As protests break out around the country in reaction to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn. on May 25, many are left wondering what they can do to provide support and assistance to the movement. There are so many ways to show as much support as you are able to provide; this list is just a starting point for those looking for a way to reach out and help. There is no substitute for action, and no amount of help is too small.
Donate to the cause
If you are able to, donating can be one of the best ways to show support. Some options for donations include:
- Black Visions Collective: A Minneapolis-based, queer-led social justice organization that also operates as a legal fund.
- We Love Lake Street: This organization is working to raise money to support small businesses and nonprofits on Lake Street in Minneapolis in their clean-up efforts. Look into clean up efforts local to your area and donate!
- Local Funds: Do some research about ways to donate and show support specifically in your area. Some of the organizations doing the most work are small and work in only one city or town rather than nationwide.
Attend a protest
If you feel able to do so safely, one of the ways to show your support is to attend a protest in your city or town. Historically, one of the pillars of change has been public protest to showcase dissent. Please do so safely in light of the risks brought on by COVID-19, and continue to follow safety precautions such as wearing a mask. This is for both your safety and for the safety of your fellow protesters. Also, make sure to research safety guidelines such as attending protests with a group or buddy and to bring bottles of water with you. There are resources out there for how to protest safely, such as this one from Vice and this one from Time Out, which is specific to New York City, but the tips included can be applied to any protest.
Reach out to your government official
One of the best ways to create change in our democracy is to contact your public representative. Change occurs at all levels of government, local and federal, so there is no one too small to reach out to for a request for change. This could mean calling your congressman, sending a letter to a local governmental agency or reaching out via social media. You should also register to vote, if you are not registered already, as it is one of the best ways to make yourself heard and influence lawmakers. You can also sign a petition for change. Some examples of petitions include Justice for George Floyd and others on the Change.org website. Make your voice and opinions heard by those in power.
Continue to educate yourself and others
It is important to continue to learn and listen to the experiences of the black community in the United States. One of the first steps to changing the systemic racism in the U.S is people understanding the system and its vast effects on society. This is especially true if you are not a person of color. Before you can truly stand up against injustice in the world, you first have to work to understand the injustice to the best of your ability, no matter your own personal experiences. There are so many resources out there to better educate yourself on these issues. Here is a list of books to help learn more from The Cut, and a list of documentaries that inform on the issue of racism and police brutality as well. We must continue to learn and to listen if we are going to do better.
There are so many ways to support the movement against racial oppression, and there is something for everyone who wants to show their support and contribute. Change does not happen without someone pushing for that change. As Former President Barack Obama said in his statement on May 29 on social media, “This shouldn’t be ‘normal’ in 2020 America. It can’t be ‘normal.’If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better.”