With the wave of protests following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and countless other Black individuals at the hands of police, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained more momentum. Many of us are searching for new ways to become helpful, anti-racist allies from home as well.
In a community of college students and 20-somethings, it’s important to not be too hard on yourself if you aren’t in a place where you can donate or provide financial support — but that doesn’t mean your work for justice is over. Here are 25 free ways to help the movement if you don’t have the means to donate to organizations right now.
Expand your knowledge on the history of racism, how racist ideology has shifted today, and the racist ties in the police force.
- 13th ((Netflix)
- The House I Live In (Tubi)
- Slavery by Another Name (PBS)
- Black Panthers (PBS)
- The Black Power Mixtape (Amazon Prime Video)
Read & Listen
Reading Black-written text and listening to podcasts by Black journalists helps you to take note of Black experiences, with specific areas that need support right now.
- Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis
- Who Do You Serve? Who Do You Protect? edited by Joe Macaré, Maya Schenwar, and Alana Yu-lan Price
- The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
- Revisionist History podcast hosted by Malcolm Gladwell
- 1619 hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones
- The Nod hosted by Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings
- You can select your city and state and find a pre-written email to send to your government officials urging them to defund local police here.
- Input your name, city, state, and country into this email-writer to craft a message calling for justice for Breonna Taylor.
- Contact your state reps to inquire about how the police are trained in your state with this template.
Petitions can easily be found via Twitter, and here are a few that still need help:
28-year-old Dion Johnson was shot and killed by police while taking a rest on the side of the road during a long drive, and the escalation to his death is still unknown. Sign this petition to urge justice for Dion Johnson, as his family is actively searching for more answers involving his death.
Help Uniting America Through Wisdom communicate to the city of San Antonio, TX their demands regarding police brutality.
Uniting America Through Wisdom (U.A.T.W) has created a petition for peace and justice in the city of San Antonio. Some notable points on their list of demands include a zero-tolerance policy for racism and discrimination in all police departments, jails, and courthouses as well as more juridical steps to provide justice for those lost to police brutality.
Kenneth Realms, now 44 years old, became the youngest person on Arkansas’ death row at age 18 for a murder he did not commit, and has spent the last 26 years in solitary confinement. When he was a teenager, Realms helped a friend commit a robbery so he could afford his cap and gown, with no intent to harm anyone. During the attempt, Realms’ friend impulsively pulled the trigger, shooting and killing a white victim. His friend, who pleaded guilty, was sent to life in prison with no parole, and Realms, who pleaded not guilty, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death, despite multiple witnesses and evidence proving Realms’ innocence.
Attend or assist protests
Attending protests is, of course, one of the most important ways you can show up for the Black community right now. However, sometimes protests tend to happen at inopportune times, especially for those who work.
If you can’t attend, but still want to help, you can provide transportation for friends/family who are protesting as public transportation and parking is quite unreliable. You can also monitor police scanners in your state during protests, allowing dangerous information to be accessible to those who need it (i.e, posting on social media). Keeping track of your friends who are protesting is also a very important job, as people have gone missing since protests began. Urge your friends and family to text when they arrive, if they get separated, and when they get home, and make sure to check in regularly. Actively searching Twitter and social media for updates regarding your local protest and relaying that information to those protesting is a crucial effort, as many protestors may not be able to get on social media. You can also provide childcare to those who can’t bring their kids with them to protest, as well as refuge and phone numbers to protesting friends and family in case of emergency.
All means of activism, monetary donations, or non-monetary, are crucial ways to help the Black Lives Matter movement inch closer to justice, — so don’t let your bank account stop you.