As protests continue over George Floyd’s death and the continued mistreatment of black Americans at the hands of police, many are looking for ways to demand justice while staying at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died in police custody May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck.
The bystander video of Floyd’s death spread quickly on social media, showing the officer driving his knee into Floyd’s neck as the handcuffed man repeatedly says he can’t breathe.
Four officers involved in the incident were fired, and on May 29, former officer Derek Chauvin was arrested, days after the video surfaced.
On June 7, Minneapolis City Council members announced their intent to disband the city’s police department.
If you’re looking to get involved outside of organizing in person, we’ve rounded up a list of ways you can take action from home, including ideas specific to demanding justice for Floyd and addressing racism in general:
• Call or send letters to your local politicians and leaders in your state or city if there are issues you would like to see addressed.
• Sign the petition Justice for George Floyd: change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd
• #JusticeforFloyd: act.colorofchange.org/sign/justiceforfloyd_george_floyd_minneapolis
• Justice for Breonna Taylor: change.org/p/andy-beshear-justice-for-breonna-taylor
• #DefundThePolice petition by Black Lives Matter: blacklivesmatter.com/defundthepolice
• #JusticeforBigFloyd petition by the Grassroots Law Project: justiceforbigfloyd.com/#petition
• Contribute to a video petition organized by colorofchange.org by filming a video of yourself demanding justice for Floyd.
• Official George Floyd Memorial Fund: gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd
• I Run With Maud fundraiser for Ahmaud Arbery: gofundme.com/f/i-run-with-maud
• The NAACP Legal Defense Fund: naacpldf.org
• Black Lives Matter: secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
• Communities United Against Police Brutality: cuapb.org
• The Minnesota Freedom Fund: minnesotafreedomfund.org
• The Minnesota Healing Justice Network: paypal.me/mnhealingjustice
• The Bail Project: bailproject.org
• Your local bond/bail fund: Many organizations in states and cities across the country accept donations that go to paying bail/bond and are also fighting to abolish the money bail system and pretrial detention. The National Bail Fund Network has a directory of community bail funds at communityjusticeexchange.org/nbfn-directory.
• Black Visions Collective: blackvisionsmn.org
• Spiral Collective: paypal.me/spiralcollective
• Northstar Health Collective: northstarhealthcollective.org/donate
• Reclaim the Block: reclaimtheblock.org/home
• Black Table Arts: blacktablearts.com
• Black Girls Code: blackgirlscode.com
• Isuroon: isuroon.org
• ERASE Racism: eraseracismny.org
• Campaign Zero: joincampaignzero.org
• The National Black Justice Coalition: nbjc.org
• Emergency Release Fund: emergencyreleasefund.com
• The African American Police Forum: aapf.org
• Southern Poverty Law Center: splcenter.org
Provide resources for protesters, communities
• Women for Political Change: facebook.com/MNWFPC
• Hunger Solutions: hungersolutions.org
• The ACLU has a helpful guide for knowing your rights if you’re organizing a protest: aclu.org/know-your-rights/protesters-rights
• Food bank donations are crucial. FoodFinder.us and feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank are helpful places to narrow your search for local food banks.
• Donate to local homeless shelter: Search for and donate to local shelters and organizations — there are even charities that will pick up your donations for free, like donationtown.org/charity/homeless.
• Help clean up communities that have seen large protests.
• Provide protestors with water and/or a snack. Offer face masks and hand sanitizer.
• Get involved with your local Black Lives Matter chapter: blacklivesmatter.com/chapters
• Volunteer online with the United Nations and their “Let’s Fight Racism” initiative: un.org/en/letsfightracism
• Volunteer with Rock the Vote to help people register to vote: rockthevote.org/get-involved
Learn ways to be actively anti-racist
• Urge schools to integrate diversity into the curriculum.
• Encourage students to study diverse historical figures.
• Bring diverse voices into schools.
• Read about race.
• The National Black Lives Matter At School network of educators and supporters has activity guides with kid-friendly language that help educate about race: blacklivesmatteratschool.com. The D.C. Area Educators for Social Justice website also has resources for kids and teens: dcareaeducators4socialjustice.org/black-lives-matter/13-guiding-principles.
• Address racism and microaggressions at home with family, friends: “The key way to be antiracist is to name, interrupt and counter racist ideas and actions in our everyday lives,” Dr. Amanda Taylor, senior adjunct professorial lecturer, School of International Service at American University, told USA TODAY. Amnesty International suggests using “I” statements when confronting a family member or friend: “Rather than saying ‘You’re a racist,’ talk about how those comments are impacting you and how you are feeling about it,” their website states. They also suggest clarifying the other person’s stance, talking to them quietly and not getting too aggressive, which may lessen the effectiveness of your “persuasive powers.” Amnesty International has a couple of suggestions for dealing with racists online, which include “Deleting or blocking them” and “sharing a link that explains the holes in their views.”
• Preemptively help educate others by talking to people in your own life about how systems of oppression affect marginalized groups.
• Demand change from brands.
• Question the media outlets you read.
• Understand privilege: “It is also important, as white people, for us to remember that we will never ‘get it.’ We are all subject to racist ideas and we will never fully understand the experience of our black community members, no matter how much we read, study, think or learn, or how many black friends we have, or even if we have black romantic partners or children,” Taylor said.
• Question yourself about privilege.
• Actively acknowledge and support members of the LGBTQ+ communities.
• Research your state’s civil rights history to be better informed about your community’s legacy and racial roots.
• Avoid being silent: “Particularly white people who want to be allies, stop it, call it out. Say, ‘That’s not funny.’ Silence looks a lot like complicity,” Lorenzo Boyd, associate professor of criminal justice, director of the Center for Advanced Policing and assistant provost of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of New Haven, told USA TODAY. “You have to physically say, ‘That’s not cool, you can’t say that.’”
• Accept you’ll make mistakes and apologize.
• Actively seek out black businesses to support. The Official Black Wallstreet app helps businesses gain exposure and gives people an easy way to search for companies. The EatOkra app allows you to search for black-owned restaurants in your area.
• Join the “15 Percent Pledge,” a petition that challenges “major retailers to pledge 15% of their shelf space to black-owned businesses.” Brother Vellies designer Aurora James launched the campaign and is calling on stores including Whole Foods, Target and Barnes & Noble to take the challenge.
Other ways to help
• Vote! Boyd says political action is another vital part in taking action. “Going to the polls,” he explained. “white America just by the numbers has a lot more voting power and a lot more political power than black America does, so to have white America agree to levels of accountability for politicians” is important.
• Support black-run podcasts such as “Earn Your Leisure” and “ForAllNerds.” There are also podcasts that specifically focus on race, including “About Race,” “Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast” and “Intersectionality Matters!”
• Educate yourself with movies and TV: A few examples are Ava DuVernay’s documentary “13th,” George Tillman Jr.’s “The Hate U Give,” Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Moonlight,” and Denzel Washington’s “Fences.” DuVernay’s Netflix limited series “When They See Us” is required viewing for the intersection of race, incarceration and justice in the United States. “Little Fires Everywhere” on Hulu and “Watchmen” on HBO both weave race and generational inherited trauma into their tales of justice. For lighter fare, Issa Rae’s HBO comedy “Insecure” shares a slice-of-life look at a group of black women in Los Angeles and their triumphs and struggles.
Contributing: Lokela Blanc, Ryan W. Miller, Jordan Culver and Felecia Wellington Radel, USA TODAY; Deena Bouknight, More Content Now