What You Can Do Today To Act Against Racial Injustice:
Sign petitions- https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UnWt1sHxyluD-Y1HS5p8Ak0-7zosigvTwJPMsQFTvig/edit contains a list that is often added to! (you can also find some on the 'Demand justice'and 'Systemic racism' subpages to get you started)
Create petitions about things you are passionate about changing, you can easily do this on change.org
Send emails to your local MP demanding political change, as well as addressing state police in US in regards to police brutality and demanding justice and change. You can find a way to contact your local MP HERE if you don't already know how, if enough people contact them about a specific topic, there has to be a parliamentary discussion. HERE is a recommended email template you can use.
Text/Call: A few are listed on the 'demand justice' page, please be aware these are often American numbers which will cost more
Register to/ use your VOTE
Be informed on the differences in MPs and their attitudes towards ethnic minority struggles when voting, and how they propose to promote change towards racial equality and fight systemic racism
Do not be fooled by the media- remember all media forms are bias or manipulative and so it is important to research into headlines which often endorse racist stereotypes and misrepresent members of society. This is very important to be aware of as you consume media in order to break down prejudice these outlets install into us subconsciously. Make sure you consciously fight against media myths and develop your understanding of the reality of stats/events the media present. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZgkjEdMbSw
Consume media written by Black authors - some ideas HERE
Listen- this means listening to Black people and what they want to change. Podcasts are a really good way to do this eg. The Diversity Gap, 1616-NY Times, About Race, Seeing White, Momentum:A Race Forward Podcast, Code Switch, Intersectionality Matter!, Pod for the cause, Pod Save the People(Crooked Media), The Combahee River Collective Statement. Remember White privilege should be used to amplify under-heard Black voices.
Watch - TEDtalks eg, 'Let's get to the roots of racial injustice' , '50 years of racism.... white silence isn't the answer', ' Why, I, as a black man attended KKK rallies', 'The dangers of whitewashing hsitory' . TV shows and films to watch: 13th (Netflix), American Son (Netflix),See You Yesterday (Netlix), If Beale Street Could Talk(Hulu), The Hate You Give(Hulu), Black Power Mixtape, Clemency, Fruitale Station, I Am Not Your Negro, Just Mercy, Selma,The Black Panthers:Vanguard of the Revolution, Green Book, When They See Us(Netflix), Explained:The Racial Wealth Gap(Netlix), Time: The Kalief Browder Story(Netflix), Who Killed Malcom X(Netflix), Dear White People(Netflix), Little Fires Everywhere(Hulu), Hidden Figures, Blackkklansman, Fruitvale Station. YouTube channels run by black and minority creators or families eg. Taylor Giavasis, Mazelee family, Beleaf in Fatherhood
Read- Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Why People of Colour Need Spaces Without White People, So You Want To Talk About Race, White Fragility, Black Feminist Thought, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower, Heavy:An American Memoir,How To Be Anti-racist, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, I'm Still Here:Black Dignity In A World Made For Whiteness, Just Mercy, Redefining Realness, Sister Outsider, The Bluest Eye, The Fire Next Time, The New Jim Crow:Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colourblindness, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, The Warmth of the Other Suns, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Bridge Called My Back:Writings by Radical Women of Colour, White Fragility:White It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Race, Freedom: Medicine Words For Your Brave Revolution, I Am Not Your Baby Mother, Think Like A White Man, How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color (try not to buy copies from amazon instead try to directly buy from and support the authors directly)
Follow Organisations that do important work surrounding racial equality and justice. These include: @blklivesmatter, @colrofchange, @naacp, @showingupforracialjustice, @civilrightsorg,@reclaimtheblock,@ethelsclub,@unitedwedream, , @mppowerchange, Equal Justice Conference, SisterSong, Families Belong Together
Check in with Black friends, family and acquaintances- this is upsetting and tiring to live in a racist world. There are plenty of online resources that offer mental health support members of Black community.
Diversify your circle (eg. making conscious effort to speak to Black colleagues) this enables you to begin to gain a better understanding of their experiences whilst enriching your circle of friends (often negative stereotypes are more easily accepted without any connection to people from that minority).
Normalise changing your opinion after learning new information!
Get political- "I'm not really into politics" speaks volume. Oppressed groups in society don't have the privilege to opt out of politics because their rights are at risk. Research, get involved in local action groups, learn about social issues and contact elected officials.
Research into the sociology of racism- this is really valuable in understanding why society contains inequality, racism, prejudice etc
Be an advocate for Black people in a white group
Respond to racist attacks you hear
Remember the mental health of those around you, try to avoid constantly posting traumatic videos of violence which can be triggering for many Black people and increases their dehumanisation.
Chose action over inaction - attend protests and share important, informational posts online regardless of how many followers you have. However, be informed about what you are posting about rather than following a trend which could be harmful. For example, #blackouttuesday became a social media trend after the death of George Floyd to raise awareness of racial injustice and draw away attention from ordinary social media posts. People posted black screens to do this, but many used other hashtags like #blacklivesmatter which filled the space, previously being utilised as a hub to find informative posts ,with a sea of black screens containing no valuable information. It was also criticised for being an easy way people could show solidarity and support when in reality they had been making no effort to take any other action in fighting racism and educate themselves.
Be an ally where ever you go- if you hear a racist conversation among family, friends, strangers, correct the speaker and initiate a discussion on why it's wrong. These conversations are not easy but change doesn't come with comfort.
Here us an account which shares literate and black history:https://www.instagram.com/readbyrachelaa/
Follow 'Antiracist Research and Policy Center'
Watch some Jane Elliott videos (an anti-racism activist)
Personal reflection which allows realisation of your own prejudice and privilege. Prompts (written by Jezz Chung) :
In what ways does my proximity to whiteness afford me privileges that aren't extended to Black and Brown people?
In what ways have I been conditioned to believe in the superiority of whiteness?
In what have I engaged in rhetoric that promotes stereotyping of Black people?
What can i do to better educate myself on the historical context of race in the country and community in exist in?
What prejudice do I unintentionally hold against Black people? (not just for White people to reflect on)
Speak up about lack of representation- observe from brands you buy from, shows you watch, British politics and within the party you vote for etc how well minorities are represented here (Sorry tried to avoid Wikipedia but breakdown of ethnic minorities in each party are hard to find!)
Evaluate and reflect on where you work. Is there a diversity in your work colleagues? Question and challenge your company where there is not, ask about your companies hiring policy and pay structure.
Support black businesses- make this an intentional decision to find Black run companies and show your support. This is a great way to positively interact with and generate wealth in marginalised communities and start to popularise the production of under represented products eg. make up for a wider range of skin colours and shades or art containing POC by a POC. Some examples include: Alero Jasmine who owns a UK based handmade clothing line, Cardsandcocktails are one of hundreds of black businesses on etsy that create hand made cards or Sharah Owusu a London artist who creates abstract work inspired by people from ethnic minorities. More ideas are easy to find through hashtags on social media like #UKBlackOwnedBusinesses or on website's like: https://blackbusinessdirectoryuk.com/ or http://www.ukblackowned.co.uk/
Be aware of microaggression and challenging it
Diversify social media accounts you follow- begin to follow Black and minority influeners and activists:@divanificent on twitter (black feminist historian and writer), @shishi.rose on Instagram (black feminist mother and writer) , @SholaMos1 on twitter (Lawyer, Political & Women's Rights Activist, Founder @WILPublication, Author, Wife & Mum) , Ash Sarkar (More ideas found here)
Talk to kids about race despite this appearing an uncomfortable topic. Here's an insight into how and why you should: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNEKbVq_ou4
Understand Black history
Continue to care and take action when the Black Lives Matter movement begins to loose its voice again and things go 'back to normal'. It is a movement not a moment.
Understand you will not be perfect all the time but o not except this as being okay, keep pushing to change
Understand and use white privilege - overthrow any ignorance you might unintentionally hold
(For non-whites) Uninstall self hatred - Video on internalised racism
Don't rely on asking members of the Black community to educate you, it is your responsibility not theirs. It is also not productive and often harmful to talk to Black friends about 'feeling guilty' of your privilege, instead use it positively.
Donate to American bail funds
Talking about what you've learnt
Tune into informative Zoom calls
Make signs and drawings (with your kids) to show support for the Black lives in your community and hang them in your window.
Do not promote colourblindness- we can see race and to deny that is to deny there struggles POC face everyday. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4LpT9TF_ew
Attend story times with your kids read by Black authors at libraries
Buy products that promote diversity eg. dolls/action figures of all races or colouring books which include black and brown skin tones or people with afros etc. They do exist just takes a bit more searching!
Contribute towards or create projects to support POC in your community
Don't compare racism to struggles you have experienced as a white person- whilst it may be a well intended attempt to empathise this is morally an unfair comparison.
Here are some free online pdf copies of Black revolutionary texts by Black writers and activatists to read: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1TrqfLp8DrCzCni58SB4-CEVSBlg0Kzq6
Research slave narratives - begin to understand the horrors of Black History and help expand your own moral imagination in being able to start identifying and understanding their experiences.
Research Environmental Racism (book ideas: Clean and White- a history of environmental racism in the United States, A Terrible Thing to Waste- environmental racism and its assault on the American mind, There's Something in the Water, Toxic Communities- environmental racism, industrial pollution and Residential Mobility, From the Group Up)https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/21/what-is-environmental-injustice-and-why-is-the-guardian-covering-ithttps://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jun/18/environmental-justice-means-racial-justice-say-activists
A way to donate money to BLM when you aren't able to financially- A Black women named Zoe Amira posted an hour long video on YouTube which is filled with art and music from black creators. It has tons of ads and so in result will rack up a ton of revenue from the video. 100% of the ad revenue from the video will be dispersed between 16 BLM organisations. This is easy to leave on and allow to repeat in order to continue donating. However, it's important to have the volume at at least 50% when streaming as YouTube discounts views if the quality is below 480 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCgLa25fDHM
Help people you know and their efforts to support the movement. A couple suggestions of people I know: Link HERE for Emily Carter Sewell selling tote bags with a minimum donation of £12 (all profits go towards 'Black Lives Matter'. Link HERE for Keda Rose who is selling bakes (30% of profits go towards BlackLivesMatter. Link HERE for an account selling handmade clothes (10% of profits go to SARI a charity who provide support to defence victims of hate crime and discrimination as well as provide training days for every police officer in Bristol on different cultures and combating racial bias). Link HERE for Black Lives Matter hoodie (all profits go to BLM). https://www.instagram.com/nedcollyerphoto/ is selling prints of his photography for £20 (this £11 profit goes towards BLM UK)