I originally wrote this in response to this discussion, but I think it’s generally good advice that’s worth sharing here too. Although this post was specifically written about Ace PoC representation, it stems from my experiences with asexuality and aromanticism more generally, so really I think it’s good advice for any underrepresented group that’s looking for practical ways to seek out more representation. Would love to hear any additional suggestions in the comments below.
Some miscellaneous thoughts for the specific issue of boosting ace POC representation – I’m overloaded with projects atm, but if someone wanted to take a stab at any of these I’d be happy to try and provide advice. I’m not really well connected with ace PoC for various reasons (including the weirdness of being mixed in PoC spaces), but there have been some similar questions of tools for representation for aromantic aces or asexuality in general that I’m more familiar with that are probably applicable here too.
1. PoC content aggregation. Sometimes the problem isn’t that there are no PoC aces writing about being PoC, it’s that there’s no way to easily find them since those posts get mixed in with all the other non-PoC related ace discourse (especially considering how threads and forum posts get quickly buried over time). Therefore, creating things like linkspams and “weekly roundup” type blogs are one way to make that content more prominent and easier to find for people who aren’t already well connected with ace PoC.
2. PoC blogger aggregation. One of the other reasons that is seems like there’s so little PoC ace discourse is because you can’t see the face of the person you’re talking to on the internet, and people are typically assumed white until proven otherwise. One idea to counter this would be to create something like a PoC-centered group blog; another idea would be something like an RSS feed package of specifically PoC Ace bloggers or a PoC Ace Blogger network or webring where blogs could link to and promo each other. This also has the advantage of making it easier to find PoC perspectives on topics that aren’t necessarily directly about race.
3. Ace PoC activist orgs. I’m admittedly out of the loop here, so I don’t know if there is something like this already, but while I’ve seen several individual bloggers who are trying to promote Ace PoC representation, I don’t think I’ve seen any collective organizational attempts? Having something like an organized group with say, a single org name and a centralized webpage for linkspams and resources is more powerful than an individual, and (cynically/practically speaking) will have more credibility in the eyes of the media or other activist organizations in terms of being taken seriously.
4. Ace PoC social spaces. Again, totally out of the loop here, but so far the only big attempts at ace PoC community creation that I’ve seen have been on tumblr, which is not a great interface for having casual conversations with multiple people. A good step would be things like Ace PoC forums, or chat groups, or skype groups, or facebook groups, or mailing lists, etc…things that are more social than blogging oriented can help build more concrete communities that can work together on bigger projects as they grow.
5. Ace PoC Media Kits. One of the bigs things to know about news media representation is that the easier you make it for them, the more they’ll represent you. In particular, collecting and making available high resolution images, quotable soundbites/quotes, and contact lists of aces willing to be interviewed or photographed makes reporters much more interested. If someone starts a project like this, it would also be good to reach out to larger sites like AVEN or Asexuality Archive, or to big names aces like David Jay or SwankIvy, so that they can also link to the kit when they get media requests.
4. Static Content. While there’s a lot of representation in blog posts and tumblr posts, they tend to disappear quickly and can be hard to find. Having static, nonchanging content like the AVEN front pages or the AsexualityArchive pages would make Ace PoC resources like linkspams or media kits or whatever easier to find.
6. Proactive outreach. This is takes a lot more work and nerve, so it can be harder especially for new activists, and might be something to grow into, but the effect can be really significant. Being ready and having resources available for attempts to include ace PoC is important, it only goes so far. While many spaces may not think to include PoC on their own, if you reach out to them and offer to do much of the groundwork to set things up, they will often be open to the idea. This is especially true if you have a pre-made workshops/press-releases/etc. that don’t require them to do much more than say yes and give you a time slot or some pages space. (For example, in my experience with general ace conference representation – if you just write and vaguely request ace representation, there’s not much most places can/will do – but if you can offer to come and perform a workshop yourself if they give you space, most places will jump on it).