George Floyd. Keep saying his name.
We have experienced too much loss, too much rage, and too much anxiety in the past year. And it’s just simply the truth that individuals like Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Kwame Jones, Steven Demarco Taylor, Anthony McClain, and the other 249 black people killed by police in 2020 were robbed of these experiences.
Police kill Black people at higher rates than white people in 47 of the 50 largest US cities. Black people are 3X more likely to be killed by police than white people. Black people are 1.3X more likely to be unarmed than white people when killed by the police.
If this all feels overwhelming and like a never-ending loop of injustices, we suggest using the updated list below as a starting point (or a re-starting point) for your activism. Additionally, please continue to use and share this list with anyone who can no longer passively watch violent police footage, new and tragic hashtags, and stalled reform efforts.
Don’t be shy with your clicking – every phrase in orange is a hyperlink and an opportunity for justice.
With your “all lives matter” friend
- Make phone calls (not just DMs and comment threads) for difficult conversations.
- Prepare yourself for these conversations with a refresher on why talking about race is still difficult.
- Patiently unpack the term “implicit bias” over video chat using this test.
- Host a social distance movie night to watch Ava DuVernay’s 13th.
- Actively combat misinformation about angry Black women and the “welfare queen.”
To flex your brain muscle
- Decolonize your bookshelf.
- Update your reading list with contemporary fiction and nonfiction by Black authors.
- Listen to The 1619 Project by the New York Times or get a laugh in with your information with Yo, Is This Racist.
- Keep your eye on the prize with a daily anti-racist newsletter.
- If you attended an institute of higher education, ask your alumni office if they are naming and calling out racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and ableism on their campus.
With the kids
- Fill your home with joyous and informative books for all ages. Chicago Public Library also has eBooks for kids and teens!
- Make sure ‘skin color’ is beyond the peach crayon.
- Virtually visit the Brown v. Board of Education exhibition at the Smithsonian.
- Watch a PBS Read-Along with Christian Robinson or the Obamas.
- Tune in to some toons featuring Black characters like The Proud Family, Motown Magic, and Esme & Roy.
When you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket
- Make sure your next meal is from a Black-owned restaurant (Chicago specific).
- Upgrade your glam with beauty products created by Black people and Black-owned fashion businesses.
- Share your financial knowledge by sending us more ways to increase generational wealth in the Black community.
- Donate to a national or state-specific bail fund.
- Hit the road and take a load off at a hotel run by Black hospitality groups.
When hosting your first get-together since 2019
- Make a Black Lives Matter window sign.
- Order a Black Lives Matter flag or yard sign for you and a friend.
- Use chalk to talk about Black lives taken too soon and other reform-minded platforms.
- Dive into a Black-authored cookbook or food blog for your home chef experiments.
- Stream some protest tunes with the windows open.
To create safe(r) spaces for your black friends, family, and neighbors
- Say hello to your Black neighbors and coworkers when you see them in public or at work.
- Find creative ways to ask your Black friend ‘how are you.‘
- Live in a gentrifying neighborhood? Take a few extra seconds to reflect on why you are compelled to call the police and who could be in danger if you call the police.
- Hold your workplace diversity and inclusion program accountable. Are there metrics to show workplace policies and the comfort of diverse employees are improving?
- If you witness public instances of racism or any other form of violence and harassment, use these tips on how to intervene.
At the polls
- Research the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and call to hold your elected officials accountable for their support and next steps.
- Learn about what BIPOCs are concerned about in current politics with the Brown Girls Guide to Politics.
- Make sure you and your network can spot fake political news on social media or other non-reputable news sources.
- Educate yourself on voter suppression and ask your Senator to support the Voting Rights Advancement Act
- Make politics fun for the next generation of voters.
For the keyboard warrior
- Credit black writers and artists in your social media posts.
- Participate in Color of Change petition campaigns.
- Use black-owned mindfulness apps to practice self-care.
- Join a #EduColor monthly chat on Twitter.
- Email your elected officials at every level about police reform.
BONUS ways to support black youth
- Support Storycatchers Theatre’s effort to help young people who are working to manage their trauma and overcome the effects of disinvestment and institutional policies that have led to the inequities we see today.
- Share our stories far and wide. We have heart-melting original songs, a radio play created during the pandemic, and blog posts like this with reflections and resources.
Or give by texting showgoeson to 44321