George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor. We will forever remember the names of these Black Americans in history. They were a few of the many Black lives lost to police brutality, a problem rooted in systemic racism, which has been prevalent in the United States since its founding.
As we all take time to process what’s happening, we must remember who we are fighting for and the change we collectively want to see happen. And while marching, donating money, or wearing BLM shirts are all great ways to support the movement, there is still more to be done for actual change.
If you want to support the BLM movement and make a change, here are five things you can do:
Signing petitions is something you can do from the comfort of your home, and good thing it costs you less. Signature-gathering websites make it easy to raise your voice about issues that matter to you and get the attention of decision-makers, the media, and the public. You can start a petition of your own or sign on to an existing one.
Though signing a petition may not feel as powerful as taking to the streets, it’s a great tool for mobilizing additional support around an issue and can bring about change without requiring more effort.
If you are looking for a way to support the Black Lives Matter Movement, you should consider giving money to an organization working for the change. You can also decide to prioritize a Black Lives Matter shop for your next shopping experience.
Several organizations are working tirelessly to end systematic racism and give people of color the same opportunities as white people. Here are the top organizations you should donate to:
The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has been a global organization fighting racial injustice since 2013. In addition to raising awareness about police brutality and racial inequality, this organization helps spread information about how people can get involved in the fight against racism.
The Black Visions Collective is another Minnesota-based organization founded by two Black queer women back in 2017. This organization works with local activists and leaders to develop long-term strategies for dismantling systemic racism and creating better conditions for the Black community.
As this organization is currently not accepting financial donations, they encourage people to donate money to one of the many mutual aid funds they have set up for Black communities across Minnesota.
Anti-racism is a lifelong commitment, so educate yourself. Read books, watch documentaries and read articles. Understand the history and origin of systemic racism in this country.
Furthermore, educate yourself on white privilege and the concept of “white fragility.” Read the work of Black intellectuals, scholars, activists, and authors and use this privilege to help others. If you’re white, use your white privilege as a tool for change.
Become an ally for people of color and fight racism and discrimination wherever you see it. Remember that the work towards anti-racism is never done – you will fail at this many times throughout your life, and you will make mistakes, but it’s important to keep trying and learning from those mistakes.
You can volunteer your time and skills to a local organization. Organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) always look for people to help out with events, fundraisers, and other activities.
They tend to post opportunities on their websites or social media channels to find out how you can get involved there. You can also consider volunteering directly with a local community organization that supports the BLM movement.
As social media can often be toxic and overwhelming, it also serves as a powerful tool for bringing people together and raising awareness.
One way to show your support is to follow accounts working to dismantle racial injustice on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. By following, commenting, and sharing posts from these accounts, you can help their message reach a wider audience.
It’s important to approach this issue with a close examination of your preconceptions and beliefs. If you are honest with yourself and can step back from your own experience enough to recognize how it’s shaped your perceptions, you can better empathize with the movement without losing sight of your position.
Above all, change needs to start somewhere—and we are convinced that it’s best to start by acknowledging that there is a widespread problem on both sides of this issue.