The murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has many Americans up in arms. We’re understandably shocked, angered, dismayed, and concerned for the future. For many of us, the protests unfolding on the streets of American cities has re-opened the conversation about racism in our country. We want to know how to make a difference but may feel paralyzed to act. We may be unsure of the most effective way to be an ally. The good news is that there are a plethora of resources out there to help us get started with speaking out about social justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the countless others like them. There’s even plenty of things we can do right in the comfort of our own homes. Here’s our roundup of 10 resources you can use to start making a difference today.
Unpack the Knapsack of Privilege
Want to explore what privilege is more deeply and why it’s a problem in society? This free article is a great starting point. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack is a quick read and a solid introduction to helping us examine the impact privilege has on our lives. If you’re already bought into the idea of privilege, consider sharing the article to open a dialogue with friends who aren’t quite “there” yet.
Instead of putting the onus on people of color to explain their experiences with racism to you, get started on your own with this information-packed Anti-Racist Resource Guide. It’s a detailed overview on how to get started will allyship, including a great list of books and articles to read, ideas about how to get active in your community, and reputable organizations you can begin supporting today! But don’t consider this a checklist to be done with when you’ve completed all the steps. This is an ongoing movement that will not rest until racism is dead.
Be A Friend
Gloria Atanmo has put together an info-packed Instagram guide on how to support your black friends at this time. It includes a feature called, “What Do I Text My Black Friends?”, that offers scripted ideas about how to open a conversation about how you can best support friends of color at this time.
Support Black-Owned Businesses
Supporting black-owned businesses is a simple change you can make to promote equity. Get started by downloading the Support Black Owned App. You can also check out Marie Claire’s list of 51 black-owned brands and learn more about organizations that support black entrepreneurs.
Screen a Movie
Netflix has plenty of content to dive into when it comes to exploring race in America. Why not start off with something lighter by giving Justin Simien’s comedic satire Dear White People a try? Learn about how the Black Lives Matter movement started with the documentary Rest in Power, the Trayvon Martin Story. If you’ve got tweens in your life, try streaming The Hate U Give on Hulu. It’s an important YA novel turned film about a young woman witnessing the fatal shooting of a friend by a cop.
Amp Up Your Reading List
Bookworm? Victoria Alexander has you covered with her Anti-Racist reading starter kit. She’s got books on a variety of subjects to pique the interest of any reader. From inspiring biographies on folks from Malcom X to Michelle Obama, to hard-hitting nonfiction on white fragility and mass incarceration, there’s something for everyone no matter what level of your anti-racist journey you happen to be at.
Think your vote doesn’t matter? Think again! Kat Tat gives you the skinny on why voting is important and why we can’t wait until November’s presidential election to make our voices heard. Why not share it with your friends? Learn all about registering to vote here.
Donate, Call and Text
The Minnesota Freedom Fund has an excellent list of justice organizations you can feel good about donating to. Short on cash? Afro Punk’s got a great Instagram resource pack of ways you can take action from home.
Say Their Names
George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, David McAtee, Ahmaud Arbery. What do these names have in common? They’re all black folks who have been killed by police since March 2020 and all of their families are still awaiting justice. Honor their memories and share their stories.
Make a Commitment
Racism doesn’t end with a couple of donations or Instagram posts. It takes all of us buying in for the long haul. Recognize that change takes time and commit yourself to growing and learning as an ally. We’re all in this together and we can make a difference!
Featured Image Credit: Maria Oswalt on Unsplash