Can't Protest? Here Are a Few Things You Can Do to Be a Better Ally
Supporting Black Lives Matter through donations, media, and business patronage
The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has sparked a revolution across the U.S. The past week has been met with protests across the nation, spreading from Minneapolis, to Washington D.C., and even to Erie. Arguments have ensued, riots have broken out, and people have turned out in numbers to get one message across: Black lives matter.
It can be hard to navigate through this. While protesting is a great way to enact change, it may not be the safest option for some people, especially given that we're still living through a pandemic. There are other ways to help, though, and show your support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Donating, educating, speaking up, and most of all listening are all ways to be a better ally, and lift up the voices of the oppressed.
Here are some resources:
Reclaim the Block: Started in 2018 in Minneapolis to organize Minneapolis community and city council members to move funding from the police department into other areas of the city's budget that promote community health and safety. You can donate here.
Black Visions Collective: Started in 2017 to create a safe political atmosphere for black people in Minnesota. Dedicated to centering the work they do in healing and transformative justice principles that help emerging black leadership in Minnesota lead powerful campaigns. Donate here.
A split donation between 40 community bail funds: This donation will go toward 40 bail funds across the U.S., including the Philadelphia Bail Fund, the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and the Bukit Bail Fund of Pittsburgh. Donations can be as small or as large as you like. Donate here.
Donate directly to the families of victims: Funds can be donated to the families of black men and women who were killed in acts of racism. Funds include the George Floyd Memorial Fund and the Ahmaud Arbery fund. A compiled list of victim funds can be found here.
Donate to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, America's premier legal organization dedicated to fighting for racial justice. Donate here.
The National Bail Fund Network is a compiled directory of over 60 community bail and bond funds across the U.S. It is regularly updated and includes bail funds for those arrested for protesting. Find bail funds to donate to here.
The Homeless Black Trans Women Fund: Dedicated to the community of Black, transgender women who live in Atlanta and are homeless. So far, the fund has given multiple women cell phones, housing, food, and necessities. Donate to this GoFundMe here.
Don't have the means to donate? Here are some things you can do.
Text these Numbers:
Text FLOYD to 55156
Text JUSTICE to 668336
Text ENOUGH to 55165
Sign these Petitions:
Read these books:
Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
How to be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace Lee Boggs
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherrie Moraga
White Fragility: Why it's so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo, Ph.D.
Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib
Watch these films and TV shows:
13th directed by Ava Duvernay
American Son directed by Kenny Leon
Dear White People directed by Justin Simien
See You Yesterday directed by Stefon Bristol
When They See Us directed by Ava Duvernay
If Beale Street Could Talk directed by Barry Jenkins
The Hate U Give directed by George Tillman Jr.
Available to Rent
Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975
Clemency directed by Chinonye Chukwu
Fruitvale Station directed by Ryan Coogler
I Am Not Your Negro: James Baldwin Documentary
Just Mercy directed by Destin Daniel Cretton
Selma directed by Ava Duvernay
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Black-owned businesses to support in Erie
Beauty and Health
Entertainment and Arts
Non-profits and Community Organizations
List credit to @womenoferie on Instagram.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. There are hundreds of petitions to sign, places to donate, and materials to educate yourself with. Most of all, focus on being actively anti-racist. Simply not being racist isn't enough at this point. Everyone must assume the responsibility of listening, learning, taking action, supporting, and moving forward. It is clear that the general consensus in the U.S. is that we will not stand for racism any longer. Let's take the time to figure out how to make our society an actively anti-racist one, as well.