Hi Edgeryders community,
As you’ve probably heard by now, the United States is in the middle of what could be a watershed moment for racial justice. Racism against black people is endemic in the USA. Police brutality against black people is specifically a huge problem – the formal police force in the United States has its origin in slave patrols, so the history of brutality goes back a long way.
I’m writing because the support and involvement of the international community could go a long way to making sure this moment leads to larger institutional change in the United States.
Right now, there are a few things we need. This Black Lives Matter site straightforwardly lets you directly donate toward any of the broad areas where help is needed.
National Bail Out (link here): also known as #freeblackmamas. The criminal justice system in the US discriminates against and incarcerates black people en masse. Contributing to bail funds directly helps release incarcerated black people. You can also contribute to the bail funds to release protestors.
Reclaim the Block is an organization created to dismantle, defund and divest from police presence in the city. It invests in “violence prevention, housing, resources for youth, emergency mental health response teams, and solutions to the opioid crisis - not more police.” If you want to contribute to divestment from these police forces and investment in other community-based forms of aid, this is a good org to donate to. MPD150.com gives more information about what a police-free community could look like. You can also donate directly to families of victims of police brutality.
Supporting black-owned businesses that have been destroyed and other local efforts. This is a twitter thread of black-owned businesses that need support. If you want to give directly to support particular people in local communities, consider looking through these mutual aid funds to find direct links to businesses, people rebuilding their communities, and other initiatives.
Links 2 and 3 are Minnesota-specific, because that’s the context that I’m working in (and where this current movement originated). If you’d like to talk to me about the kinds of work you’re interested in directly supporting, I can also connect you to local activists. For example, there is a group that has created something called the Sanctuary in Minneapolis — taking over a Sheraton Hotel in the city to house displaced people, and provide people with food, clothes, and safety. They are taking direct donations via Paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently, I am also engaged in 3 efforts. First, pressuring corporations to match employee donations to the above and donating themselves. Second, pushing local organizations to cancel their contracts with the police (Minneapolis Public Schools have now cancelled their 1.1 million dollar contract. So has the Minneapolis Parks Board. As has 2 large Minneapolis museums, the MIA and the Walker). Finally, creating and disseminating a document for departments to sign that promise a set of concrete institutional changes to combat anti-Blackness and increase commitments to social justice in academia. If you’re interested in getting involved in any of these, please feel free to reach out.
If you can’t do any of the above, please consider boosting the voices of those in the movement who are sharing information and resources on social media to express solidarity and support – twitter and instagram in particular. Please do not post empty black squares on instagram because it is flooding feeds and inhibiting information access and resource sharing. Unless you want to troll the alt-right and white supremacists, in which case go ahead and post empty black squares using their hashtags. Contact me if you have questions about where to start. We can also engage in more global conversations on how colorism and anti-Blackness opresss people and hinder liberation movements everywhere.
Here is another document a friend has put together about workplace-specific action we can take.
Thanks for listening!