9 Min ReadPolitics 04 June 2020
If you aren't able to be out protesting, there are still tons of ways you can support the current movement for racial justice at home. Here is a list of resources, organizations to donate to, petitions to sign, and a number of other actions you can take from home to help support Black Lives Matter as an ally.
What You Can Do From Home
Whether it is on social media or via face-to-face conversations with family members or friends, it's important to have these difficult conversations. The fact that it is an option for you to have conversations about racism, is in itself a privilege. Black people don't get to pretend these issues don't exist — doing so could cost them their lives or their children's lives. Particularly for white people, as you begin educating yourself and others on privilege, this experience will often bring up feelings of shame and guilt, which may cause you to want to quiet down and stop talking about these crucial issues.
Maybe you're afraid you'll say something wrong. Maybe you're afraid you'll upset someone. Maybe you're afraid someone might think you're racist if you mess up. All of those feelings are valid, it's something most white people will go through, but it's your responsibility to push through them. This is the crucial difference between being "not racist" and being anti-racist.
The beauty of anti-racism is that you don't have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it's the only way forward. https://t.co/DL3c2vIXcB
— Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo) July 15, 2019
Spreading awareness, as well as using these conversations as an opportunity to promote Black voices and Black stories, is an incredible use of your platform and your privilege. Be prepared for not everyone to agree with you; stay calm and focus on seeking to educate, as well as preparing to be educated yourself by those who may know more. Please remember that an important piece of speaking out is being prepared to recognize that you made a mistake. We are all seeking to do the best we can with the information at hand, but you can take measures to make sure that information is as correct and supportive as it can be by educating yourself.
There is no shame in admitting when you don't know something or learning something new. This is a movement that requires continuous education and learning from each other. Racism is ingrained into every aspect of our lives, the government, our policing systems, even ourselves. Check out a more comprehensive list of reading and other media that can help you in your journey to educate yourself below, but don't underestimate the power of a conversation with others.
However, please be aware: the job of the Black community right now is not to educate you or walk you through their experience. Make sure that you are taking the responsibility of educating yourself, and remember to say "thank you" rather than "I'm sorry" when someone takes the time to correct you. An apology makes the person feel that they have to say, "It's okay" when your mistake is not just okay, however a "thank you" recognizes their work and their effort in reaching out and pointing you on the right path.
However, please be aware: the job of the Black community right now is not to educate you or walk you through their experience. Make sure that you are taking the responsibility of educating yourself, and remember to say "thank you" rather than "I'm sorry" when someone takes the time to correct you.
There are plenty of texts, books, documentaries, articles that Black people have put their thought, effort, and voices behind that can help you educate yourself. You cannot expect them to offer you this information and their time for free. But you can find your answers and support these hard-working creators by subscribing to, reading, and buying their work.
We want to recognize that protesting in the midst of a global pandemic is a dangerous but necessary cause. For all the hundreds of thousands of people who have been impacted by COVID-19 across the past few months, every Black person in our nation and in our history has been impacted by the systemic racism run rampant in our country. Protests are not a matter of convenience. We urge everyone who cannot be out there on the streets to donate financially to these movements to help support and uplift the efforts of these brave protestors. Financial contributions make a huge difference in the tangible change that can be enacted; every dollar counts. Utilize your networks and your platforms to encourage and inspire others to donate as well. It is not your place to assume whether or not someone else has the means to donate and is much more productive to consider your own position and what you can do with your dollar.
In this time of political upheaval unemployment is higher than it's ever been within our generation, if you do not have the means to donate you can still sign petitions, uplift Black stories, call your represenatives and take dozens of other critical actions to help tear down this unjust system. You may not be able to do it all, but you can at least do something. Below you'll find various list of recommended readings, petitions, organizations to donate to, and more. This is by no means an exhaustive list. In fact, we've included a list of other relevant resources list at the bottom of ours. However, as a media publication, we have a responsibility to use our platform to support this movement for racial justice, and we do not take that lightly.
Petitions To Sign
- I Run With Maud
- Reclaim the Block
- Georgia Hate Crime Bill
- Hands Up Act
- Raise the Degree
- National Action Against Police Brutality
- Campaign Zero's Solutions — 10-step policy solution guide
- Find Your Rep — Campaign Zero tool to find and contact your local representative to end police violence
- 75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice — more links in video description on petitions to sign
Watch These Videos
Listen To These Podcasts
- Code Switch
- About Race
- Seeing White
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- The Diversity Gap
- Intersectionality Matters! Hosted by Kimberle Crenshaw
- The Stoop
- Still Processing
Follow and Support Black Organizations and Influencers
- Black influencers to Follow –– list created by @roohiamber
Text or Call These Numbers
- Text JUSTICE to 668366
- Text ENOUGH to 55156
- Leave a message for these numbers demanding that Derek Chauvin (Badge #1087) and Tou Thao (Badge #7162) are arrested for murder:
- Minneapolis Mayor, Jacob Frey: (612) 673 2100
- District Attorney, Mita Freeman: (612) 673 3074
- Call Louisville Mayor at (502) 574 2003 to demand justice for Breonna Taylor
Register To Vote
Organizations To Donate To
- Black Lives Matter — extensive list on where to donate
- The Bail Project
- Black Visions Collective
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund
- Communities United Against Police Brutality
- The Bail Project
- Campaign Zero
- Color of Change
- Reclaim the Block (with petition to sign)
- Know Your Rights Camp legal defense initiative
- American Civil Liberties Fund
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Toronto Protestor Bail Fund
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
- BEAM: Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective
- National Associate of Black Journalists
- Jamee Johnson Memorial Fund
Local Bail Funds To Donate To (@yusufyuie on Instagram)
- NYC: brooklynbailfund.org/donate
- NYC: thebronxfreedom.org
- Colorado Freedom Fund
- New Orleans
- Columbus Freedom Fund
- Northwest Community Bail Fund
- Milwaukee Freedom Fund
- Kansas City
- National Bail Fund Network Directory (by state)
- Bail Funds By State/City
- ActBlue: allows you to split your donation to a variety of community funds
Recommended Reading/Watching For Allies
- Recognizing and Dismantling Your Anti-Blackness
- George Floyd's Death Is a Failure of Generations of Leadership
- Don't Fall for the 'Chaos' Theory of the Protests
- Talking to Kids About Racism, Early and Often
- How Organizations Are Failing Black Workers -- And How to Do Better
- The Price We Have Paid for Not Confronting Racism
- Black Journalists Are Exhausted
- USC Professor On How Protests Have Changed Since LA Riots In 1992
- Why Feeling Uncomfortable Is So Important
- We need more white parents to talk to their kids about race. Especially now.
- Getting Over Your Fear of Talking About Diversity
- How to Actually Fix America's Police
- Racial Inequality, in College and in the Workplace
- Five Charts That Will Change The Way You Think About Racial Inequality
If you are interested in purchasing these books, we recommend you avoid using Amazon or other online retailers that are known to price-gouge during times of increased demand. Rather, use this time of education to also support a Black-owned book story. Here are two lists outlining multiple Black-owned bookstores that often have online purchasing options: African American Literature Book Club's List & AfroTech's List. Is it easier to just hop onto Amazon and click two buttons, yes? Does Amazon need your support right now? Definitely not.
- So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olou
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement by Welsey Lowery
- White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century by Monique W. Morris
- Choke Hold: Policing Black Me by Paul Butler
- Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper
- Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins
- Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons to Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity, and Happiness by Keisha Blair
- Beloved by Toni Morrrison
Documentaries, Films, And Shows
- Race - The Power of An Illusion (PBS three-part series)
- When They See Us (four-part series)
- 13th (documentary)
- Freedom Riders (documentary)
- Whose Streets? (documentary)
- Strong Island (documentary)
- LA 92 (documentary)
- The Hate U Give (Hulu film and book by Angie Thomas)
- In Black America (podcast)
- Just Mercy (Amazon Prime)
- The Skin We're In (CBC)
- Dear White People (Netflix)
- Black-ish (ABC)
- If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)
- Selma (Amazon Prime)
Additional Resources Lists
Our above resources list is by no means exhaustive, there will always be more to read, learn, and listen to. We've done our best to point our SWAAY audience in the right direction, but this is not an issue that stops at the end of a list. Many mainstream media sources are not sharing information like this at the rate it must be shared. We recommend some of the following lists if you are looking for more or different information. Additionally, social media has been an incredible resource during this time of crisis and we recommend you use those platforms wisely. In an era where certain media outlets protect the status quo over Black lives, social media has become the de facto voice of the people — use it wisely.
- Mental Health Resources Supporting Black People
- #GeorgeFloyd: A Comprehensive List of Action Items and Resources from Wavey Girls
- Anti-racism Resources For White People compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein in May 2020
- Natl Resource List #GeorgeFloyd+ compiled by @botanicaldyke on Twitter
- Sanitization Protocol for Direct Action During COVID-19 adapted from QueerCare
- Resources For BLM
- Black Mental Health Resources
- Master Link #BlackLivesMatter
- A list of resources for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement
- Race, Discrimination & Social Justice Reading List from Father/Daughter Records
- A list of anti-racism resources
In addition to sharing these resources, SWAAY is doing everything we can do to help uplift Black voices and support the current movement for racial justice. As such, we're offering free membership services to all members of the Black community as a means of amplifying their expriences. Click the image below to submit your story! Additionally, we're focusing on sharing primarily Black voices on our homepage and have featured all of our contirbutions from Black voices in a new section to help highlight their current and prior contributions to SWAAY.
From Your Site Articles
- Please Stop Talking. Please Just Listen. - Swaay ›
- What Would Elijah Cummings Say About Black Lives Matter? - Swaay ›
- Performative Activism is Basically Silence. Here’s Why. - Swaay ›
- Please Don’t Think I am Shoplifting Just Because I am Brown. And Don't Call Me Nicky. - Swaay ›
- How To Support Black Women - Swaay ›
- When America Catches a Cold, Black America gets Pneumonia. - Swaay ›
- How To Practice Anti-Racism Work Beyond Social Media - Swaay ›
It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.
Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.
Read with a Purpose
Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.
Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.
When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.
Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.
You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.
Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.
Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.
If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.
Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.