The Art of Simplicity – 40 Accessible Activist Activities
Please use and spread this list with anyone starting to feel like they do not have a voice (but want one) in supporting the current Black Lives Matter movements taking place worldwide. Yep – I said it – WORLDWIDE.
From Amsterdam to Alaska to Australia, the Black Lives Matter movement is gaining support and highlighting the gross inequalities experienced by black people – no matter their social standing. For me, as a black woman in Chicago, I need to remain active just as much as my friend’s white mom in DC or my French exchange student’s family in Cognac.
The staff at Storycatchers Theatre wants to share all the opportunities there are to promote policy reform, share black stories, create a more inclusive community, and beyond. Don’t be shy with your clicking – every phrase in orange is a hyperlink!
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 into some toons featuring black characters like The Proud Family, Motown Magic, and Stephen Universe.
When you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket
- Order take-out from a black-owned restaurant (Chicago specific).
- Upgrade your glam with beauty products created by black people and black-owned fashion businesses.
- Use your Sephora’s Beauty Insider Rewards for the Charity Rewards this month. 500 points = $10 for to the National Black Justice Coalition.
- 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.
While adhering to ‘stay at home’ recommendations
- Make a Black Lives Matter window sign.
- Order a Black Lives Matter flag or yard sign for you and 10 of your friends.
- 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 walking or getting on the elevator.
- Find creative ways to ask your black friend ‘how are you.‘
- Live in a gentrifying neighborhood? Take a few extra seconds to reflect on the situation 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 oppressive interpersonal violence and harassment, use these tips on how to intervene.
At the polls
- Research the social justice track records of the people running for judge (for Cook County – updated for each election cycle).
- Learn about what POCs are concerned about in current politics with the Brown Girls Guide to Politics podcast or Deep Democracy podcast.
- Tell your members of Congress to support legislation limiting the use of deadly force to a last resort.
- Use the 5 Calls App to contact politicians about police reform and police funding reform.
- Educate yourself on voter suppression and ask your Senator to support the Voting Rights Advancement Act
For the keyboard warrior
- Credit black writers and artists in your social media posts.
- Participate in Color of Change petition campaigns.
- Pull continuously relevant demands from the Movement for Black Lives ‘week of action’ (even after the week ends, the movement does not!).
- Join a #EduColor monthly chat on Twitter.
- Email your elected officials at every level about police reform.
One BONUS way to support black youth
Right now, funding is unpredictable yet engagement is more important than ever. 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.
Or give by texting showgoeson to 44321