We’re about halfway through 2020 and it feels like the start of the new decade has brought us nothing but fear, illness, outrage, sadness, division, tears, tension, and violence.
2020 has been an eye-opening year. Once again, the avoidable death of an unarmed Black man at the hands of a police officer has sparked necessary public outcries. Racism, racial tension and inequality has been a pervasive part of the United States’ history. Personally, my heart has been heavy and my stomach has been in knots since George Floyd’s death, just as they were when other unarmed Black women and men (Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Jordan Edwards, Philando Castile, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others) were murdered in instances of excessive force by the police or by civilians.
But, I haven’t given up on 2020 yet. I’ve been encouraged by all of the people protesting racism and racially motivated violence, despite subjecting themselves to violence at the hands of the police. I’ve been encouraged by the global support of the Black Lives Matter movement by protesters in New Zealand, Canada, the UK, France, Brazil and Japan who are protesting in solidarity with us. I’ve been encouraged by all of our allies who are educating themselves on Black history, privilege, the root of racial tension, racial microaggressions, and systematic & institutionalized racism and using this information to restructure the system. So many people are committing themselves fighting to end racism and social injustice. I’ve been encouraged by the number of companies that have donated to causes that fight racism and inequality, like the Black Lives Matter organization the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
I’ve been encouraged by the action that I’ve seen. But there’s also been a lot of inaction. I’ve had conversations with people of various racial backgrounds who detest injustice, but haven’t taken any action to move our society toward true equality. Some of them have told me that they don’t see how their voice matters or that one person can’t really change anything.
This is false.
You should never diminish the YOUR power. YOU CAN change the world.
Although many of us have taken action, we can all do more to end racism and create the kind of world that we’d want our children and grandchildren to live in. Here are a few things that you can do:
1. Speak Up
- Text “FLOYD” and “ENOUGH” to 55156 to sign the Color of Change petition demanding justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
- You can find additional petitions here that demand for justice for more young women and men of color who were killed due to police violence.
- Use this resource to find the contact information of your state & local representatives. Call or email them to address your concerns and inquire about how new legislation and policies will be enacted to protect communities of color.
If you’ve been blessed with financial abundance and consider donating to causes that have a vision of equality and inclusion for our world. Personally, I donated to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Other important organizations are:
- Bailout Funds for Protestors
- Black Lives Matter Network
- Black Movement Law Project
- Black Voters Matter Fund
- Campaign Zero
- Color of Change
- Equal Justice Initiative
- Fund for Black Newspapers
- National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform
3. Buy Black
Empowering Black-owned businesses is an incredible way to empower and support the Black community. Pouring resources (monetary & in kind) equips Black communities and communities of color with the means to take care of ourselves, educate our youth, and empower future generations.
Many people, myself included, underestimate how much power they have and how they exercise that influence each time they head to the store or shop online. You don’t need to be a millionaire to use your money to push the world toward equality. You can show companies and brands how you feel by choosing to support them with your money or not. You can end your relationship with businesses that have a history or reputation for perpetuating social injustice. You can also stop spending your money with businesses who use their money to support political officials who overtly or covertly push discriminatory agendas.
Improve our country by redirect your funds to Black-owned businesses.
- Eat Oakra – app used to locate Black-owned restaurants.
- Official Black Wall Street – online marketplace for Black-owned businesses in the US.
- Support Black Owned -helps you find Black-owned businesses in your area.
- WeBuyBlack – the largest online marketplace for Black owned businesses globally.
Marching is protests and posting on social media are very useful methods of being attention to the Black Lives Matter movement, but do not forget or neglect to vote! Voting is the ultimate way of making sure that your voice is heard. Your voice is important and political officials listen to us when we mark our ballots. Make sure to vote nationally and locally! I’ve been guilty of skipping out on local elections, but our local representatives often have greater influence over our daily lives that the president does. This was my first year voting for local representatives and in the primaries and I will continue to vote for all elections.
We need to march to the polls with the same energy and passion that protestors have when marching in demonstrations.
- Register to vote.
- Check your voter registration status.
- November 3rd, 2020 is the date for our next presidential election, but also make sure that you are voting locally. Here are other election dates to be ready for.
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