With all 50 states and at least 18 countries participating in Black Lives Matter demonstrations around the world, the New York Times has called this period in history “the biggest collective demonstration of civil unrest around state violence in our generation’s memory.” Michael "Killer Mike" Render, Run The Jewels rapper and civic leader & activist, recently addressed citizens of Atlanta, telling them to “plot, plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize.” Later, speaking on Real Time with Bill Maher, the musician explained that “protesting is the first step” for change, but "the stability comes through beating up your local ballot boxes."
Whether you’re protesting or staying inside, here’s how you can support the Black community in Boston and beyond right now.
1) GET INFORMED
In response to George Floyd’s murder, lawmakers are plotting action against police brutality and racial injustices at local and national levels. Lawmaking aside, many local and national publications have recently published articles aimed to educate people on racial inequality in the United States and the significance of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
• Massachusetts elected officials of color have laid out a 10-point plan with demands for police accountability and policies to advance racial justice at multiple levels of government. Federally, the plan calls on Congress to pass Ayanna Pressley’s Resolution to condemn police brutality, racial profiling and the excessive use of force. Locally, the plan calls on municipalities to declare systemic racism a public health crisis.
• The City of Somerville has already taken guidance from the aforementioned 10-point plan, declaring systemic racism a public health crisis. The city’s declaration also takes guidance from Campaign Zero’s #8cantwait project.
• See a list of anti-racist film viewing recommendations by the Coolidge Corner Theater here.
• WBUR has compiled a roundup of 5 podcasts to listen to if you really want to know about race in America.
• View the Obama Foundation's Anguish and Action website here.
• Read ‘How to Make this Moment the Turning Point for Real Change’ by President Obama here.
• Here's a list of books that can help you explain racism and protest to kids.
2) TAKE ACTION
Raise awareness, make a contribution, volunteer, and/or lend support to one of these organizations who are fighting the good fight at local and national levels:
• ACLU of Massachusetts
• BAMS Fest
• Black and Pink Boston
• Black Ministerial Alliance
• Black Lives Matter, Boston Chapter
• Equal Justice Initiative
• Families for Justice as Healing
• InnerCity Weightlifting
• Lawyers for Civil Rights Boston
• Louis D. Brown Peace Institute
• Loveland Foundation
• My Brother's Keeper 617
• NAACP Boston Branch
• New England Blacks in Philanthropy
• Operation L.I.P.S.T.I.C.K.
• Progressive Massachusetts
• The Base
• The Boston Black Hospitality Coalition
• The Boston TenPoint CoalitionI
• Violence in Boston
• #8cantwait, a Campaign Zero program
• Black Futures Lab
• Black Lives Matter
• Black Visions Collective
• Campaign Zero
• Center for Policing Equity
• Color of Change
• Fair Fight Action
• Know Your Rights Camp
• Movement For Black Lives
• National Black Justice Coalition
• National Police Accountability Project
• National Urban League
• Southern Poverty Law Center
• Split your donations
3) SUPPORT BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES
One way you can impact the Black community in a positive way is to support Black-owned businesses in the Boston area.
• Order takeout and delivery from local Black-owned restaurants and/or buy directly from Black-owned shops. Here's a Google Sheet of Black-owned restaurants, stores and services around Boston.
• Read this article on 18 Black-owned restaurants in Boston open for takeout or delivery.
• View this list of 60+ Black-owned restaurants in Greater Boston you can support right now, next week, next month, next year, and so on by @nailthecocktail.
• Buy books from Frugal Bookstore, the only Black-owned bookstore in Boston.
• To look up all black-owned businesses in any area around the country, check out Official Black Wall Street, The Black Wallet, and We Buy Black. These websites offer users a business directory of Black-owned businesses, digital resources for Black entrepreneurs, and an e-marketplace for Black-owned businesses, respectively.
• Here’s a list of 1500+ Black-owned businesses in Greater Boston.
4) DONATE WITHOUT MONEY
YouTuber Zoe Amira created an hour-long video highlighting Black artists. 100% of the ad revenue will be donated to organizations offering bail funds, financial support for victims’ families, and advocacy. View the video here.
The YouTube community, inspired by YouTuber Zoe Amira, has started creating videos monetized specifically to support the Black Lives Matter Movement. See the full list of videos here.
5) SIGN PETITIONS
Below is a list of petitions that support the Black Lives Matter Movement and demand action against racial injustices.
• Sign the petition to demand justice for Ahmaud Arbery here.
• Sign the petition to demand justice for Breonna Taylor here.
• Sign the petition to demand justice for George Floyd here.
6) OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT THE BLACK-COMMUNITY LOCALLY
• Partake in one (or more) of the many peaceful demonstrations that are taking place in/around Boston. See a list of upcoming Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the Boston area here.
• Check out this Thrillist's article on how you can support the Black community in Boston.
• Support local Black artists. View Allston Pudding’s Twitter thread of Black artists to support in Boston here.
• Read this article to learn about Boston-area restaurants that are running fundraisers and soliciting donations for a variety of organizations in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
• Educate yourself on the oldest nationally observed commemoration of the ending of slavery in the US at the MFA’s Juneteenth virtual event, ICA's Freedom Fête: A Virtual Juneteenth Celebration event. See more Juneteenth events here, here, here, and here.
• Call, text, or tweet at your local representatives to demand action. Here's a website that helps find representatives on the local, county, state, and federal levels.
Vote for people who support the Black community at local, state, and national levels. Barack Obama said in his recent Medium essay that, “… the elected officials who matter most in reforming police departments and the criminal justice system work at the state and local levels.” To confirm that you are registered to vote in the upcoming election, check your voter registration status here. If you haven't registered to vote, you can register here.