Perhaps you have noticed that America is on fire. Perhaps you have noticed that people of color are disproportionately dying of Covid-19. Perhaps you are starting to realize that America has been heaping violence on Black people for hundreds of years.
Perhaps you have then wondered “What can I do?” but you are not on Twitter or Instagram or wherever the kids are (is it still TikTok?) so you are not privy to the many links and lists and ideas flying around. Be ye no longer unprivy-ed. Here are lists of lists. Share at will.
There are certainly many things that I have not yet seen, and new things popping up by the minute. Please please please, leave comments with links to other resources you know about. Not from the U.S.? Here’s a list of resources for our Canadian friends.
1. Give money for immediate needs — bail funds, community organizers, mutual aid organizations, on-the-ground support, family fundraisers.
Before you give, check the organization’s website; some have seen a big influx in giving and are hitting their donation caps (good!) and are asking that we redirect our giving to other, underfunded orgs.
BAIL FUNDS AND COMMUNITY GROUPS/MUTUAL AID ORGS
A directory of community bail funds by state.
And here’s a crowdsourced list of all local bail funds and fundraisers.
Another list of bail funds plus mutual aid funds, by city.
A giving portal that lets you donate to multiple bail funds at once, allocating your donation as you choose.
Emergency Release Fund (a bail fund specifically supporting the trans community)
National Bail Out (a bail fund focusing on moms and caregivers)
The official GoFundMe of George Floyd’s family.
The official GoFundMe of Breonna Taylor’s family.
A list of fundraisers for Black-owned businesses that have been destroyed or damaged.
A list of NYC-area activist/mutual aid groups who are still accepting donations.
A fundraiser to rebuild the Lake Street area in Minneapolis.
A fundraiser to support Northside Minneapolis businesses.
A list of GoFundMe campaigns for Minneapolis/St. Paul Black- and Brown-owned businesses.
Black Lives Matter (if you didn’t know: it’s an actual organization, not just a hashtag)
Reclaim the Block (note: they’re currently suggest you redirect donations to other orgs, and have this list).
The National Association of Black Journalists
A list of Black-led social Justice organizations nationwide.
2. Spend money at black-owned businesses.
(There is a much longer list including nationwide directories and apps here.)
Black-Owned Brooklyn, a magazine highlighting Black-own, Brooklyn-based businesses.
A list of Black-owned indie bookstores.
Another list of Black-owned bookstores. And another.
A list of Black-owned businesses from across the country.
A list of Black-owned businesses in NYC and the Bay Area.
A list of Black-owned restaurants in Los Angeles.
Other fat ladies! Here is a list of Black-owned plus size brands and boutiques.
3. Don’t stop when the protests do.
A just society requires purposeful dedication to a massive redistribution of wealth. Do you have some? Play your part. None of us are Jeff Bezos (thank god), but most of us can help. If you benefit from white supremacy — which you do, if you’re white, full stop — you have a role to play in remediating it.
It’s not women’s job to teach men how not to be misogynist, and it’s not Black Americans’ job to teach White Americans how to be antiracist — antiracist, because no, being “not racist” is not enough.
If you grew up in the U.S., congratulations, you’re racist. It’s not necessarily your fault, because there was a dedicated, organized campaign to make sure you turned out that way. but if you don’t try to unlearn it, that is your fault. Read, and think. If you find yourself getting angry or uncomfortable, or if you were reading that bit about wealth redistribution and you thought “Bullshit, I’m powerless and broke, I don’t benefit from white supremacy,” that’s a great sign that you need to read and think some more. (Honestly not sure how you may be privileged? There are checklists that will help you think it through.)
An antiracist reading list from Ibram X. Kendi, who literally wrote the books called “How To Be an Antiracist” and “An Antiracist Baby” (because you’re never too young).
A great big list of books, articles, podcasts, other media, orgs to follow, and more. And here’s the one from President Obama.
Reading, podcasts, and activities to help you unpack your shit and work toward becoming an accomplice in antiracist work.
An antiracist reading list from Bookshop.org.
A list of antiracist books at Word Up Community Bookshop.
The 1619 Project at the New York Times
An antiracist reading list from the Kings County Library.
A list of independent Black-owned U.S. newspapers you can subscribe to.
If you decide to do some reading, which I hope you do, buy the books from one of the Black-owned bookstores in the list above. While you’re at it, buy some extra copies for friends and family, if you can afford to.
1. Protest action
It is the responsibility of white bodies to shield Black bodies, which have been absorbing our violence for centuries, whenever we can. Go to the protests. Don’t be super proud of yourself that you’re at a protest. Ask the organizers what they need. Listen to them.
A list of tips and tools and resources on everything from treating tear gas burns to pro bono lawyers to spotting undercover cops to knowing your rights.
Lawyers and law students: become a legal observer. Get trained at the National Lawyers Guild. Here’s the training manual. Many ACLUs also do legal observer training. Check your local chapter.
You can request legal observers. Most ACLU chapters have an online request form. Find your local chapter.
List of local National Lawyers Guide legal support hotlines.
2. Protest action, from home
Not everyone can be in the street. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do.
A really useful list of things you can do other than give money or sign petitions.
Amplify Black and on-the-ground voices. Do it without sharing photos that includes protestors’ faces, which makes it easier to identify, track, and target protest participants.
Petitions. There are many. Here is a list of lots of them, all in one place.
Call or text the police in Minneapolis and Louisville to demand justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Numbers and scripts here.
Call your state Attorney General and demand that they drop charges against peaceful protestors. Here’s a list of state AG phone numbers.
Use FaxZero to send free faxes to your congresspeople and governors. They’ll help you find your district and reps if you don’t know.
3. Political action
The point is not “arrest those four cops” (although, yes: arrest those four cops). The point is: the system is rotten from the outside in. We need justice in this moment for George Floyd and the far-too-long list of other people killed by the police, but also for all those who lost their lives and liberty to build the U.S, and for all those that continue to suffer not just discrimination and violence, but the reverberations of generations of oppression — we need ongoing commitment to dismantle an unjust system and replace it with something equitable.
Make some calls. 5calls.org gives you background info and the names and contact info for your reps and senators so you can make your views known on a range of issues and pending legislation.
A list of antiracism resources from the Healing & Trauma Informed Working Group of Philadelphia.
The National Lawyers’ Guide guidelines on how to set up a legal defense fund.
New Yorkers, there’s an effort to repeal a law that stops a police officer’s disciplinary record from being accessed. You can sign up to make calls to your reps. Fill out the form to get contact info and a script.
Also New Yorkers: this link will send an email to city council members asking them to divert NYPD funds to education and social services.
Call your senators to support Sen. Schatz’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act to stop the program that funnels military weaponry to local police.
Opportunities for white people in the fight for racial justice at WhiteAccomplices.org.
Finally: this page has mental health resources for Black communities, along organizing and protesting tips.
You can find another broad collection of resources here, including lots of protest advice and a collection of mental health resources for people of color.
If you happen to be a business owner, here’s some advice for you on taking meaningful action against racism.
Go forth, and do.
Thanks for this. Also for leading me to this: https://shopcourtneynoelle.com/products/kat-duster?variant=12487133888605
Michelle! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thank you. I’m posting this on my FB wall. Because of ongoing racism in America, I am ashamed to be an American who did not realize White Supremacy is not considered a hate group. I am ashamed. Ashamed it took the unspeakable crime of four cops to make me aware of it. I am a mama. George Floyd is every mama’s child.
I’m glad it’s useful, and I hope it’s of use to your friends as well.
Shame doesn’t help any one move forward, but action does — if this helps you get there, I’m glad.
Many cities across the US are contemplating their budget for the next fiscal year, starting October 1. *Right now* is a great time to contact them and ask for some of the police budget to be reallocated to social services, housing production, housing rental/mortgage support, sidewalks, incentives to developers to build grocery stores in food deserts, etc. – whatever your city needs.
One way to get a feel for what’s needed is to go to Google maps, pick a random minority neighborhood, and then search for the things you would need for daily life: child care, coffee, grocery stores, hospitals, doctor offices, vets, gas.
Use that information to argue for a better use of police funding toward whatever your city needs. (This is mostly what people are asking for when they say “defund the police”, but – pro tip – use “reallocate” when you talk to city leaders. It’s less hot-button and offers room for negotiation.)
Thankyou. There is much work to do. There is much joy to be found.
Do you have any suggestions for teachers? My school district is urban, primarily black and brown children, lots of immigrants and refugees. We have, kind of informally formed a committee within our union to address issues of equity. Currently, the district pays lip service to equity, but training and suggestions have been not that great. Thanks for the resource list, too.