Black Lives Matter: Taking Action

It’s been heartening to see people sharing posts on their social media profiles and platforms with their thoughts, helpful links, educational resources, photos, videos, and so much more to support the Black Lives Matter movement. The silence, on the other hand, has been loud too. Maybe you’re just not quite sure what your contribution should be.

Listen, there is a lot of information out there right now. There’s a lot to digest. Sometimes, trying to take it all in is too much. I get it. I have been doing my best to keep myself informed but sometimes, I do find myself so mentally and physically exhausted that I have to take a step back for some clarity before continuing.

I’ve been gathering and looking into the very vast pool of resources available to take concrete action to support the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as the protests, the legal defense efforts, and the reformation efforts currently underway. There is a lot to sift through, so I will include what I have been able to verify as legitimate to the best of my ability. I welcome any additional links in the comments, and I will update this list as I come across more.

I would strongly encourage you to consider the following list, and donating where you can. You don’t have to donate a lot. It’s a tough time right now for a lot of us, and we don’t all have a lot to spare. That’s okay. You don’t have to feel guilty about not having a lot to give. Your donations are powerful too; small donations add up. I will have some other suggestions that you can combine with donating to organizations, or can do instead, based off of what I’ve seen being shared.

I’ll start with where you can donate any spare funds you may have. I will be donating as well. These links are not listed in any particular order.

BLACK LIVES MATTER: The Black Lives Matter movement has been at the forefront of the justice and liberation movement for Black communities everywhere. There is a link on their website to donate directly, and you can also shop BLM merch, and find news updates and thought-provoking content.

The NAACP Legal Defense And Education Fund: This non-profit organization works towards fighting racial injustice through advocating for and educating on civil rights movements currently underway for people in the Black community.

Campaign Zero: Campaign Zero aims to end police violence against the Black community by tracking statistics, data, facts, and trends, compiling reports and resources to take effective action towards reform.

I found these images on Facebook as well – I know that some of this information is repetitive – with resources for where to donate, as well as different ways to consume Black content. I have done a quick search on each item suggested in these images before sharing. I couldn’t find the original source of these images as of yet; if I do, I will be sure to link to them.

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This article from Variety.com has a lot of links to bailout funds from a lot of different areas that are currently protesting. This article from The Zoe Report also has links of reputable organizations to donate to, as well as some tips for how you can personally verify where you donate your money to, should you be looking for more organizations than what has been listed to contribute to.

I tried to include organizations that are at the forefront of the fight, that are actively helping protesters with legal aid, financial support, and supplies, educational resources, and those researching and rallying information to assist protests, reformation, policy change, etc. I know I can’t cover it all, but I want to reiterate that I will keep my eyes open, and appreciate any input you have.

No matter where you live, there is a good change that there are protests underway in your own communities. They could be protests in the line of fire right now, or protests in solidarity to those who are currently being unfairly attacked for practicing their right to protest. If you can, join those protests. Make signs. Take photos and videos and share them. Bring a case of water or some snacks to the protesters, or first aid kits, masks, sunscreen; even a small contribution within your means like this can mean so much.

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Another way we can continue to show our solidarity and support for our Black communities – continuously and right now – is to support and uplift their contributions to their culture and to our collective culture, to our communities, and to our personal interests. Make the effort to support Black-run businesses – buy your next take-out meal from a local Black business, shop at Black-run stores online or in person (when/if it is safe to do so), buy Black literature, watch Black media, share these businesses and initiatives and content on your socials to promote them, etc. Get to know what organizations exist within your own community and support them when you can. Our conscious choices to shift our typical expenditures to support our own Black communities and beyond is a small yet important way we can lift these voices, contribute to their success, and help them create more opportunity for their communities too.

If now is not the time that you can donate, share the links at the very least. There is a good chance that someone on your timeline will be able to donate, and maybe they just don’t know where to start. Once again, I know that the frequent calls to donate may feel like a lot of pressure right now, especially in a time where many people are facing financial insecurity, but it is not meant to be pressure. You don’t have to donate your entire paycheck or a ton of money if it’s not feasible. Anything you can do is powerful and helps.

Next, I aim to share some resources that can be used to educate ourselves on systemic racism and oppression, some statistics and research that may help those who are more evidence-based learners, as well as some important things to know about how Black people have contributed to our past, present, and future. An honest and consistent effort to become educated is incredibly important right now because it is one of the ways we are going to foster change. We need to know what has happened, what is happening, and what needs to be changed. We need to be able to understand and communicate with each other why what is happening right now is so very important.

I’m wishing all of you on the front lines of the protests and the fights, everyone who is feeling scared, anxious, fearful, and anyone struggling right now in any capacity with this, especially the Black community, love, safety, liberty, and perseverance.

Your friend,

Alicia

Published by Alicia Gallant

I'm a 20-something girl living with severe anxiety and panic on a journey to love myself. I'm becoming a part of the conversation about mental health through honesty and humour. *Photo: Stefanie Moreau Photography

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