Putting ending racism into action often feels like an impossible mountain to climb. After all, if there was an easy way, it wouldn’t continue to happen day after day. Intense feelings and emotions are running on a major high, and it may feel difficult to wield them in a way to effect widespread change. However, it’s not impossible. The past few painful days have created a huge opportunity for us as a nation to quickly push for longstanding positive change for the future of our Black Americans. There are three facets in particular that will amplify their voices and bring that change: leadership, mentorship, and donating to their defense.
There’s no question there is a disappointing amount of poor leadership in our local governments. They control the legislation that inhibits our communities to stand and prosper on their own…or doesn’t. I was speaking to someone recently who said to me: “I took a few years off from voting because I didn’t think I was educated enough to make the right choice.” I’m sorry, but…WHAT in the actual FUCK kind of excuse is that? If you’re here to just hang out and have a job, you’re doing it wrong. Our freedom is not free, it’s hard work to keep. Every single one of us must fight for it. We keep it by contributing to the conversation and making our voices actually count.
Taking voting seriously is an opportunity for us to influence how our leaders govern moving forward. Especially when it comes to where our tax dollars are being spent. Wanna make sure what happened this past weekend never happens again? This is the single most powerful thing you can do. Vote those involved and individuals in leadership above them OUT. If you think local politicians don’t influence their law enforcement, you’re wrong. Yes, it’s hard and confusing to fully educate yourself, but I promise you, it’s never mattered more than it does right now. Use this time being quarantined to read up on your state’s candidates, and the data/initiatives behind their work.
Resources To Vote
USA.Gov: haven’t got the slightest fucking clue where to start? This resource is will help you learn exactly what you need to do.
Rock The Vote: If the government websites are too confusing, you’re not alone. It can be a lot. This is an excellent place to start for younger voters!
This is where the good shit happens. It’s one of the things I’m most passionate about because this work is so fucking powerful. Think of a time when someone you respected or admired gave you advice or an opportunity. It’s something you’ve likely taken with you into adulthood and are applying to the journey of your life, and professional career. This is sorely lacking when it comes to our Black communities, especially after high school or college. Helping a budding future professional get the leg up they need or mentoring an educator in a Black school is the key to closing the wealth gap of our Black communities. Be a leader. Network on LinkedIn. Mentor someone subordinate to you in your office. Mentor our youth. Use your privilege to lift our Black Americans up.
National Alliance of Black School Educators
The Black Career Women’s Network
Soul Sisters Leadership Collective
Nothing changes if we don’t change. Our immediate circles, our family; standing up against racism starts right there. I’ve been listening and watching a lot of videos on social media, but one in particular really hit differently. Ivirlei NAILED it. If you’re afraid to stand up to racist comments in your immediate circle, you’re perpetuating the problem. It doesn’t stop there. It goes much deeper, into ourselves too. It’s no overnight fix, it’s okay to take it day by day. Striving to be the best version of yourself allows you to motivate others to do the same. Check your friends, check your family. Stand up for our Black Americans. They need our help. The following books are an excellent place to start if you’re ready to start doing the work to understand their side of the table.
100% OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THESE AFFILIATE LINKS WILL BE DONATED TO THE NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND, DONATED QUARTERLY.
Donating to relief and bail funds are very important. I’m so glad to see bail funds asking for redirection of funding to other initiatives! What’s top of the list? The second most powerful way to fight racism in our law enforcement is to aid the defense of our Black Americans. It’s deeply angering to see racism in our law enforcement run rampant because the majority of Blacks arrested or brutalized don’t have the means to protect their rights, whether due to knowledge or means. This must stop. How can you put this into action? Donate to causes that help them do just that.
I will update this article consistently as I come across new organizations, initiatives, and literature. Our work is not done. Ending racism starts with all of us. One step at a time.
Artwork by @stuffgracemade