7 Things You Can Actively Do Today And Every Day To Invoke Racial Justice
Some ideas beyond just "Enough is enough".
1. Educate Yourself
Now more than ever, we need empathy and understanding among all people. Step one is educating ourselves and realizing that we all have more to learn and room to grow. Change starts from within. Click here for a list of essential anti-racism books that everyone should read.
For more anti-racism resources including helpful podcasts to listen to, articles to read, accounts to follow, and more, check out this list.
2. Speak Up
If you witness any sort of racial injustice, speak up, and say something. If you encounter Police brutality, make your presence known in a safe way and monitor the situation. Activist and writer Frederick Joseph mentions, "if someone is being stopped by the police, you have the right to let the police know that you are going to be monitoring the situation and making sure that the person is being treated fairly and safely".
3. Demand Change From Your Local Government
In the immediate aftermath of police brutality, you can call local District Attorneys and representatives to demand legal action against the offending officer. But this shouldn't change after legal action has been obtained, we should continue to call, continue to email our local Police Stations, continue to show up at Town Hall and City Council meetings and continue to demand change. We must keep our own system accountable by staying on the issue and reminding our representatives that it will not go away without actionable change.
Another simple yet important way you can catalyze change is by utilizing your right to vote. Not sure if you're registered to vote in your state? Click here to check.
Donate what you can to those who need your support. Here are just a few of the many deserving organizations to consider: NAACP, Black Lives Matter, The Sentencing Project the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, Southern Poverty Law Center, Color of Change, Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, The Movement for Black Lives.
5. Sign Petitions
Here are a few petitions to sign to show your support: Color of Change: #JusticeforFloyd, Change.org: Justice for George Floyd, #WeCantBreathe, NAACP: Justice for George Floyd, NAACP: Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
6. Support Black Business
One simple way you can make a difference is by purchasing from Black-owned businesses, which will help close the racial wealth gap and strengthen the local Black economy. There are numerous resources that can help you find these businesses to support, including SupportBlackOwned.com, and FiveFifths. A simple Google search of "Black-owned business in your town" should also yield various options for local Black-owned businesses you can support today.
Click here for a list of 200+ black-owned Etsy shops.
Click here to find Black women's businesses to support.
7. Reflect & Engage
Reflect on your own experience with racism, and try to put yourself in another person's shoes. Racism is more insidious and prevalent than we may realize. It is important that we actively monitor ourselves and those around us, engage in conversations about race, privilege, and activism, demand reform, and really reflect on and recognize the prevalence of systemic racial prejudice within our society.
If you have privilege, use it to help lift up those who don't.
Parents, start teaching your children about notions of race, privilege, and ultimately acceptance, as early as you can. Having these critical conversations with your children will give them the education and tools to empower themselves and participate in the ongoing movement for racial justice.
Silence is not the answer, we need to actively be having conversations where we unpack implicit biases, recognize flaws, and demand reform.