(Photo by Darren Ornitz via Reuters)
Protests have erupted throughout the U.S. after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. According to the BBC, Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost 9 minutes, despite Floyd asserting he could not breathe. Rightfully, people are angry. If you are angry too but don’t know how to help, here are some resources to get you started.
#1 Educate Yourself
The United States has a long history of discrimination and oppression, but many of us are ignorant to it. Thankfully, Powell’s compiled a list of books to educate people advocating for Black Lives Matter, and Film Daily compiled a list of Black Lives Matter-inspired content. Granted, this does not even begin to cover the systematic racism that permeates the U.S., so here are some online courses and lectures on African-American Studies offered by the University of Michigan and a Yale open course on African-American History.
Most importantly, understand that if you are not black, you cannot truly understand the toll that years of fear and oppression have had, so be respectful and believe black voices.
#2 Sign Petitions
Petitions are a good way of proactively contributing your voice to current cases. This document made by @ambivalcnt on Twitter has an extensive compilation of petitions you can sign. There is also contact information for government officials and offices you can call, write to, and email to demand justice for victims of police brutality. In addition, here are some petitions on the Black Lives Matter website.
Donating is an important way of helping the families of victims and helping the BLM movement. The aforementioned document also contains a comprehensive list of fundraisers (thank you, @ambivalcnt for your awesome work!), and here is another list by the Minnesota Freedom Fund. Click here to donate directly to the Black Lives Matter movement. If you decide to donate to fundraisers that are not promoted by established organizations, make sure your money is going toward helping victims and helping the black community--always make sure the fundraisers are legitimate!
#4 Attend a Protest
Showing up to protests shows government and police officials that the American people stand in solidarity with marginalized communities, and we are not allowing police brutality to continue. When protesting, remember to be safe and careful, bring signs, and wear a mask. For more information on safe protesting, check out this infographic posted by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez.
#5 Check in on Your Friends
This week has been devastating for members of the black community, so check in on your friends and make sure they’re taking care of their mental health. Be supportive and empathetic, reach out, offer your help. The Boris Lawerence Henson Foundation is offering free therapy for communities of color. Just text NOSTIGMA to 707070.
In times like these, it’s crucial that people come together and stand in solidarity with one another. Be kind. Be safe. Be proactive. Black Lives Matter.