In response to the murder of George Floyd, I’ve put together resources I’ve come across for supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement and tackling the public health issue posed by police brutality. Many minority-owned businesses were shut out of the federal Paycheck Protection Program designed to help during the coronavirus pandemic, so as a firm believer in voting with your wallet and socially-conscious spending, I’ve included lists of black-owned business across the country.

National Organizations

  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is a historic civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909. From their about page:

    “The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.”

    Donate

  • The ACLU is another historic organization formed in 1920 in response to egregious civil liberties abuses in the years following WW1. With over a million members, hundreds of staff attorneys, and thousands of volunteer attorneys, the ACLU continues to fight government abuse and vigorously defend individual freedoms. They are currently taking donations to fund legal battles and urgent advocacy efforts.

    Donate

  • Know Your Rights Camp is Colin Kaepernick’s organization dedicated to advancing the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.

    KYRC has also started a Legal Defense Initiative, partnering with top defense lawyers and civil rights lawyers nationwide to provide legal resources for those in need.

    Donate

  • The Marshall Project—named after Thurgood Marshall, the first African American justice to serve on the US Supreme Court—is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. They strive to educate and enlarge the audience of people who care about the state of criminal justice.

    Donate

  • Founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, BLM Foundation is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada with the mission to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. BLM is fighting for immediate improvements for Black people by combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy (an important component in addressing Black Nihilism — a concept I first encountered reading Race Matters by Cornel West).

    Donate

  • Founded in 1992, the Innocence Project exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing, works to pass laws and implement policies that prevent wrongful convinction, and supports exonerees as they rebuild their lives post-release. Their mission is to free the staggering number of innocent people who remain incarcerated, and to bring reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment.

    Donate

Local Organizations

  • People’s Breakfast is led by widely recognized black socialists and descendant(s) of Black Panthers. They do community education and homeless support all the time in Oakland. Amidst what’s going on, they are organizing the release of black protestors who have been arrested recently and collecting bail money.

    Donate & support

  • Reclaim the Block began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety. They organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments.

    Donate

  • My Block, My Hood, My City provides underprivileged youth in Chicago with an awareness of the world and opportunities beyond their neighborhood. Through their Explorers Program, they take students on explorations focused on STEM, arts & culture, citizenry & volunteerism, health, community development, culinary arts, and entrepreneurism.

    In response to the recent looting, they’ve started a small business relief fund you can donate to, or if you’re in the area you can also volunteer to help.

    Donate

  • Black Girls Code is an organization started by Kimberly Bryant to provide girls of color ages 7 to 17 opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up. The vision is to introduce these fields to a new generation of coders who will one day become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.

    Donate

  • Twin Cities Recover Projects mission is to offer assistance and support to those suffering from substance use disorder in their transition toward lifestyles of health and productivity by offering a drug free environment as well as resources for holistic development.

    Donate

Black-Owned Businesses

  • This extensive list was put together by SF Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho. Supporting local businesses is a small way to make an economic impact on daily basis. I’m a firm believer in voting with your wallet and socially-conscious spending.

    Link (Google Spreadsheet)

  • Twitter thread of black-owned candle companies by @villainandeve.

  • Trippin pulled together this list of black-owned businesses in Los Angeles in collaboration with Joyce Wrice as well as other contributors who asked to remain anonymous. They are continuing to update their guides regularly and welcoming suggestions, so if you feel like sharing, you can email [email protected] They have also listed some local initiatives for you to donate to, if you can.

    Check it out

  • Trippin pulled together this list of black-owned businesses in New York in collaboration with Yasha Grubin, Jordan Caron, and Michelle Li, as well as other contributors who asked to remain anonymous. They are continuing to update their guides regularly and welcoming suggestions, so if you feel like sharing, you can email [email protected] They have also listed some local initiatives for you to donate to, if you can.

    Check it out

  • Trippin pulled together this list of black-owned businesses in Portland in collaboration with Lillian Hardy and Sam Jackson as well as other contributors who asked to remain anonymous. They are continuing to update their guides regularly and welcoming suggestions, so if you feel like sharing, you can email [email protected] They have also listed some local initiatives for you to donate to, if you can.

    Check it out

  • Chowhound has gathered this list of Black-owned culinary-forward businesses around the country, which can be supported during the coronavirus pandemic through online shops, and takeout and delivery options.

  • Chowhound published this article of Black-owned bars & restaurants in major cities around the US. Along with their own recommendations, they link out to individual lists per city, which I’ve included below:

    Atlanta
    Dallas
    Denver
    Los Angeles
    Louisville
    Minneapolis
    New York City
    Washington, DC (by I Don’t Do Clubs)
    Washington, DC (by Washington.org)

  • Across the country, black-owned bookstores have served as community gathering spaces, support for emerging authors, and educational resources. Consider picking up from one of these stores next time you’re looking for something to read, courtesy of Literary Hub.

  • Trippin pulled together this list of black-owned businesses in Chicago in collaboration with Bryce Sissac, as well as other contributors who asked to remain anonymous. They are continuing to update their guides regularly and welcoming suggestions, so if you feel like sharing, you can email [email protected] They have also listed some local initiatives for you to donate to, if you can.

    Check it out

  • A collaborative effort between Cannaclusive and ALMOSTCONSULTING, InclusiveBase is a database of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) who are leading the way in the cannabis renaissance. Use this list as a reference when you travel to legal states or shop in your home state and help amplify minority-owned cannabis businesses.

    Check out the database

  • Notion put together this list of Black designers who have worked in type design or are actively designing typefaces as part of their design practice. Additionally, they’ve included some reading on Black type designers & African writing systems, as well as BIPOC scholarships for type design and lettering education.

    Check it out

Petitions

  • Graduate student Travis Washington is petitioning the US government to enact a policy called the “Hands Up Act” that would punish police officers for shooting unarmed citizens with a 15-year mandatory prison sentence.

    Sign the petition

  • Breonna Taylor was an award-winning EMT and model citizen. She worked at two hospitals as an essential worker during the pandemic. A division of the Louisville Police Department performed an illegal, unannounced drug raid on her home, during which she was shot and killed. Not only were police at the wrong house, but the man they were looking for had already been arrested earlier that day. The perpetrators are facing no charges; this petition seeks justice for her senseless murder.

    Sign the petition

  • On February 23, 2020, 25 year-old Ahmaud Arbery was chased and gunned down by Travis McMichael, son of retired Brunswick investigator Greg Mcmichael, under the father’s and son’s pretenses of witnessing a burglary. The account wasn’t released until nearly 6 weeks following the shooting. Additionally, McMichael’s questionable account and the PD’s poor communication efforts following Arbery’s death lead many to believe he was a victim of racial profiling.

    Sign the petition

  • George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis police officer who choked him to death by kneeling on his neck to restrain him for arrest. The event was caught on video by bystanders, and George can be heard saying “I can’t breathe” and “mama.”

    UPDATE: As of June 1st, 2020 this was the biggest US petition of all time, and the officers involved have since been fired.

  • At 19, Julius Jones, a promising athlete with a bright future, was convicted of a murder he says he didn’t commit. He has lived on death row for 20 years, and is kept in solitary confinement 23 hours a day. There is evidence pointing to his innocence and explicit racial bias amongst the jury, some of which is outlined on the petition page. His story was also featured on the Wrongful Convictions podcast for those interested in learning more.

    Sign the petition

  • Tamir Rice’s murder was one of the most disgusting examples of injustice I’ve ever seen in my life. Only 12 years old, two police officers pulled up on him while he was playing with a toy gun in the park and shot him less than two seconds after arriving at the scene.

    His family has started a petition asking the Department of Justice to open a federal investigation into prosecutor McGinty’s handling of the grand jury process, and for the killing of an innocent 12 year old boy.

    Sign the petition

  • The same day that 19-year-old activist Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau posted about her rapist on Twitter and chronicled the incident in detail, she went missing. Her body was later found and her murder received little to no coverage by the media.

    Just hours before her disappearance, Toyin tweeted “Silence is the best weapon for some but not for me I will not be silenced.” She also posted about how she had been molested by a man on Richview and Park Ave., who came to her as a “man of God.” He offered to drive her to a nearby church she had been staying at for the past few days so she could go and collect her belongings. She had even given out the details of his appearance: “Mid 40’s lives in a gray painted duplex apartment-style house drives a white clean Silverado Chevrolet truck.” A short while later, she was dead. 

    Sign the petition

  • August 24th, 2019, 23-year-old Elijah McClain was walking home after buying some tea at a local convenience store. According to his family, Elijah, who was anemic, preferred to wear a ski mask to keep his face warm while he was walking. The Aurora Police Department received a call about a “suspicious man,” which resulted in Elijah’s death. After the McClain family requested the bodycam footage from the officers on scene it was reported that in the footage, “He is laying on the ground vomiting, he is begging, he is saying, ‘I can’t breathe.’ One of the officers says, ‘Don’t move again. If you move again, I’m calling in a dog to bite you,'” (Mari Newman, the McClains’ lawyer).

    He was pronounced dead August 27th, 2019, at only 23 years old of a heart attack. Denver 7 News stated, “…they couldn’t determine whether McClain’s death was an accident, was due to natural causes, or is a homicide related to the police department’s use of a carotid hold.” The officers on the scene were placed on temporary leave, however, they are back in the field with no charges. 

    Sign the petition

  • On Sunday, August 23, a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake at least seven times in the back at point blank in front of his young children. Blake, father of six, is now paralyzed from the waist down. Cell phone video footage shows Jake walking away from two police officers, and both have their weapons drawn on Jake as he attempts to enter his vehicle. Three of his kids were in the car when shots were fired. Witnesses say Jake had just broken up a fight between two women in the neighborhood when the police had arrived in response to a call regarding a domestic dispute.

    Sign the Color of Change petition

    Donate to his family’s GoFundMe

Resources

  • Carrd with aggregated resources for supporting recent BLM protests & causes. Included are places to donate, petitions, maps and other resources for protesters, etc.

    Link

  • #8CantWait is a project by Campaign Zero that seeks to bring immediate change to police departments by encouraging adoption of 8 “use of force” policies like banning chokeholds and requiring de-escalation, some of which have already been adopted by some departments around the US. You can see how many policies your city has enacted, contact your local representative, donate, and read the use of force study.

    In response to criticism following George Floyd’s death, #8CantWait published a statement acknowledging that policy-level changes won’t be enough to tackle the issues underlying death rates of black people by the hands of police without a system-wide paradigm shift that fundamentally reimagines the role of police with regard to public safety (like abolition).

  • MPD150 is an independent, community-based initiative challenging the narrative that police exist to protect and serve. In 2017, on the 150th anniversary of the Minneapolis Police Department, the group produced a performance evaluation of the MPD based on historical research and interviews with community members.

    They’ve put forth some interesting arguments for abolishing police through a gradual process of strategically reallocating resources, funding, and responsibility away from police and toward community-based models of safety, support and prevention.

    “The people who respond to crises in our community should be the people who are best-equipped to deal with those crises. Rather than strangers armed with guns, who very likely do not live in the neighborhoods they’re patrolling, we want to create a space for more mental health service providers, social workers, victim/survivor advocates, religious leaders, neighbors and friends—all of the people who really make up the fabric of a community—to look out for one another.”

    “Building a Police Free Future: Frequently Asked Questions”

  • Less directly related to BLM’s root cause, but another good resource. Demand Progress is a fiscally-sponsored project of Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)4 social welfare organization. Demand Progress seeks to protect the democratic character of the internet — and wield it to make government accountable and contest concentrated corporate power.

    They work to win progressive policy changes for ordinary people through organizing and grassroots lobbying. They focus on issues of civil liberties, civil rights, and government reform. I stay subscribed via email for constant updates on ongoing issues and active campaigns.

    Link

  • Places to donate, books and other educational materials put together by international travel and culture platform Trippin.

    Read more

  • Comprehensive Google doc with resources regarding missing people, petitions, places to donate, officials to contact, and miscellaneous educational materials.

    Link

  • Google doc created for anyone looking to broaden their understanding of “anti-racism” and actively combat racism, specifically as it relates to anti-Blackness and police violence.

    Link

  • This video project was created to offer people a way to donate and financially contribute to #blacklivesmatter without having any actual money or going out to protest themselves. Investing in our future can be difficult for young people, so 100% of the advertisement revenue this video makes through AdSense will be donated to the associations that offer protester bail funds, help pay for family funerals, and advocacy listed in the beginning of the video.

  • Abolitionist Futures is a collaboration of community organizers and activists in the UK and Ireland who are working together to build a future without prisons, police and punishment. They’ve put together a comprehensive reading list to introduce abolitionist ideas via short, accessible and introductory texts, podcasts and videos.

  • “When the U.S. became free in 1776, it wasn’t a celebration for everyone. Black Americans weren’t declared free for another 87 years, but it wouldn’t be until two and a half years after that, the last slaves would officially be freed.

    Juneteenth marks a day of liberation. We have reason to celebrate the journey and freedom of Black Americans in this country – and amidst all that’s happening in the 2020 we want to push for full recognition and celebration of this day on a national level.”

    Learn more about it at HellaJuneteenth.com.

  • This illuminating essay was written by a former California police officer, “Officer A. Cab” — I think the following excerpt speaks for itself:

    “As someone who went through the training, hiring, and socialization of a career in law enforcement, I wanted to give a first-hand account of why I believe police officers are the way they are. Not to excuse their behavior, but to explain it and to indict the structures that perpetuate it.

    I believe that if everyone understood how we’re trained and brought up in the profession, it would inform the demands our communities should be making of a new way of community safety. If I tell you how we were made, I hope it will empower you to unmake us.”

    Read more

  • Inspired by groundbreaking work in Seattle and Virginia showing how digital tools can illuminate structural racism and transform our understanding of the past, MappingPrejudice.org is a research project showing what communities of color have known for decades. Structural barriers stopped many people who were not white from buying property and building wealth for most of the last century. Racial covenants were tools used by real estate developers to prevent people of color from buying or occupying property. Often just a few lines of text, these covenants were inserted into warranty deeds across the country. These real estate contracts were powerful tools for segregationists. Real estate developers and public officials used private property transactions to build a hidden system of American apartheid during the twentieth century.

    In Minneapolis, these restrictions served as powerful obstacles for people of color seeking safe and affordable housing. They also limited access to community resources like parks and schools. Racial covenants dovetailed with redlining and predatory lending practices to depress homeownership rates for African Americans. Contemporary white residents of Minneapolis like to think their city never had formal segregation. But racial covenants did the work of Jim Crow in northern cities like Minneapolis.

    This history has been willfully forgotten, so Mapping Prejudice was created to shed new light on these historic practices. We cannot address the inequities of the present without an understanding of the past.