You already know what’s happening right now: People in all 50 states are protesting police brutality against Black people and are fighting for racial justice after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, a moment that marked a tipping point after decades of increasing police violence against Black people.
While thousands across the country are in the streets demanding substantial police reform, overhauls of city budgets to focus more on serving communities than arming policy with military-grade equipment, and other social justice measures, those who cannot put their bodies on the line are looking for other ways to fight for racial justice and the eradication of white supremacy. Not everyone is able to march, for any number of reasons: not everyone is able-bodied or has access to child care; we’re still in the middle of a pandemic, making a crowded protest an unsafe place for high-risk people.
But protesting is not the only way to show your support. That’s how movements work: You give what you can. Some people can march for racial justice but can’t contribute financially. For others, it’s the opposite.
Black Lives Matter, a grassroots organization founded in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted for the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, has created an online list of ways people can support the Black community, now and in the future. From signing petitions to donating to Black-owned businesses to sharing helpful information for protestors, showing up with an open wallet is just as meaningful as showing up at a march.
As many people have been quick to react to this moment by donating funds, it is important to vet sources before sending money. Scammers have been known to create fake online accounts to take advantage of monumental moments such as these, so do your due diligence before digging into your wallet.
If you’re looking for a place to start, the following organizations are dedicated to supporting racial justice and fighting for equality. And while it is vital that those with the financial means to do so invest in these organizations at this moment, it is just as vital that those investments continue well into the future. So if you can, make your donation recurring. It’s the “set it and forget it” way for busy working moms to stay in the fight when they literally have no time to give. The need to continue to uplift these organizations and the communities they support will remain long after the hashtags stop trending.
A Local or National Bail Fund
Currently, more than 9,300 people have been arrested since March 25 for protesting the deaths of George Floyd, Breana Taylor, Auhmad Aubrey, and far too many others. The National Bail Fund Network provides a directory of local bail funds anyone can donate to in support of protestors and racial justice. These community funds free those who’ve been detained from paying a bail or bonds, and help support the effort to eradicate the cash-bail system.
The Black Sex Worker Collective
The Black Sex Worker Collective provides legal services, education, affordable housing, and health care to current and former Black sex workers. Without legal protections and assistance from the government, many sex workers have been financially devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Color of Change
Color of Change, an online community made up of over 1 million members, helps build and facilitate campaigns that empower the Black community. Per the organization’s website, these campaigns primarily focus on cultural change and media justice, ending mass incarceration, voting freedom, economic justice, and the eradication of white supremacy within right wing policies and other political ideologies.
Black Visions Collective
The Black Visions Collective is “an organization dedicated to Black liberation and to collective liberation,” per their website. Founded in 2017 and focused on campaigns that center healing and transformative justice, this collective works primarily in Minnesota — where, in Minneapolis, police officers use excessive force on Black people at seven times the rate they use it on white people — to make their communities safer for Black people.
Black AIDS Institute
The Black AIDS Institute was founded in 1993 and works to eradicate the AIDS epidemic in Black communities by means of advocacy, policy, and access to health care. Although Black people make up just 12% of the American population, they make up 43% of all HIV diagnosis and 44% of all HIV-related deaths. This is due, in no small part, to a lack of adequate health care access and investments in informative, sex-positive sex education within the Black community.
The Transgender District
The murder rate for Black trans women in the United States is seven times higher than that of the general population. In 2019 alone, 22 trans women or gender non-conforming people — the majority of whom were Black — were killed. The Transgender District, founded by three Black trans women in 2017, is the first legally recognized transgender district in the world. The six-block district “aims to stabilize and economically empower the transgender community through ownership of homes, businesses, historic and cultural sites, and safe community spaces,” per their website.
Communities United Against Police Brutality
Formed in 2000 after Charles “Abuka” Sanders was shot and killed by Minneapolis police, Communities Against Police Brutality works to fight against police brutality through “political and legislative action, education, research, and providing services and support for victims and their families,” per their website. Currently, Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than white Americans.
Black Women Birthing Justice
In the United States, Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women, a reflection of the pervasive racism within the United States healthcare system. Half of white medical trainees, for example, believe Black people’s skin is thicker than white people’s and, as a result, they feel less pain. The situation is… really not great, to say the least. Black Women Birthing Justice is an organization dedicated to improving Black pregnant people’s access to affordable and adequate prenatal, birth, and postnatal care, birth education, and advocating “for the right of low-income women and women on welfare to make healthy and non-coerced decisions about whether to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy, to choose when, where and with whom to birth, and to access antenatal, birthing and breastfeeding support,” per the organization’s website.