#SWAAYthenarrative

Ally Resources For Supporters Of Black Lives Matter

9 Min Read
Politics

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

Speak Out

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.

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.

Educate 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.

Donate

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

Watch These Videos

Listen To These Podcasts

  • #TellBlackStories
  • 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

  • @colorofchange
  • @blklivesmatter
  • @theconsciouskid
  • @ncaap
  • @showupingupforracialjustice
  • @sistersong_woc
  • @fams2gether
  • @unitedwedream
  • @mpowerchange
  • @civilrightsorg
  • 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

Find out how to register in your state here.

Check-in On Your Black Friends, Family, and Peers

But read this first.

Organizations To Donate To

Local Bail Funds To Donate To (@yusufyuie on Instagram)

Recommended Reading/Watching For Allies

Articles

Books

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.

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.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.