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In the United States, Black people have lived through a long history of racial injustice and senseless, institutionalized violence. This isn’t their battle to fight alone. Here’s how you can help in the fight for equality and racial justice.

How You Can Be an Ally to the Black Lives Matter Movement

How You Can Be an Ally to the Black Lives Matter Movement

In the United States, Black people have lived through a long history of racial injustice and senseless, institutionalized violence. This isn’t their battle to fight alone. Here’s how you can help in the fight for equality and racial justice.

Tony McDade, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor.

In the past few weeks, these four human beings lost their lives for no reason other than the color of their skin. They follow countless before them. This is not a new phenomenon. It’s only now, thanks to camera phones and social media, that the wider world is bearing witness to the horrors that Black people face every day.

It has to stop.

It’s time for all of us to step up and show our solidarity and support. We need to listen, we need to learn, we need to act. Black people shouldn’t have to fight this battle alone. This is a movement that needs all of us.

If you want to help, but are not sure how, here’s a good jumping off point. We’ve compiled a list of resources we can all use to become better allies to the Black Lives Matter Movement.

As a note, we've gone dark on all our social accounts as a part of #BlackOutTuesday.

PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Wallheiser

Acknowledge Your Blind Spots

We all have implicit biases. That’s OK to admit! But civilization is about working against our baser instincts. We won’t be able to change our prejudices until we address that we have them in the first place.

Start with Harvard’s Project Implicit. It allows you to take a series of tests to see where your unconscious biases lie—looking at race, gender, age, weight, disability and sexuality.

Learn about what it means to have racial privilege. Courtney Yahn does a good job of breaking down the basics of white privilege. Also, understand the covert forms of white supremacy you may not even know you are engaging in. You know not to use a racial slur, but how about tone policing? Or tokenism? Here is a powerful guide to get started. If any of these terms are unfamiliar to you, please take time to look them up.

Read, Read, Read!

There are some incredible resources out there, from the history of racial injustice in the United States, to guides on what you can do right now. Start with Corrine Shutack’s “75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice.” Number 38 on the list? De-colonize your bookshelf. Here’s a good place to start:

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

by Michelle Alexander

Legal scholar Michelle Alexander says, “We have not ended racial caste in America, we have merely redesigned it.” She speaks to how Black men were targeted during the War on Drugs, and how the justice system has been decimating Black communities.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race

by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge examines the history of structural racism, and discusses white dominance and politics, Black history, and the link between class and race.

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

by Robin DiAngelo

Anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo discusses the phenomenon of white fragility and the defenses that white people put up when faced with issues of race. She talks about how anger, fear and guilt often turn into silence, breaking down any beneficial cross-racial dialogue.

Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This book is a letter from author Ta-Nehisi Coates to his young son, detailing the history of Black people in the United States—from the Civil War to the South Side of Chicago—and answering questions like, “What is it like to inhabit, and live with, a black body?”

If You Can, Donate

A lot of groups are doing impressive work in galvanizing the public to take action on issues of race. Here are just a few:

Let Us Breathe Fund was created in the wake of the murder of Eric Garner. They provide funds to Black and mulitracial organizations fighting structural violence and racism in New York City.

Black Youth Project 100 is a national organization of Black 18-35 year olds working towards racial justice through direct-action organizing, advocacy and political education.

Equal Justice Initiative works to provide legal representation to those wrongly convicted or unfairly sentenced.

NAACP builds political power and supports communities of color.

National Urban Fund is an advocacy group working to bring economic empowerment, academic opportunities and civil rights to the underserved in America.

PHOTO CREDIT: Andrew Burton

Listen and Learn

It is not up to your Black friends and colleagues to educate you. But when those who have been affected are speaking, listen. Do not dominate the conversation if you are not a member of the Black community.

There are plenty of resources to get learning. Ava DuVernay has launched ARRAY101, a companion to her Netflix series, “When They See Us” about New York’s Exonerated Five. The project provides learning materials to help viewers understand the prison system and systemic injustice.

Learn the difference between being “not racist” and being “anti-racist.” Ibram X. Kendi’s “A House Still Divided” is a great place to start.

Many podcasts are having important conversations about racial justice in the United States. Here are a few of our favorites:

1619

In 1619, a ship carrying enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia. This was the beginning of 250 years of slavery. The New York Times and journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones tell the story of slavery in America.

Code Switch

NPR’s “Code Switch” discusses how race affects every aspect of our society—from politics to pop culture to sports and history.

Pod Save the People

Activist DeRay Mckesson breaks down culture, politics and social justice with the help of fellow activists, experts, influencers and leaders.

PHOTO CREDIT: Andrew Burton

Take Care

Black people face aggressions daily. Seeing the state of affairs lately will, understandably, take a mental toll. Check in with your friends. Make sure they are doing OK. Be a shoulder to lean on and a ear to listen.

Be careful when sharing images and videos. Seeing visuals of violence can be triggering. Take care to be sure you are helping, not hurting.

By taking the time to read up on resources and educate yourself, you are already taking care to be a beneficial, thoughtful ally. Go you! Now, take action.