Updated: Nov 19
With the recent death of George Floyd caught on camera and now having gone viral, in addition to protests against police brutality taking place in every state across America, there has been a surge of support and media attention towards the Black Lives Matter movement.
While a lot of the supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement are old enough to vote or protest on their own, many are either too young or simply do not feel safe doing so, especially with consideration to the global pandemic still going on. Here are some simple ways to help out the movement and make your voice heard regardless of your age.
1. Sign Petitions
Although I’m sure you have heard of this before, change.org is a website where anyone can start an online petition towards a specific cause. After the petition begins to circulate and gain attraction from others, certain signature milestones are set for the petition. Petitions on this website are created for a plethora of reasons and can be easily shared and signed to spread a message about something. There is no age limit or restriction for creating and signing them which makes it so accessible to people. The petitions are often addressed to someone specific and in the wake of George Floyd’s death, there have been hundreds of petitions being created to get justice in his name as well as for others in the black community who have been wrongfully treated by the police. Below are just a few links to petitions that you can sign, with either your name or anonymously. With so many signing these petitions, cases regarding police brutality have actually been reopened and those responsible for taking these innocent lives are being charged!!
Justice for Breonna Taylor: https://www.change.org/p/andy-beshear-justice-for-breonna-taylor
Justice for Emerald Black: https://www.change.org/p/san-leandro-police-deartment-justice-for-emerald-black
Justice for George Floyd: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd
Justice for Tamir Rice: https://www.change.org/p/justice-for-tamir-rice-appoint-a-special-prosecutor
Justice for Ahmaud Arbery: https://www.change.org/p/district-attorney-tom-durden-justice-for-ahmaud-arbery-i-run-with-maud
2. Support Black Owned Businesses
Due to the unjust looting taking place during recent protests, businesses are struggling to recover from the damage being done, many of which are black owned. It is important to realize that protestors are trying to raise awareness, while looters are simply taking advantage of the situation at hand. Looters are deliberately destroying towns and diminishing the success that black people have spent years working towards. A way to help these businesses get back on their feet is to support them online with donations, so they can replenish their stores, or by simply ordering their products. There are plenty on Etsy to look into and support!
Businesses to support:
Speaking of online donations, there has recently been lists of organizations created that you can donate to. Some of these organizations are directly funding the Black Lives Matter movement, while others are for bailing out people who have been wrongfully arrested at protests as well as memorial funds in remembrance of George Floyd’s life. If you physically don’t have money, but still want to help, there are videos being made on YouTube that highlight black creators whether that be singers, artists, etc. and creators are compiling videos of these talents. If you stream the video in it's full duration and watch all of the ads on the video, then all of the AdSense revenue will be donated to the Black Lives Matter movement. This way, you are indirectly donating to the movement and making a difference; every dollar helps!!
Stream to Donate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCgLa25fDHM
4. Contact Officials
Since the brutal murder of George Floyd took place in Minneapolis, there has been an influx of people around the country calling for the officers to be charged and convicted for murder in the first degree. At the time of writing this, the four officers involved in the incident are now in custody and some have been charged with second degree murder. This was raised from the initial charge of third degree murder, although people are still pushing for the degree to be raised further. By calling these officials, specifically at the Minneapolis police department, there is now a direct push for those who did wrong to completely be held accountable and also, give justice for George Floyd. There are email templates and numbers to either text or call to get in contact with people who will be able to make this happen. More information on this can be found by using the first link in the “Other Resources” section.
5. Spread the Word
Probably the most easy, yet effective way of making it known that Black Lives Matter is to keep the conversation going. More than anything, we shouldn’t let the hundreds of innocent black people who died at the hands of American police die in vain. Nowadays, it is so easy to use the power of social media to spread a message to people not only in the country, but across the entire world. Continue to use the hashtag #BLM. Continue to say the names of people who lost their lives due to extreme police brutality and repost evidence of the brutality to bring these injustices to light. Continue to educate yourselves on the movement and be cognizant of your privilege. Continue to push for change and fight for those who no longer can.
Don’t have the mentality that you shouldn’t help because this problem doesn’t effect you personally. Since this problem directly impacts an entire race of our population and makes it a societal issue, it DOES effect you. You should be scared, disgusted, and uncomfortable, but most importantly, proactive. Don’t wait until there is another black life lost to police brutality in order to realize that our system is corrupt and needs change, and that Black Lives Matter.