Black Lives Matter. What are some actions you can take to stop police brutality and work to end systemic racism?
The internet is full of so many useful suggestions on what folks can do to avoid remaining silent or complicit in the face of ongoing, systemic police brutality and violence directed at black bodies. Here is a short list of resources that we here at Metro DNA believe to be helpful jumping-off points for practicing thoughtful allyship, protesting safely, and taking action to combat police brutality and systemic racism. Keep in mind that this list is by no means comprehensive and that anti-racist actions of many kinds matter.
Artist, writer, and workshop facilitator Giselle Buchanan’s Instagram post, “I Want To Be An Ally But I Don’t Know What To Do: A Resource Guide,” not only provides helpful suggestions for practicing allyship, it’s a beautiful piece of art! Buchanan’s website, where you can find her poetry, artwork, and writings, also provides links to resources like the “Ultimate List of of Black Farms and Food Gardens” across the United States, the “Justice for Floyd Petition” that you can sign online, and a list of “Bail Funds Across the States,” among others.
You can find more links she provides and can access her Instagram Resource Guide to learn more and get involved. To donate to Buchanan for the labor of her creation and cultivation of resources, click here. For information surrounding the importance of donating to Bail Funds, check out this article from The Atlantic: “Why It Matters That So Many People Are Donating to Bail Funds.”
How you spend your money is political (Buchanan). 303 Magazine published a list of over three hundred and twenty-five black owned businesses in and around Denver to support. In the words of Brittany Werges at 303 Magazine: “As the protests against police brutality continue on, it’s more important than ever to look at ways Denver can support its black community” (Werges).
For protesters, there are steps you can take to know your rights and to help ensure your safety. This CNN article “If you’re planning to take part in protests, know your rights. Read this.” by Scottie Andrew that includes the perspectives of Emerson Sykes, staff attorney for the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, and Timothy Zick, Professor of Government and Citizenship at the College of William & Mary Law School, could be a helpful resource.
For those who are in a position to donate, a few organizations to consider supporting include: Black Lives Matter, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Colorado Freedom Fund, and the National Police Accountability Project.
Read up: Ibram X. Kendi, author, historian, professor, and leading antiracist voice, created an antiracist reading list. Kendi wrote: “To build a nation of equal opportunity for everyone, we need to dismantle this spurious legacy of our common upbringing. One of the best ways to do this is by reading books. Not books that reinforce old ideas about who we think we are, what we think America is, what we think racism is. Instead, we need to read books that are difficult or unorthodox, that don’t go down easily. Books that force us to confront our self-serving beliefs and make us aware that ‘I’m not racist’ is a slogan of denial” (Kendi).
As stated earlier, this post is brief, which means that we encourage you to do your own research in order to get educated and learn more about actions to take that aren’t mentioned here. We invite and encourage you to support the dialog and learning that will support our collective liberation.
It’s important to note that this post was written by a white woman. Author identity matters, so please take this into consideration when reading this post and when searching out other resources. While this post isn’t perfect, the author hoped to follow the advice of Giselle Buchanan to amplify and uplift black voices as an ally (Buchanan).