We are repulsed and heartbroken by the recent violent, racist, and transphobic actions taken by police officers and civilians in Minnesota, Kentucky, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, and other areas of the country, and we grieve for the victims: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Monika Diamond and so many others who have been killed as a result of systemic racism and interlocking systems of oppression. We condemn these acts, and we stand in solidarity with those across the nation, particularly Black Americans and other communities of color, who are rightfully protesting the conditions and policies that enable such atrocities.
Statements of denunciation and expressions of solidarity, while valuable, are, on their own, inadequate as agents of change. Thus, we want to amplify calls to speak out against racism and to support organizations that are working on the front lines of the battle against systemic oppression. There are many ways to promote the essential work of community activists–leaders and community members–who are already using their experiences and expertise in educational, political, and health care contexts to create change. Below is a list of opportunities:
- “How to Support Protestors in Every City” by Jael Goldfine and Taylor Champlin of PAPER magazine. This page provides a list of ways to contribute to bail funds for protestors who have been arrested in cities and regions across the US.
- “Resources for Accountability and Action for Black Lives” – This Google doc includes information and links to petitions, funding sites (for bail, legal aid, and health care for protestors), as well as multiple organizations involved in the national fight for racial justice, such as the Movement for Black Lives, BYP100 (the Black Youth Project), Communities United for Police Reform, Black Visions Collective, and many others.
Partial list of additional organizations (with brief descriptions from their websites):
- Color of Change— “We design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward. Until justice is real.”
- Center for Black Equity – The vision of this organization is to “build a global network of LGBTQ+ individuals, allies, community-based organizations and Prides dedicated to achieving equality and social justice for Black LGBTQ+ communities through Economic Equity, Health Equity, and Social Equity.”
- Circle of Mothers— “Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, created the Circle of Mothers as a way to empower women. The purpose of the Circle of Mothers is to bring together mothers who have lost children or family members due to senseless gun violence for the purpose of healing, empowerment, and fellowship towards the larger aim of community building.”
- Dream Defenders—”The Dream Defenders was founded in April 2012 after the tragic killing of 17-year old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. That Spring, young Black, Latinx, and Arab youth marched from Daytona Beach Florida to Sanford Florida where Trayvon Martin was killed. With that fire in their bellies, they then went back to their communities and campuses to organize. Dream Defenders is a multiracial group of young people who are organizing to build power in our communities to advance a new vision we have for the state. Our agenda is called the Freedom Papers. Through it, we are advancing our vision of safety and security – away from prisons, deportation, and war – and towards healthcare, housing, jobs and movement for all.”
- Know Your Rights Camp—”A free campaign founded by Colin Kaepernick to raise awareness on higher education, self- empowerment, and instructions on how to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios.”
- National Coalition on Black Civic Participation—”The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is a 501 (c) 3 non-partisan civic engagement organization that strives to cultivate institutional base-building capacity and intergenerational leadership models at the local, state and national levels. NCBCP is committed to nurturing a climate where new thinking, innovative and traditional strategies of empowerment are respected and freely expressed; and strategic partnerships and alliances are welcomed. By educating, motivating, organizing and mobilizing our communities, the NCBCP seeks to encourage full participation in a barrier-free democratic process. Through technology, educational programs and civic leadership training, the Coalition works to expand, strengthen and empower Black communities to make voting and civic participation a cultural responsibility and tradition.”
- LIVE FREE – “With over 118 million people attending weekly services in over 350,000 congregations across the U.S., we believe that a social justice revival within our faith institutions would transform our nation’s hearts and minds, and ultimately, the policies and practices that perpetuate these evils. With hundreds of congregations as well as countless leaders and movement partners throughout the country, the LIVE FREE Campaign is working to end the scourges of gun violence, mass incarceration, and the criminalization of Black and Brown bodies that tears at the soul of our society.” This group is currently running a “Masks for the People” campaign, “a humanitarian effort to address the lack of preventive care and resources being made available to our loved ones in jails, urban neighborhoods and poor rural communities. Every $10,000 dollars create 5,000 kits that include masks, hand sanitizer, garments, PPE, etc.”
–Executive Board, Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition