Here’s how you can support Black Lives Matter, both nationally and locally here in NYC.
Last week, the world witnessed the brutal killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old man who died after having his throat crushed under the knee of a Minneapolis officer while the rest of his body pinned to the ground by three more. This, along with a series of racial injustices all in the same short period of time, has culminated in a global outcry for justice. Protestors have hit the streets in the wake of a pandemic to demand a change in a system riddled with inequalities that have a devastating impact on Black people.
For a radical transformation action is necessary; to be a part of the change and support the powerful movement, here are some tangible things you can do right here in your own city, today (and continue to do):
1. Donate to bail funds.
Free Them All for Public Health, the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, and COVID Bail Out NYC are all working to meet bail for Black people held in incarceration and those arrested while marching in the Black Lives Matter movement here in New York City, but both have asked that funds to redirected to other organizations at this time, in different cities. The National Bail Fund Network is consistently updating this list to share which cities are in most need at a given time.
Note: if you’d like to split your donations across multiple funds, you can do so here.
2. Sign petitions.
This petition by Change.org demands the other three officers involved in George Floyd’s murder are held accountable. The Color of Change petition demands that Mayor Frey block all four officers from receiving their pensions and ban them from ever working in the force in the future. You can sign that one here. Black Lives Matter has added a comprehensive list to their website here. They note that you should not donate money to Change.org.
3. Donate to victim funds.
Help the families pay funeral costs and get justice.
- George Floyd Memorial Fund: Donate directly to the family of George Floyd via this gofundme created by his brother, Philonise Floyd.
- George Floyd’s Sister’s Fund: Further support George Floyd’s family’s mission in getting justice for his death through this gofundme set up by George Floyd’s sister, Bridgett Floyd.
- I Run With Maud: Donate to the family of Ahmaud Marquez Arbery, who was murdered in February while jogging.
- Justice For Regis: Donate to the family of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, who fell off a balcony and died after a confrontation with the police.
- Justice for Jamee: Donate to the family of Jamee Johnson, who was shot four times in the chest by a police officer during a traffic stop.
- See a full list of victims’ donation pages on the Black Lives Matter website here.
4. Follow organizations and leaders to keep you informed and educated.
This list from Variety offers a good start.
5. Show solidarity by participating in a protest or vigil, if you are able.
This Instagram account re-shares planned protests and vigils going on in NYC. Of course we are still in the midst of a pandemic, so some safety recommendations include continuing to wear face masks, social distancing as much as possible, etc. This article from VICE provides more info on protesting during a pandemic. And everyone must make the decision that is best for them and their risk of COVID-19. Here’s today’s schedule:
- Times Square at 3pm
- Sheridan Square at 5pm
- Pride Vigil at East 9th and Ave D at 6pm
- Fulton & Nostrand at 5pm in Brooklyn
- McCarren Park 7:30pm in Brooklyn
- Pride Vigil (Silent Vigil) Kings Plaza at 10pm in Brooklyn
- 472 86th St. at 6pm in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
- Vigil at Astoria Park Playground, 7pm, Astoria, Queens
6. Donate to mutual aid networks in your community.
Mutual aid networks provide food and resource distribution for communities of color, immigrant and working class people right in your own neighborhood. Here are a few NYC ones:
- Bed-Stuy Strong
- Crown Heights Aid
- Flatbush United
- Astoria Mutual Aid Network
- South Brooklyn Mutual Aid
- NYC Black Mutual Aid Network (not accepting donations as of yet but has started this thread of other suggestions for donations)
7. Support Black-owned businesses.
A New Yorker restaurant editor has started this Google doc of Black-owned restaurants and bars in NYC, and the app Eat Okra lets you find locally, Black-owned restaurants in your community. Black-Owned Brooklyn is also a good resource for Brooklynites.
8. Educate yourself on the history of institutional racism in the country and NYC.
As the Black Life Matters website reads, “When You’re Done: Educate Yourself. This Doesn’t Go Away Once The Topic Isn’t ‘Trending.'” This Google document made to help deepen anti-racism work is a good place for start.
9. …And then have conversations with family and friends about it.
Speaking about the issues and helping to educate others in your circles is a vital step to making sure everyone is an ally to the cause.
10. Contribute to the mental health of Black people.
It is an incredibly trying time for this community. The grassroots organization The Okra Project has created the Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund and the Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund to raise money to pay for one-time mental health therapy sessions for Black trans women, Black transfeminine people, and/or Black folks who identify as transgender. You can find out more here. Here is also a resource that can be shared: Therapy for People of Color.
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