Black Lives Matter: What Can You Do to Help?

“You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”

– Maya Angelou

Excerpt from poem, “Still I Rise”

The last several days have been incredibly difficult for many people across the U.S. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, is, unfortunately, a reminder of the everyday systemic racism our country was built on and still thrives on to this day.

Every American and every human in this world deserves to feel safe, equal, and to have the same opportunities as everyone else, regardless of their color of skin, where they come from, or who they are. As a white Latina, I’ve wondered what I can do to help in building a more just society.

Please don’t feel like you’re not doing enough. Doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Every act of kindness, every act of service, every protest, every donation, every social media post, no matter how small, these things help. Just look what we’ve accomplished in a few days. All four of the officers complicit in George Floyd’s death have been charged. That’s because of all of us doing our part.

So, now that I’ve practically written a novel as an intro, here are some ways you can help:

Donate

The following are organizations I’ve donated to and thoroughly researched:

The Loveland Foundation

The Loveland Foundation was established in 2018 by Rachel Cargle in response to her widely successful birthday wish fundraiser, Therapy for Black Women and Girls. The Loveland Foundation is the official continuation of the effort to bring opportunity and healing to communities of color, and especially to Black women and girls. Through fellowships, residency programs, listening tours, and more, The Loveland Foundation hopes to contribute to both the empowerment and the liberation of the communities they serve.

Campaign Zero

Over 1,000 people are killed by police every year in America. Campaign Zero calls on local, state, and federal lawmakers to take immediate action to adopt data-driven policy solutions to end the violence and hold police accountable. On Campaign Zero’s website, you can view their extensive research, policy proposals, and solutions to ending police brutality.

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund fights for racial justice. ough litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.

Additional Places to Donate

I haven’t done quite as much research on the following, but they are widely reported to be reputable organizations to donate to. As with any charity or organization, please do your own research!

Sign

Justice for George Floyd on change.org

This petition aims to “reach the attention of Minneapolis Mayor Frey and District Attorney Mike Freeman to beg to have the officers involved in this disgusting situation fired and for charges to be filed immediately.”

#JusticeforFloyd on act.colorofchange.org

This petition is to “demand the officers who killed George Floyd are charged with murder.” You can also sign by texting “Floyd” to 55156.

Justice for Breonna Taylor on change.org

This petition calls for the justice of Taylor, an unarmed black woman who died in her apartment after being shot at least eight times by Louisville, Kentucky, Metro Police in March.

#JusticeforBigFloyd petition by the Grassroots Law Project

This petition aims to demand justice for George Floyd and his family. “When you sign, our platform will automatically send your message to Hennepin County District Attorney Mike Freeman, who has the power to arrest and charge these police officers,” according to the website.

NAACP Legal Defense Fund petition for George Floyd

This petition insists “that officials ensure safe policing in times of unrest.”

Read, Listen, Watch, Learn

Books to Read

How to Be Anti-Racist by Ibrahim X. Kendi

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth by Dána-Ain Davis

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White by Aisha Sabatini Sloan

Magical Negro by Morgan Parker

Movies to Watch

Do the Right Thing

Moonlight

Get Out

Selma

BlacKkKlansman

Documentaries to Watch

13th

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Becoming

TV Shows to Watch

When They See Us

Dear White People

Orange Is the New Black

Support Black-Owned Businesses

Supporting small businesses in your community is always a great thing to do. Official Black Wall Street helps you find a directory of black-owned businesses to support.

Vote

Voting is one of the most powerful abilities we have. Whether you’re American or a citizen of another country, if you have the right to vote, please do so! Voting is one of the best ways we can create meaningful, lasting change through the governments that represent us.

If you’re not yet old enough to vote, or if you do not currently have the ability to vote, take time to research and educate yourself on politics at your local, state, and federal level. Government at every level affects us, so please vote in every election you possibly can, not just presidential elections.

Go to Vote.org to register to vote.

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