I will lift my voice to quiet the room,

so that those who have been unheard can speak.

When future generations ask me where change started,

I’ll tell them, change started with me.

what it means

"Change started with me." It's a bold statement. I know. I'm sure a few of you are wondering how you can say such a thing authenitcally when so many BIPOC have been doing all of the work this whole time. You've only just decided to hold yourself accountable to anti-racism work, so how can you truthfully say that change started with you, right? 

You want to respect the labor BIPOC have committed to this work. You feel uncomfortable taking credit for something when you haven't actually been doing. And I get it. 

It's just so much deeper than that.  

Sure. BIPOC have been working day and night towards racial equality and social justice.  However, the changes that have been realized by BIPOC and the progress that has been made are in SPITE of the fact that racism still exists, not because of a lack thereof. 

All BIPOC want is to navigate society without the hurdles of racism and white supremacy. Yet, these hurdles still exist. They still exist because of this hard truth: 

There is nothing BIPOC can do to end white supremacy or make white people stop being racist.

Nothing at all. 

That is why this pledge is so important. That is why these words were chosen. That is why these words matter so much. 

They are intended to call forth that reality that real, sustainable change simply can't be done without you. It needs you to investigate how you interact with white supremacy and the ways in which only you can change that.

Change starts with you, because it starts within you.

Taking this pledge, saying those words, and committing them and their implications to your day to day is how you do that. It is indeed a first step, but it is a necessary one towards becoming an active participant in the fight to end racial inequality and social injustice.

Taking the WCS Pledge is Simple:

Just download this Pledge Graphic, share it on your social media profiles with the hashtag #changestartedwithme, and print it to hang in the place your are most inspired!

Say it out loud. Read it when you're feeling overwhelmed by the work that needs to be done. Read it when your feeling discouraged about your impact. Read it to remind yourself of your power, your role in the fight, and your commitment to creating a better, more inclusive, more just world.