While seeing footage of protests in the US (and now in the UK), you might be wondering what you can do to help. Here’s how you can support the cause, whether you are able to protest or not. By Holly Beddingfield.
1. Check-in with your black friends, family and loved ones
This is an incredibly traumatic time, and you may not know what you could do to help those close to you. Reach out, let them know you are there for them, and ask them how you could provide support.
2. Read up on anti-racism
Angela Davis said: “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”
There is a wealth of anti-racism resources available for you to engage with. Check out this list – it contains articles, books, podcasts, films, and more. Choose one to start with, then share with your friends.
The work of Layla Saad and and Ibram X. Kendi is particularly important.
3. Consider the content you share
Journalist Mireille Charper said it best: “Whatever your intentions, it is vital to consider sharing videos of black people being abused and hurt can be both traumatic and triggering for many black people. Avoid sharing this content as it increases also to the dehumanisation of black people.”
…without being defensive. As Lincoln Anthony Blades said for Teen Vogue, “If you’re truly interested in genuine change, the most important development you can make is evolving your worldview.”
It doesn’t come natural for everyone, but actively listening, and fighting the urge to defensively respond to critique is so important.
5. Join Campaign Zero
Their brilliant website has a comprehensive 10-point plan with infographics to download. They clearly outline state-by-state legislation and where each presidential candidate stands on the topics.
6. Head out to protest
Check the plans for your area and join if you can, but be prepared. This graphic shared by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is a good place to start.
Check out this article about how to protest safely during a pandemic.
7. Make a donation
Big list coming!
Minnesota Freedom Fund is currently asking supporters to donate to other bail funds and community organisations.
➡️ Donate to bail funds across the US here.
➡️ Sign the petition demanding the police officer who killed George Floyd is charged here.
➡️ Donate to the Brooklyn Bail Fund to assist protesters in Brooklyn here.
➡️ Donate to Black Lives Matter here.
➡️ Donate to The Bail Project here.
➡️ Donate to George Floyd Memorial Fund here.
➡️ Donate to Reclaim the Block here.
➡️ Donate to the #SayHerName campaign here.
➡️ Donate to the Louisville Community Bail Fund to help protesters arrested demonstrating against the police killing of Breonna Taylor here.
➡️ Donate to the Ahmaud Arbery memorial fund here.
➡️ Donate to the Northstar Health Collective mutual aid fund here.
In the UK 🇬🇧
➡️ Email your local MP to ask them to support further investigation into Belly Mijunga’s death here.
➡️ Donate to Belly Mujinga’s family here.
Other ways to help:
➡️ Donate to Unicorn Riot to help provide accurate on the ground coverage here.
➡️ Donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund to assist protesters in Minnesota here.
➡️ Regularly updated list of bail funds to support as protests spread here.
8. Advocate for mental health intervention
The part of this discussion that continues to go unnoticed is how many victims of police brutality also have mental conditions. Some reports say that at least half of all police shooting victims struggled with some form of serious mental health crisis. An important part of saving lives is creating more resources to help people experiencing these issues, especially in poor neighborhoods and Black and brown communities.
9. Steer clear of organisations that promote hate
From journalist Mireille Charper: “If you read pieces on media platforms that promote hate or fund supremacist and hateful organisations, you are contributing to the problem. Equally, stop supporting organisations that love ‘black culture’ but fail to speak up on the issues affecting the black community.”
10. Keep supporting
After the outrage, think about how you can continue to help the cause. Keep supporting black media, community groups, charities, and grassroots initiatives. This issue doesn’t go away overnight.