In the weeks since the murders of, and , nationwide have erupted in response to the killing of Black people at the hands of police. And while you may want to support the protesters’ cause, there are many reasons why you may not be able to physically show up — including if you are immunocompromised, a caregiver, need childcare, have citizenship issues, or aren’t close to any demonstrations.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still support the Black Lives Matter movement and calls for police reform, social justice and racial equity. As such, we’ve compiled five ways to aid protest efforts from home. So whether you choose to donate your time or money, check out a few of the ways you can help, below.
One of the best ways to take action is to donate. A popular option has been donating tofunds — which post bail for those put in jail on pretrial detention — as they work to free those who have been arrested or detained. For a list of bail funds around the country, we’d advise looking toward The Community Justice Exchange’s by-state or ActBlue’s platform, which allows you to between bails funds in cities across the nation.
That said, many bail funds have beenand are now asking for people to donate to other community organizations dedicated to eradicating white supremacy and fighting for racial equity — the most notable of which is . Many other places like the and the are also currently accepting donations.
Additionally, there have also been calls online to give money tothat are doing things like directly helping certain communities (i.e. the ) or COVID-19 relief efforts (like ) — something that’s especially important given the way the pandemic has disproportionately affected communities of color. Regardless of where you decide to donate though, do your research beforehand and double check whether or not the organization actually needs help or if another organization could benefit more.
It’s great that y’all are contributing to bail funds, but many of them have more money than they can use rn (thanks to your help) so I encourage you to ALSO donate to mutual aid funds! They help the ppl we’re fighting for directly & are esp necessary during the pandemic. THREAD:
— lyd (@thegirlwithfood)
Not only that, but as noted by several other publications, watchingby creators who have pledged 100% of the ad revenue to Black Lives Matter-related organizations is a good way to help. Just make sure not to skip ads and ensure that your ad blocker is off.
Volunteer to Provide Supplies and Resources for Protesters
Money isn’t the only way to donate, though. If there are any local organizations looking for help, you can lend your skills and donate your time by volunteering to do anything from sewing masks for protesters tographics and signs. Another increasingly popular way to support protesters has been assembling filled with things like masks, hand sanitizer and water for those spending hours on the ground. Reach out to nearby protest organizers — starting with places like your — and see what you can provide and/or help hand out ahead of time.
On a more personal level, if someone you know is trying to attend a protest, you can help by doing things like providing childcare or volunteer to be someone’s emergency contact. And if adhering to strict social distancing protocol is less of a worry for you, volunteering to drive and/or pick up protesters from meet-up locations if you have a car is always welcome.
Sign Petitions and Contact Your Elected Officials
Signing onlineis always a good place to start. From those asking for the to seeking — a Black trans man who was murdered by the Tallahassee Police — there’s plenty of petitions available online. One of the most visible ones though is Black Lives Matter’s initiative, which is a push to curb spending on police and prisons and reallocate that money toward vital social services for communities of color.
You can read up on information about defunding the police and pushing for spending reform via the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’s, which contains important statistics and talking points on the subject. And once you’ve brushed up on this, you can find localized information — as well as the numbers and emails of your elected representatives who vote on city budget restructuring — via organizations like NYC’s and LA’s . Additionally, here is a very for what to say when contacting your representatives.
Educate Yourself and Learn About the Issues
It’s not your Black friends’ job to explain racism and its effects to you, and you have no excuse to put the onus on them when there are plenty of valuable resources at your disposal. One option is to start withlike James Baldwin’s Civil Rights Era essential The Fire Next Time and Angela Davis’s Freedom Is a Constant Struggle, which you have likely seen circulating via social media as of late. Even better, try and buy these books from a Black-owned bookstore, if you can.
In terms of online resources, we’re also big fans of thiscompiled by Instagram meme account , which contains material on how to dismantle systemic racism, as well as literature on privilege, Black history, policing and surveillance. And as activists and organizers continue to call for police abolition, reading up on the topic is key. As such, Verso Books is giving away free ebook downloads of Alex S. Vitale’s , or you can opt to start with something else from The Abusable Past’s , “Reading Towards Abolition: A Reading List on Policing, Rebellion, and the Criminalization of Blackness.”
Amplify Protests and Key Information via Social Media
Lastly, it’s important to remember to amplify and spread key information pertaining to protests, defunding initiatives, donation funds and more via your own platforms. Twitter, in particular, has become an essential hub of information from Black-led accounts for those wanting to keep up to date on ways to help and get involved. Though, as always, be wary ofand try to use your online presence to spread information and resources, rather than of allyship.
Welcome to “Internet Explorer,” a column byabout everything Internet. From meme histories to joke format explainers to collections of some of Twitter’s finest roasts, “Internet Explorer” is here to keep you up-to-date with the web’s current obsessions — no matter how nonsensical or nihilistic.
Photo via Getty/ Loic Venance