Kindness is advocating for, supporting, and amplifying the voices of the Black community today, tomorrow, and always.
Here are just three steps you can take to help create a kinder, braver world in which Black Lives Matter:
1. Be An Ally and Educate Yourself + Others
Every single non-Black person can be an ally to the Black community.
Being an ally means recognizing one’s privilege, using your voice to lift and amplify Black voices, making a conscious effort to have conversations with the Black community and understand their struggle, and to actively speak up against the injustices when you witness them.
As stated in The Guide to Allyship, “As an ally, you need to be willing to own your mistakes and be proactive in your education.” Below are a couple of resources you can educate yourself with:
Organizations With Toolkits:
- Black Lives Matter – Offers toolkits for talking about Trayvon with white people, healing justice, and conflict resolution, compiled by Black Lives Matter.
- Racialequalitytools.org – Offers 2,500 resources including tools, research, tips, curricula, and ideas to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity.
- Giving Compass – Outlines common missteps and acceptable alternatives for white people who want to be allies to people of color and describes how organizations can incorporate these lessons into their culture and practices.
- TellBlackStories – A podcast from Color of Change, #TellBlackStories focuses on the most relevant social, political, and cultural issues impacting the Black community by elevating voices, stories, and work of change makers, content creators, activists, and leaders driving a movement for accurate portrayals of Black people.
- StillPRocessing – Join New York Times culture writers Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham as they discuss TV, movies, art, music and the internet and aim to understand the pleasures and pathologies of America in 2020.
- CodeSwitch – A race and culture podcast hosted by journalists of color at NPR that tackles the subject of race head-on, and explores how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports, and everything in between.
- Just Mercy – Throughout June, you can watch this movie for free + learn more about civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson and the history of systemic racism in our society’s criminal justice system.
- PBS Race Matters – PBS NewsHour held a special called “Race Matters: America in crisis,” which hosts conventions of leaders, experts, and newsmakers. Stream it for free here.
- 13th – A documentary in which “scholars, activists, and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.” You can watch the entire movie for free here.
- Let’s get to the root of racial injustice | Megan Ming Francis | TEDxRainier
- The danger of a single story | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time | Baratunde Thurston
- Color blind or color brave?| Mellody Hobson
2. Amplify and Invest in Black Voices
Amplify Black voices, Black stories, Black activism, and Black art. Lift up the voices of the countless inspiring members and groups within the Black community by following them, sharing and posting their stories and content (with credit).
Follow and amplify Black voices
Here are a few Black voices we are following on Instagram:
- Viola Davis, philanthropist and Academy-award winning actress
- Rachel Cargle, who also curates the Great Unlearn, a monthly self-paced syllabi of resources and critical discourse
- Kellie Brown, consultant
- Dr. Mariel Burque, therapist
- Morgan Harper Nichols, artist
Order take-out at Black-owned restaurants and Shop at Black-owned businesses
Several cities have been compiling lists of restaurants. The EatOkra app will also help you find local restaurants. James Beard Foundation also has a list of Black-owned restaurants in major cities + here’s a list of Black-owned restaurants in LA
And don’t forget to join our co-founder Lady Gaga in donating to, or supporting in any way you can, the following organizations:
- Loveland Foundation focuses on bringing opportunity and healing to communities of color, especially Black women and girls.
- Black Lives Matter works to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.
- Marsha P. Johnson Institute was created to elevate, support, and nourish the voices of Black trans people in undoing white supremacy in all of its forms.
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice.
- Color of Change designs campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back and champion solutions that move us all forward, until justice is real.
- Black Futures Lab works with Black people to transform communities, building Black political power and changing the way that power operates — locally, statewide, and nationally.
- Fair Fight promotes fair elections in Georgia and around the country, encourages voter participation in elections, and educates voters about elections and their voting rights.
- National Lawyers Guild is dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system.
- Community Justice Action Fund builds power for and with communities of color to end gun violence.
3. Do Your Civic Kindness
Your voice is important + it’s important you use it to contribute to a kinder and braver world. Here’s how you can use your voice and exercise your civic duties to help support the Black community:
Register to vote, learn which candidates are on your ballot and the issues they stand for, and volunteer your time to encourage others to vote.
Fill out the Census:
The census determines how 1.5 trillion dollars each year in federal funding is designated to states and communities. According to the 2020 Census, “Health clinics. Fire departments. Schools. Even roads and highways. The census can shape many different aspects of your community.” The census is also used for redistricting (drawing electoral district boundaries in the U.S.). Take the census here:https://2020census.gov/en.html + encourage your friends, family, and community to fill it out as well.
- NAACP #WeAreDoneDying Petition – “Demand sweeping police reform–federal legislation mandating a zero-tolerance approach in penalizing and/or prosecuting police officers who kill unarmed, non-violent, and non-resisting individuals in an arrest.”
- Movement for Black Lives’ Petition – Encourage elected officials to fight against the militarization in communities of color
- Here is an additional list of petitions to sign, compiled by Black Lives Matter.
Contact Your Officials
Call, text, or email your officials and police departments to learn about the policies and laws that govern police conduct. Have conversations with each department’s leaders, learn about your rights to access public records, and gain the confidence to hold them accountable for their actions. Here you can find a list of your federal, state, county, and local elected representatives. Black Lives Matter has texts, calls, and email templates if you need some guidance.
Protests are the reason we have been able to advance social and political justice. Learn about your right to protest, and remember, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, please only go outside and protest if you are healthy, safe, and able. You can also learn how to virtually protest here.