The Black Lives Matter movement is stronger than ever due to more killings of unarmed black men in America. The movement has spread across the globe and while the injustice continues, people’s voices are getting stronger and stronger. The world is eager for reform – but if you’re a non-black ally, you may be confused on how you can do your part. Although you may not be directly affected by the abuse, it is essential to show solidarity and support for black lives during this historical time. Here is how you can make a difference and support the movement.
This Google doc was created by innovation hub Movement Law Lab and provides a state-wide list of verified bail funds, where you can donate to help pay bond for those arrested at protests. If you want to contribute to more than one city, this website allows you to split your donation across multiple bail funds.
In addition, you can financially support organizations fighting against racial inequalities as well as the families murdered by police. This Google doc includes a list of organizations and family GoFundMe pages for you to donate to. Find out how to tell if a GoFundMe page is legitimate here.
And while now more than ever is the perfect time to donate, remember that these causes are in need of funding year-round, not only when a high-profile crisis happens. Do your part and sign up for a recurring donation if you can.
Non-people of color have a huge role to play in the protests worldwide. First and foremost, it is important to be an ally – to show up and support, but also to never cause aggression or violence. It’s your role to be present, listen to black people’s voices, and find out what you can do to help.
Black people are at greater risk of police violence than white people, making it all the more important for white people to stand between police and Black protestors. It is white people’s job to document the movement, deescalate violent situations if you see other white people causing aggression, and use their voice to stand in solidarity. This guide by Amnesty International provides more information on how to protest as safely as possible.
Image: White allies at White House protests, Washington DC
3. Provide supplies & aid to protestors
If you’re uneasy about being on the frontlines yourself, there are still many ways to help. Protestors are putting their health, safety and wellbeing on the line everyday, for hours on end. Set up a group of friends, family and neighbors in your community and ask everyone to bring supplies such as water, milk, snacks and first aid to the protests. Try to carpool together and set up a stand near the action, and be sure to put up a sign so that people know you are providing supplies for free. This is one of the most essential roles in the protests by far.
Image: Protests at White House, Washington DC
4. Speak up
Unfortunately times like these tend to bring out people’s true colors, and this may mean hearing hard truths from your family members or closest friends. Don’t despair and close up when confronted with these opinions: now more than ever is the time to open up the conversation. A great way to start is by launching discussions around the protests, the police, and George Floyd’s murder. Find common talking points and try to lead the discussion in an informative way rather than a confrontational one. Even if your loved one still doesn’t see eye to eye with you at the end of the conversation, you are still doing right by them by opening up the topic and forcing them to think twice. It isn’t a matter of winning, but a matter of education. Read more on how to approach these topics with tolerance.org’s guide here.
5. Keep Educating Yourself
Those who have been involved in the BLM movement have been educating people through social media, writing, and discussions for years. If you weren’t already doing so, begin reading, participating in discussions, and listening to black voices more so you can be better suited to continue supporting. When you are educated on the topic you can help spread the message thoughtfully and respectfully while doing justice to the cause. Visit our previous article on “How to Educate Yourself About Racism” to see where you can start.
Most importantly, please remember that Black Lives Matter is not a trend, a hashtag, or a social media post. It is the modern symbol of centuries of strife and inequality felt by black people due to systemic racism and social injustice. Use this time to reflect on how you’re doing your part, how you can contribute and above all, remember that the movement has no finish line. Sustain your efforts all year long to really make and see a long-lasting change.
By: Helena Devincenti