One Yard

Rise Up: 6 Ways You Can Join The Fight for Black Lives

HBCUs have long been committed to championing Black lives — and they have a storied history of empowering Black youth to serve as change agents within their respective communities and professional fields.

In the 1960s, HBCU students played a pivotal role in the Civil Rights movement by educating students on the power of using their voice to make a difference. The same can be said of the Black Lives Matter movement. In recent months, as our country continues to grapple with the effects of institutionalized racism many of our brothers and sisters have been celebrating and honoring Black lives in unique ways — and you can, too.

Whether it’s taking to the streets, creating art for the culture or donating money to fundraisers for those impacted by the criminal justice system, there are so many ways each and every one of us can get involved in the Black Lives Matter Movement. Every role in this movement is important because we’re in this fight together as one. That said, we’ve compiled six ways you can take action today. Let’s get free!

Every role in this movement is important because we’re in this fight together as one.

Donate Your Dollars

Can’t protest? No worries. Donate your dollars to reputable fundraisers for the families impacted by police misconduct. It’s a loving way to show your support and it will help lighten their financial load. One easy way to tell a fundraiser is legit is by checking the comments to see if family members or friends have left any supportive messages. That’s when you know it’s the real deal. In addition to these funds, you can also give money to national bail organizations like National Bail Out and The Bail Project, which help individuals in need of bail assistance.

Attend A Local Protest

In recent months, there’s been a resurgence of protests across the globe — from Los Angeles and New York to London, Paris, even Australia — in support of the Black Lives Movement. These necessary public demonstrations are a powerful way to show your support and honor those affected by police misconduct. They’re also a concrete way to raise your voice and demand change.

You can find an array of demonstrations on the Citizen app, neighborhood-specific Facebook pages, and through the social media accounts of different activists and community organizers in your area. Be vigilant and as safe as possible while protesting.

Give Back at a Food Pantry

Food pantries need your help now more than ever, as a lot of them have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out Feeding America for a list of food banks near you who are in the assistance of volunteers to help pack, prepare, and deliver meals to those in need. Additionally, if you have nonperishable food at home you’re not using, consider donating them to local food banks accepting donations.

Spread The Word

Freedom work ain’t easy, but it’s necessary. Let’s lift up our brothers and sisters on the frontlines of the Black Lives Matter Movement by amplifying their voices on social and in real life and helping them mobilize people for protests, fundraisers and any important community ventures. Engaging and sharing the work of activists, organizers and community leaders not only lets them know they’re supported and cared for, it can serve as fuel and motivation to continue this heavy but vital work.

Vote, Vote, Vote!

If you’re eligible to do so, vote for politicians and community leaders who support the Black Lives Matter Movement and are advocating for policy to eradicate police brutality and aid in criminal justice reform. Your vote is your voice so go out there to the voting booths for national, state and local elections and make sure you’re heard. You can find a full calendar of upcoming elections on Ballotpedia.

Support Programs Pushing For Racial Justice and Equality

Another way to show your support for the Black Lives Matter Movement is by supporting organizations at the forefront of the fight for racial justice and criminal justice reform. Some programs to look into include the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization providing legal representation to people who’ve been wrongfully convicted, as well as the The National Council, which is fighting to end incarceration of women and girls while advocating for more community-led health, wellness and drug programs. Consider making a donation, amplifying them on your social media accounts and sharing links to their initiatives with family and friends who are also interested in joining the movement.

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