Black Lives Matter: 5 Ways You Can Help
We stand with the Black community in the fight against racial injustice, white supremacy, systemic racism, and the violence that Black lives and Black bodies experience everyday.
Now is not the time to be silent. But it's also not the time for brands like KMM & Co. -- which was founded by a white man -- to take up space with performative outrage or empty promises. It's time for us to check our privilege, to amplify the voices of the Black community, and to take action against systemic racism.
You've probably seen lots of links and recommendations on social media. We want to dedicate space to sharing resources related to the things we should all be doing to take action, demand justice, and educate ourselves. Black lives matter.
1. Donate your money to organizations that need it
There are many organizations that need funding right now to continue the fight against systemic racism, police brutality, and racial injustice. Not everybody has money to spare right now, but any amount that you can donate will have an effect.
Consider donating to the following organizations (and make a recurring donation instead of a one-time donation if you can):
- African American Policy Forum
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Black Lives Matter
- Black Visions Collective
- Campaign Zero
- Color of Change
- Emergency Response Fund at the National Bail Fund Network, or the bail funds in its directory
- Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative
- Loveland Foundation
- NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
- National Bail Out
- Prison Activist Resource Center
2. Participate in a protest, or support protestors from home
Public protests against white supremacy and police brutality are happening across the United States in response to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Tony McDade, George Floyd, and others. You can join local protests (even if you aren't in a major city), share information about protests organized by Black activists, donate supplies, volunteer to provide childcare for those protesting, and open your home to shelter protesters fleeing arrest.
Even if you're stuck at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, you can still help. You can donate to bail funds to get arrested protesters out of jail, or donate to legal defense funds to cover legal fees.
You can contact elected officials to demand action against police brutality and racial injustice, donate to mutual aid funds supporting protesters, or fund street medic organizations assisting people injured during protests. You can even monitor police scanners to alert the protesters in your contacts list to planned police action.
3. Read a book (and then another one, and then another one)
Fellow white Americans: It's time that we all hit the books and educate ourselves. Numerous anti-racist reading lists -- such as this one by Ibram X. Kendi, which you can follow like a syllabus -- are circulating online, and many often-recommended books are selling out. (Ebooks and audiobooks are a good option!) We all need to commit to a lifetime of reading, listening, learning (and unlearning).
It's also time to talk to our friends and families, even when that means having uncomfortable conversations. Talking about racism can be awkward for those of us who have had the privilege of avoiding the topic until now. But that discomfort does not begin to approach the reality of the harm and violence that affects the Black community everyday.
4. Defend voting rights and fight voter suppression
Voting is a basic right in the United States. But both voter suppression efforts that target people of color and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic -- which is disproportionately affecting communities of color -- threaten the fairness of the 2020 election.
Vote Safe, America recommends contacting members of Congress to demand the passage of a coronavirus relief package that includes at least $2 billion in "safe election money" and protects the postal service; requires states to invest in expanded vote by mail and early voting systems; and ensures that polling locations have the resources they need to operate safely and efficiently.
5. Demand change from government officials
While we're talking about contacting members of Congress, you can contact *all* of the elected officials who represent you to demand that they take decisive action against racial injustice. You can call, email, tweet, and write letters to advocate for anti-racist policies and demand that your representatives make meaningful changes to stop police brutality.
Many policies need to change to reflect the reality that Black lives matter. A few places you can start:
- Demand action to end police brutality
- Pressure leaders to take action to curtail the Black death rate of COVID-19
- Advocate for reparations for slavery
- Tell Congress to protect the health and votes of Black voters
- Ask for action to protect Black-owned businesses
- Contact your representatives to demand criminal justice reform
- Help make prosecutors accountable and transparent
- Tell Congress to address coronavirus's impact on 2020 elections
- Demand that COVID-19 relief include incarcerated people
- Support the just legalization of marijuana to address racial disparities
This list is by no means an exhaustive list of actions you can take or resources you can use. KMM & Co. is a white-owned business, and we're taking this time to listen, using this space to amplify the recommendations we've seen from members of the Black community, and having conversations about how we can most effectively contribute to the fight against racial injustice and inequality. We are currently compiling a list of Black-owned businesses to support -- keep an eye out for that post next week!