“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”– Desmond Tutu.
On May 25, 2020, yet another innocent African-American lost his life. George Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” have since been heard around the world.
Protests, riots, violence, all amidst a global pandemic. The Black communities have had enough. Police brutality and deep systemic racism is and always has been rooted in America.
George Floyd’s death is just the latest chapter in a centuries-old story.
It’s time to put an end to the damage that continues to happen.
It’s time to give Black people hope, freedom, and more importantly, the ability to live in a society without the fear of being harassed, arrested, or murdered.
What is #BlackLivesMatter?
Black Lives Matter is a global movement that campaigns against violence and systematic racism towards black people.
By campaigning for their rights and spreading awareness on racial injustices, Black Lives Matter aims to put an end to the violence that continues to inflict Black communities.
Some of the issues they focus on are:
- Racial Injustice
- Police Brutality
- Criminal Justice Reform
- Black Immigration
- Economic Injustice
- LGBTQIA+ and Human Rights
- Environmental Conditions
- Voting Rights & Suppression
- Government Corruption
- Commonsense Gun Laws
Even looking at the list presented above, you may be confused about what some of those terms mean. This should not be used as an excuse to not participate in the movement.
Do not continue to be ignorant. We must recognize the power we have and how our contributions can directly impact the lives of Black people across the world.
Learning about these problems, understanding the perspectives of Black people, and acknowledging the facts will allow you to gain greater awareness of the marginalization, dehumanization, and issues that Black people have endured.
Some of us will never understand it. But, we need to do our part and stand by the Black community.
Where to Donate in Support of Black Lives Matter
Donating is a great way to endorse the victims’ families who have been affected by racial injustices, fund organizations supporting Black Lives Matter, assist those who have been arrested protesting, and support communities who have experienced marginalization.
Here is a quick list of what you can donate to:
Victim Memorial Funds:
Donations will go towards supporting black people who have lost their lives due to police brutality and injustice.
- George Floyd Memorial Fund: This fund is being used to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, travel and housing for all court proceedings, and to assist Floyd’s family as they seek justice for George.
- Justice for Breona Taylor: Support Breona’s family as they work towards justice.
- I Run With Maud: Help relieve the financial burden as much as possible for Ahmuad Arbery’s mother during this difficult time.
Community Restoration Funds:
Donations will be used to repair parts of Black communities where protests have occurred and been impacted by COVID-19.
- Minnesota Rapid Response Coalition: This coalition has joined together to help with the clean-up, in efforts to lower their unforeseen expenses so that they can get back to work and thrive.
- My Block, My Hood, My City: Funds raised will help repair small businesses in black communities that have been torn down by this crisis.
- Black Lives Matter: Donations will be used to support the movement and the ongoing fight to end State-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, and end white supremacy.
Community Organizations for Black Youth:
Funding will go towards educating black and brown youth through initiatives like giving books to schools and arts and science programs.
- Black Girl Code: Donations will be used to expose African American youth to science and technology and give them the skills to work as innovators in the STEM field. Their goal is to train 1 million girls by 2040.
- Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp: Teaches Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems to create leaders and liberation for young people.
Donate to bring people who are fighting for their rights home.
- Minnesota Freedom Fund: Help pay criminal bail and immigration bonds for those who cannot afford to as people seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing.
- National Bail Out: Help bail out community members and provide supportive services and resource groups to those who are organizing to transform the criminal justice system.
- The Bail Project: Advance the mission to combat mass incarceration and reshape the pretrial system in the United States.
Single donations will be diversified between several organizations. You can also allocate specific amounts to individual groups.
- Act Blue Bail, Mutual Aid, and Racial Justice Organization Funds: Split a donation between 70+ community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers
Other Ways to Support Black Lives Matter
Contrary to what many people believe, you don’t have to be a millionaire to make a difference in the fight against police brutality and systemic racism.
Of course, donating money to reputable organizations can make a significant difference, but it’s far from the only way to help.
Social Media Platforms
A content creator on YouTube found a unique way for supporters to donate to the Black Lives Matter cause without actually paying from their pockets.
Zoe Amira’s YouTube Video titled “how to financially help BLM with NO MONEY/leaving your house (Invest in the future for FREE)” is an hour long video featuring several Black artists and musicians.
The video has a ton of ads that are used to generate revenue. Amira claims that she will donate 100 percent of all the revenue to organizations supporting the cause.
You can check out the video below. Remember to turn off any AdBlockers you may have and feel free to leave the video playing on repeat in the background.
It literally does not get any easier than this…
Adding your name to a petition takes ten seconds. However, it can invoke significant change and justice.
A common misconception about signing petitions is that people think that their signature won’t matter or isn’t relevant. This could not be any more wrong.
Individually, you may feel you have no power. However, put together with the voices of hundreds, thousands, and even millions of others, your voice will come out stronger and ignite the change we need.
Here is why you should sign petitions:
- It’s a great way to participate in the present and create a future
- Each name adds legitimacy to the campaign
- Allows others to discover issues
- It DOES affect legislation and public opinion
Here are 10 petitions you can sign today. It’s easy – click on the link, sign, and share.
It will not take you more than 5 minutes to sign these petitions that demand your attention.
- Hands Up Act: Sign to support legislation that prohibits police officers from shooting unarmed citizens.
- #DefundThePolice: Join the movement for a national defunding of police. This petition demands investment in Black communities and provides the resources to ensure Black people not only survive, but thrive.
- Justice for Breonna Taylor: Sign to charge the perpetrators who shot Breonna Taylor 8 times, killing her in her own home. On March 13, 2020, the Louisville Police Department performed an illegal, unannounced drug raid on her home. They did not announce themselves before ramming down her door (violation of the constitutional rights to reasonable search and seizure) and fired 22 times. They were at the wrong house and the man they were looking for had been arrested earlier that day. These negligent officers have yet to be charged and it has been 3 months.
- Justice for Ahmaud Arbery: Sign to get justice for Ahmaud, who was taking a morning jog in his neighborhood in Georgia and came across a white father and son that shot and killed him. There is video footage of this cold blooded murder, but the father and son who murdered this innocent man are walking free because one of them used to be a police officer.
- Demand Justice for Kenneth Herring: Sign to prosecute a killer. Kenneth Herring was in diabetic shock and on the way to the hospital when Hannah Payne followed him for a mile. She called the police and they told her to leave him alone. She did not comply with authorities and blocked Herring with her Jeep before beating and shooting him. She is currently at home posting bond.
- Demand Justice for Tamir Rice: Sign to charge officer Timothy Loehmann who shot 12 year old Tamir Rice within 2 seconds of arriving at the park Rice was playing at. He shot him so quickly that Rice did not have time to drop the toy gun he was holding, let alone respond to them.
- Don’t let Julius Jones be executed by the state of Oklahoma: Sign to serve justice for Julius Jones after Julius’ lawyer did not adequately defend him and racial bias played a significant role in his trial. He was 19 years old at the time of his sentence and had a promising future ahead of him. He lived on death row for 20 years and your support is needed.
- Exonerate Eric Riddick: Sign to exonerate a man who has served 27 years for a crime he did not commit. Riddick was sentenced to life in prison in 1992 for 1st degree murder, despite there being no physical evidence connecting him to the crime. His conviction was based on a single eyewitness testimony that was later abandoned in 1999. Since then, key witnesses have ensured that Eric was not connected to the crime. Ineffective counsel, witness testimony, ballistic testimony, and legal technicalities show how an innocent man sits behind bars.
- Reopen Sandra Bland’s Case: Sign to reopen Sandra Bland’s case and give her the justice she deserves. Bland was arrested by Brian Encinia for failing to signal a lane change in 2015. The officer did not follow proper protocol and physically assaulted her. Three days later, she committed suicide.
- Demand a Retrial for Angel Bumpass: Sign to help get a retrial for this wrongfully convicted 13 year old with a life sentence. Angel was accused of committing murder nine years later. Lack of investigation and misrepresentation from her lawyer deprived her of a fair trial.
Participate in Peaceful Protests
Communities all over the world are gathering on the streets in protest of these issues. Unfortunately, some have turned violent. However, protesting is a great way to unite as a group and have the world hear your voice.
There are many protests being organized in local communities. If you choose to participate in one, remember to keep it peaceful. It’s also recommended to wear a mask and keep a safe distance from others. Be safe!
Educate YOURSELF on Racism and Injustice
If you’ve already exhausted all of the resources available to you, or you just want to learn more, educating yourself is a great way to stay informed.
Watch A Documentary on Racial Inequality and Injustice
Many of you probably have a Netflix account, and many of you probably use it often.
Did you know that Netflix has tons of great content on this issue?
Here are some of the ones we recommend:
This ‘Satellite Award for Best Motion Picture’ documentary explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, with a particular focus on the disproportionate amount of African-American’s locked up behind bars.
Ava DuVernay titled the film after the Thirteenth Amendment to United States Constitution, which abolished slavery, except as a punishment for crime.
Time: The Kalief Browder Story
Produced by celebrity Jay-Z, the Kalief Browder story is a six part documentary series about a 16 year old New York boy accused of stealing a backpack.
Innocent and never convicted, Browder was forced into solitary confinement on Rikers Island, one of the nation’s toughest prisons. After three years, he was eventually released, but later took his own life due to the mental suffering he endured.
When They See Us
This four part, based on a true story docu-series takes place in 1989, where a jogger was assaulted and raped in New York’s Central Park, and five young black boys are wrongly charged with the crime.
They were labeled as the Central Park Five group.
The incredible acting will shock you as you get an inside look at how the lives of these young, innocent boys are turned upside down by spending years in prison, hoping to get exonerated.
We even featured this series in our Ultimate Netflix for Students Guide, where we listed some of our favourite TV series available on Netflix.
Read A Book on White Privilege or Racism
Head to your local bookstore or order these books on Amazon to gain a deeper understanding of the harsh realities of being Black.
These books will help you recognize your white privilege – something that is essential to dismantle the inequality that prevails in our communities.
This novel explores how racial inequality continues to persist in society due to the sensitivity, defensiveness, and counterproductive reactions of white people on race. This is a great novel to deepen your understanding of how to discuss racism.
In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Olou highlights the reality of our modern racial landscape – from white privilege, systematic discrimination, police brutality, and the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Written clearly and simply, this novel is important to learn about the facts on how our society is racially divided.
This powerful piece articulates how the US Criminal Justice System functions as a contemporary system for racial control, or legalized slavery.
This heart-wrenching memoir tackles Angelou’s experience with racism and how she managed to achieve resilience in the face of oppression. This story shares lessons and the power of inner strength.
Educate OTHERS on Racism and Injustice
Educating yourself is only the first part of working towards a brighter future.
It’s important that you use your voice to educate others as well. Whether it’s family members, friends, or even strangers you come across, educating each other is something that needs to be done.
Remember, we have to proactively be anti-racist. We have to teach others that their job in this fight is not done. This is a responsibility we should all shoulder.
How To Educate Your Children / Younger Siblings
- Speak up when family members or friends make a racist comment or joke.
Children remember what adults say and implement into their own conversations. To avoid fostering stereotypes and racist attitudes into your child, express how the remark the person made is incorrect and unacceptable.
- Read books featuring diverse characters and authors
Many of the books I grew up reading were filled with illustrations of white people. It’s important that we expose children to a diverse environment and conversations on race and racism.
Here are some books you can read to your young ones:
This book reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway.
A beautiful story that shows how Schomburg dedicated his life to ensuring that future generations would learn of Africa and African Americans’ powerful heritage.
- Something Happened in Our Town by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
A story that helps children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.
- Update them on the News
They should know what’s happening in the world. Introducing the racial injustices and issues that go on around them at home will help them have a greater understanding of it when they are older and perhaps exposed to it.
How To Inform Those Who Are Ignorant
- React towards the issue, not the person
Targeting the individual is not going to encourage a fruitful discussion in any way. If you want to start having a conversation on racism or racial injustice with someone who does not believe it is real, you need to state the facts.
Refrain from insulting them and focus on the issue they presented and articulate why it is unacceptable or ignorant.
- Convey disapproval without provoking a defensive reaction
The topic of inequality and racism can bring a lot of passion and emotion to the table. Often, getting personally defensive of what others are saying or perceiving it as a personal attack restricts the individual from getting their message across.
So, we should question their use of words or action, comment on how it makes you feel, and express why you disapprove.
- Remember that your silence enables their racism
People are scared of “getting political” on their social media pages and at the dinner table, which is somewhat racist. We should remember that it is not a political issue – it is a humanitarian one.
We should work towards saving human lives to the best of our abilities. So, use your voice to communicate your beliefs, the facts, and the issue. Instead of disregarding the racist comment of your friend or family member, speak up.
If they fight or make fun of you, they are the problem and we need to get rid of those mentalities.
Also, please remember that we should not be posting Instagram stories that state “you will be getting blocked if you think this way…” We should be actively talking to those who are ignorant and share different opinions.
Racism has been built for many generations before us and it needs to be directly opposed for it to be erased.
It’s Time to Act
We hope that this page has provided you with information, resources, and new platforms to have your voice heard. It is so important that we come together and fight against systemic racism, police brutality, and corruption.
If you have anything valuable that could help others in the fight for justice, let us know in the comments section below. We would love to add in any relevant information to this page.
Or, if you want to talk about this issue in further detail, feel free to contact us here.
We’re all in this together.