Frustrated. Angry. Tired. Scared. These are only a couple of words one could use to describe the current situation in America. Why, you ask? Because in the year 2020, black live are still subjected to murder at the hands of the police. The systematic racism that exists in this country has continued to outrage thousands, and rightfully so, as the country deals with two crises: the coronavirus pandemic, and police brutality. Scores of protests have resulted due to the later, with demonstrators marching in major cities like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, LA, and Minneapolis, where things began due to the murder of George Floyd.
For many, this was the boiling point. After months of staying home due to a pandemic that predominantly affects Hispanic and Black lives, hundreds took to the streets to peacefully protest what is a continued unnecessary use of police force against Black livelihood. How many other lives lost did we need to see before real change begins to occur?
With protests turning violent, widespread looting, and the coronavirus pandemic still a major threat, some might be hesitant to take to the streets. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help. Educational resources are available to guide you through the circumstances, and organizations to support through donations, or volunteering your time. Below is a breakdown on ways to take action.
Organizations to donate to:
Official George Floyd Memorial Fund directly supports the family of George Floyd, as well as memorial services and court proceedings.
Communities Against Police Brutality is based in the Twin Cities, and has been particularly crucial as the George Floyd case emerged. The organization fights for social justice, creating a network of support for those who have been victims of police brutality.
Reclaim the Block works to allocate funding away from the Minneapolis police department, and towards community initiatives.
Black Visions Collective supports healing and the creation of safe spaces for black leaders in Minnesota.
Black Lives Matter has been active since 2013, when the killing of Trayvon Martin ignited pain and fury across the nation. Support the foundation, and sign the petition to Defund the Police. In addition, they have multiple resources on ways to fight COVID-19 and more.
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund supports bail and raising funds for those who otherwise would not be able to.
Institutes that provide valuable resources on the justice system include the Vera Institute of Justice and The Marshall Project. A newly released series entitled “Talking About Race” from the National Museum of African American History and Culture presents tools and guidance towards education, including important conversations about race that are needed.
In addition to the above organizations on the frontlines to support, it’s important to also consider black-owned businesses during this time. As crucial backbones to our society, using apps like EatOkra, which connects customers to black-owned restaurants in your city, and Black Nation, featuring black-owned businesses, can provide necessary contributions. Simultaneously, the hashtags #brownupyourfeed /make your #feedlesswhite are ways to find black-owned businesses to support online and on social media in the fashion, beauty and health industries.
Lastly, this resource contains a running list of organizations, reading material, articles and more. It’s important to do the work, which includes educating yourself, your friends and others. We’ve taken the necessary steps to organize and promote our cause. Let’s continue to get things done, even once things begin to die down. #blacklivesmatter
Taj Cutting is an interior and experience designer who loves to travel. When not exploring the world, she enjoys writing, kickboxing classes and eating more Mediterranean food than she can manage!