Their Shoes: Navigating Non-Binary Life, by Jamie Windust
    Combining light-hearted anecdotes with their own hard-won wisdom, Jamie Windust explores everything from fashion, dating, relationships and family, through to mental health, work and future key debates. From trying on clothes in secret to iconic looks, first dates to polyamorous liaisons, Jamie shows you how to navigate the world and your evolving identity in every type of situation.

Let us know if you enjoyed our 9 things you can do now for International Women’s Day. Tag us on @TEDxLondon and using the hashtag #IWD2021 and #TEDxLondonWomen on social media.

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