In my 43 years, I’ve never needed to hear the reassurance that “All Lives Matter.” Nobody has. It’s not a statement used to assure anything. It’s simply used to be dismissive. I know specific people that need to know that their Black Lives Matter.
This weekend I was proud to take part in a Black Lives Matters march. I went for several reasons. The two at the top of my mind were that last week when this group marched, our town was shut down by racists in our towns lying about looting on social media. I was infuriated, and I wanted the repercussions for their actions to be more people joining in the cause.
The other is that there is a specific child I see in my mind every time an African American man is treated inhumanly by a police officer, and I’d love some reform to come before the occasion arises for him to experience that.
I don’t care about your opinions. Twist the marches as you like. Dismiss the legitimate protests by highlighting the looting and lumping it all together. That ignorance is on you. But I genuinely hope this can continue until it’s not necessary anymore. Nobody should ever have to reassure someone that their life matters based on their skin color.
“What do they hope to accomplish?” is the question I see the most. Usually, it’s by somebody who doesn’t really care but wants to minimize the efforts or villainize the movement. But consider that just this week there are more people and brands all over the world donating to organizations that aid in the struggle than there have been in some time (maybe ever), a series of cities across the country have suggested changes toward the reformation of police forces, and even the NFL admits that its dismissal of its player’s concerns as attacks against the country was wrong. Genuine or not, that’s progress, and black lives do matter.
Bail funds and memorial funds
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
- George Floyd’s Sister’s Fund
- Ahmaud Arbery Fund
- Tony McDade Fund
- National Bail Fund Network
- Bail Funds by State
- Or go here on ActBlue to split your donation among bail funds across the country
Organizations seeking donations
In addition to bail funds, there are groups and organizations fighting for Black racial justice and anti-racism that could use your support right now. Please also consider setting up a recurring donation to any of these organizations if you’re able—this provides organizations with a reliable revenue stream for regular operating costs and longer term planning.
- Reclaim the Block
A coalition to demand that Minneapolis divest from policing and invest in long-term alternatives.
- Black Visions Collective
Transformative justice organization for developing Black leadership in Minnesota. Both Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block are Black-run and have been doing important on-the-ground work for the protests in Minneapolis.
- Minnesota Freedom Fund An organization that pays criminal bails and immigration bond for those who can’t afford to as we seek to end discriminatory, coercive, and oppressive jailing. It has encouraged people to donate to local Black and BIPOC-led organizations like the two above and to George Floyd’s family.
- Black Lives Matter Global Network or your local chapter
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund The NAACP’s legal organization fighting social justice.
Actions you can take now
- The Movement For Black Lives, alongside organizers and activists across the country, have initiated A Week of Action in Defense of Black Lives from June 1-5. Each day holds a new demand and recommends actionable steps you can take in your own community, sorted into low, medium, and high risk.
- We defer to the Black Lives Matter page listing the petitions to sign and how to do so (even if you are outside of the U.S.)
- A guide to calling local and state representatives in New York to support police reform and NYC budget justice, as well as a form letter to send your city council member. Another on asking your reps to repeal Section 50a, which allows police to withhold information on personnel misconduct.
- The People’s Budget Toolkit and steps for calling local reps in L.A. for budget justice.
“Wear a mask and eye protection, carry lots of water for hydration and first aid, and have a health plan for before, during, and after your participation.” A resource by Raina Wellman and Lauren Sarkissian that addresses how to navigate protesting in the time of COVID-19.
- Guide to Virtual Protesting
A guide by Manassaline Coleman for who to target with social media and digital protesting tactics and how to make your messages most effective. Support Coleman’s work on this guide by sending her money through Cashapp: $saliine.
From 2014, a guide for engaging in the movement for ending police and state violence against black people if you are unable to attend rallies and protests.
An open source guide to becoming a more effective ally by Amélie Lamont.
Optical allyship is “allyship that only serves at the surface level to platform the ‘ally,’ it makes a statement but doesn’t go beneath the surface and is not aimed at breaking away the systems of power that oppress.” A straightforward guide for not doing that by Mireille Cassandra Harper.
From Spaceus, a growing list of artists who are working to raise funds for the movement by selling their work.
A guide by Annika Izora centering Black queer, trans and nonbinary folks and Black women so you can create your own ongoing reparations plan.
Hart, a Black queer activist, writer, and sexuality educator offers webinar courses on anti-racism, resistance, and analyzing structures that perpetuate “mass marginalization under global capitalism.” After learning 101, go ahead and take Hart’s Social Justice 102.
- Natl Resource List #GeorgeFloyd+ One of the most comprehensive Google docs we’ve seen, containing many of the community bail funds, memorial funds, political education resources, orgs, and general advice/tips for people attending protests or using social media as an organizing tool.
Where to find Black designers, illustrators, and Black-owned design studios to hire
- Blacks Who Design
- Revision Path
- 28 Days of Black Designers
- India Lawrence’s UK Black Creatives Database
Have other suggestions? Add to this collaborative spreadsheet
Designers offering free services
- Wkshps is offering free consulting time to Black and Black-led non-profits, cultural organizations, businesses, artists, and designers.
- Design to Divest (via Vanessa Newman/ @fiveboi) A task force of designers who have been holding weekly virtual meet ups during quarantine is offering its services to Black organizers free of charge.
- Lucky Risograph in New York is offering free printing services for activists and organizers fighting for racial equality.
- Companion—Platform in Berkeley is offering to print materials for protests for free along with contactless pickup.
- Body Language Shop is offering to make graphics for social justice organizations, educators, and community organizers.
- Direct Angle Press is offering free Risograph printing for Black Lives Matter activists and organizations in New Hampshire.
- Collective Power, a collective of designers, writers, artists, and strategists, is offering free design services for BIPOC owned businesses.
- Rachel Zeroth is a Twin Cities designer offering free design services with priority given to the BIPOC community, organizers, and businesses. (Contact Rachel)
Talks from/about Black designers
This list is just a start— we invite you to add to it.
Activists to follow on social
This list is ever-evolving—we invite you to add to it.
Events to have on your radar
Ed note: We ask that whenever you can, please don’t buy these books from Amazon. In most cases, we’ve linked directly to the author’s website. You can buy from local bookstores at Indiebound.org and Bookshop.org, and buy ebooks and audio books on Kobo. We’ve also tried to include any links to directly compensate these authors in addition to buying their books, which we encourage that you do if you are using and accessing their work.
- So You Want to Talk About Race? By Ijeoma Oluo
Oluo has been writing about race since the 2012 murder of Trayvon Martin, when she turned her food blog into a space for talking about issues of racism and injustice. She’s since become an influential speaker and writer on these topics, and her book So You Want to Talk About Race? is New York Times bestseller. We find that it’s a good primer on racism and guide for continuing the conversation.
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad (we’ve heard the hardcover is selling out—here’s a link to the ebook).
“Based on the viral Instagram challenge that captivated participants worldwide, Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day journey of how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.” Saad also runs the Good Ancestor Podcast, is an incredible fource on Instagram, and first published her book as a free PDF in 2018 (which she now asks that you don’t use as it’s since been updated). To make sure she gets paid for the work she does that we all benefit from, support Saad’s work on Patreon.
- The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter
For an in-depth history of how race was invented, and how the idea of whiteness has carried forth throughout time, from the ancient Greeks (who had no concept of race) up to today. It’s slightly academic, deeply informed, and a truly engaging read.
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Sociologist and educator Robin DiAngelo’s coined the term “white fragility” in 2011 to describe the defensiveness that white people exhibit when their ideas about race and racism are challenged. In her 2018 book, she illustrates how this behavior reinforces white supremacy and prevents meaningful dialogue. Read it to understand how racism is not a practice that is only restricted to “bad” people. See also DiAngelo’s anti-racism resources for white people and her interview on Layla Saad’s excellent Podcast Good Ancestors.
- How to Be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.
“Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism re-energizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America–but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other.”
- Why I’m No longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
Eddo-Lodge, a London-based journalist, decided to write this book out of her frustration that the conversations in Britain around race weren’t being led by the people who are affected by it. The result is a book that explores issues such as the whitewashing of history and feminism and the political purpose of white dominance. The book turns three years old this week, and Eddo-Lodge is asking that anyone who buys her book donate the same amount to the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
- Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard
Delving behind Canada’s veneer of multiculturalism and tolerance, Policing Black Lives traces the violent realities of anti-blackness from the slave ships to prisons, classrooms and beyond. Robyn Maynard provides readers with the first comprehensive account of nearly four hundred years of state-sanctioned surveillance, criminalization and punishment of Black lives in Canada.