The death of George Floyd was a brutal and jarring reminder of the deeply rooted systemic racism within our country’s law enforcement. It has never been a secret that Black Americans face the highest rates of policing and subsequent police brutality. A study done in 2019 on the Columbus, Ohio police department found that, “while Black people make up 28 percent of the city’s population, about half of the use-of-force incidents by city police were against Black residents.”
National Academy of Sciences found through an August 2019 study that, “based on police-shooting databases found that between 2013 and 2018, Black men were about 2.5 times more likely than white men to be killed by police, and that Black men have a 1-in-1,000 chance of dying at the hands of police.” The statistics which prove the realities of systemic racism within our system are endless, as has been the oppression of Black Americans since the nation’s inception. It is time that everyone, especially white people and non-black POC, stand up against a system that oppresses its people and make it heard that Black Lives Matter.
As allies, it is our job to listen to and follow Black leadership; share resources and amplify the voices of the Black community; speak out and have difficult conversations with non-black people in our lives, and most importantly, educate ourselves on the truth and history of systemic racism and unlearn our own internal biases. You can do this by donating to bail funds and organizations run by those within the Black community; signing and sharing petitions; joining peaceful protests; writing to local officials to demand justice, and engaging in books and media created by Black artists to educate yourself on their experiences.
Even then there is still so much more left to be done, but if we start here, real change may begin to seem possible.
As there is an abundance of opportunities to help, it is difficult to know where to start. Here is a compiled list of resources to help you learn and educate others, and begin the work that should have been done hundreds of years ago.
- NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Color of Change
- Black Lives Matter
- George Floyd’s daughter’s fund, run by Tiffany Lee of Stewart Trial Attorneys on behalf of Roxie Washington
- Justice for Regis Korchinski Paquet
- Justice for Dion Johnson
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- 135 different funds and organizations dedicated to Black issues, as compiled by NY Magazine
- Mandatory Life Sentence for Police Brutality – Change.org
- Sign the Tallahassee Dream Defenders’ Petition for Tony McDade
- Text “JUSTICE” to 668366 to sign MoveOn’s petition for George Floyd or sign here
- Sign Color of Change’s Petition for George Floyd
- Text “ENOUGH” to 55156 or sign this petition to demand justice for Breonna Taylor
- Hand’s Up Act to punish police for shooting unarmed citizens
- NAACP #WeAreDoneDying Petition
- Justice for Belly Mujinga
- Justice for João Pedro
- Sign the Movement for Black Lives’ petition to push elected officials to fight against the militarization in communities of color
- Find your Legislator
- Use this template to contact your representative and push them to consider changing police training to decrease police brutality
- Black Liberation Reading List by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
- Education for Liberation Resource Hub
- 13 books on the Black experience in America via the Chicago Tribune