In light of recent media attention regarding police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, here are six ways you can help end the racial injustice of our society.
1. Sign Petitions.
One of the many ways to dismantle racism is by signing petitions. Petitions are convenient to access and fill out online. Every signature counts and makes a difference. Signing petitions is also a social act and allows organizers to have your name and contact information to reach out to you regarding additional petitions and new movements. By adding your name to a petition, you are ensuring the legitimacy of the campaign and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. Petitioning is a great source for building a strong supporter base as well. There are numerous petitions to sign on blacklivesmatter.com, change.org, and colorofchange.org, among others.
2. Donate To Victims, Protesters, and Organizations.
Victims and their families receive donations to help support themselves. Bail funds are put in place to pay bail or bonds to release protesters that have been taken in jails and bond systems. The National Bail Fund Network provides bail funds across the country and is regularly updated. Donations to community-restoration organizations go towards rebuilding neighborhoods and communities that have been damaged by protests or the pandemic. The Black Voters Matter Fund and other political organizations aid in Black-voter education initiatives and support Black political candidates.
3. Support Black-Owned Businesses.
Black Americans are not given the same equal opportunities as white people, especially when it comes to careers and economic success. Instead of shopping from big-brand corporations, support smaller businesses locally to ensure that they are able to succeed as well. In general, many small businesses have not been able to stay successful during the pandemic and must rely on loans and other assistance. Black-owned businesses often struggle to receive these loans and secure access to federal aid programs that are designed to help during the pandemic. By supporting a Black-owned business, you are also celebrating Black culture and uplifting your community.
Protests have recently erupted across our nation. The endurance and longevity of the recent protests prove that there is strength in numbers. Participating in protests and marches is one of the best ways to become more involved in activism and support the movement. These protests are making history and fighting towards the goal of ending police brutality.
5. Educate Yourself And Others.
It is important to research and prioritize learning in order to promote change. Talk to the people around you. One of BLM's purposes is to educate about candidates and the issues that impact us the most. These issues include racial injustice, police brutality, criminal justice reform, LGBTQ+, human rights, and more. All of these issues affect our communities and our candidates should be held accountable. By learning about these issues and sharing them with the people in your community, you are assisting in gaining more attention and supporters, thus helping to strengthen Black Lives Matter.
One of the biggest steps to enact change is having people in power that represent our beliefs and values. Every vote matters and makes a difference. You can register to vote and encourage others, too. This is a significant right that we have and should use it to our advantage.
Ultimately, every effort towards justice, no matter how small, is important.