By Elka Roderick
Image: Clay Banks
Watching the news, reading articles, engaging with social media, all incite us to contribute to the Black Lives Matter movement. Stark images of police brutality and a chorus of experiences resonating from within the Black community have forced us to stop and consider our world — with the budding questions of how we can join the movement, how we can support, and how we can be involved no matter where we are, or how much we can give. While it’s nice to repost inspiring quotes on Instagram to express our anger and sadness, there are more tangible ways to get involved and join the movement, as words are more powerful when accompanied with action.
Here are just a few ways to get involved:
There are so many organizations to give to at this moment, and donations of any size are welcome. Look for organizations that you can give monthly donations to for continued support. Our advice is to give what you can; any donation is admirable. Excellent organizations to donate to include:
Each organizational website further serves as an educational resource to stay informed about the movement, and includes more ways to get involved.
2. Sign Petitions
Signing petitions is a great way to show support for the movement. Following your signature, you may also connect with the organizations behind them, sign up for informational newsletters, and find out more ways to engage. Here are some of the petitions we’ve found:
3. Educate yourself
While it is impactful to donate and sign petitions, it’s obvious we still have a lot of work to do. Starting at a deeper level, we must come to understand what we are fighting against, and to what extent these issues have troubled our society. Becoming informed about the history of race relations in America as well as the lived experience of the Black community is crucial to becoming an ally. This process allows us not to be passive in the barrage of race assaults, but to act with an actively anti-racist agenda in mind. To begin educating ourselves, staying updated on news is important, but understanding the problem warrants a more holistic approach. A number of books serve as a starting point to understanding this issue, one that we can better, but not fully, understand.
Some of these books include:
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo
Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
Heavy by Kiese Laymon
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Other resources on books:
More resources to explore:
While these resources are important, they serve as just starting points to become more aware of the world we live in and the experiences of those around us. We must all continue to better ourselves — through reading, writing, donating, and listening — forging difficult conversations that are necessary to have. From this point forward, it’s time to learn.
The “Black Visions Collective” along with “Reclaim the Block” no longer are accepting funds due to the overwhelming support they’ve already received.