Yes, one of those posts.
If you’re feeling galvanized by this week’s events but still aren’t sure what you can do, hopefully there will be something helpful in here.
Also just to be clear, I’m not an expert on any of this. But as one of those ‘content creators’, even just as a hobbyist, I feel morally obligated to share content of actionable resources.
Links: Black Lives Matter
This post has a lot of embedded Instagram posts, so if you’re reading it from the email list, head on over to the main site.
There is no one single best way to help
Participation will look different for everyone. You can’t do everything. On the other hand, everyone can do something. Figure out what that something means for you.
Do your research, consider your context, use your brain, and aim for growth and consistent effort (tbh, this is basically the same thing I say on any other blog post here regardless of topic, as this applies to pretty much anything).
On this topic, the following post for provides some initial food for thought:
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I want to share this resource for anyone who’s been feeling intense moments of helplessness (🙋🏽♀️) amidst everything going on regarding #COVID19. When I posted this on my IG story last week, I felt a sense of relief come over me for the first time since everything began. I realized that how I’ve been responding to this crisis has been through trying to step into roles that I feel are commonly expected of me (frontline responder, guide, disruptor) rather than the roles I’m strongest at (storyteller, healer, caregiver, visionary). Many of us feel helpless because the terror of this moment is rightfully overwhelming. But I’m constantly reminded that this overwhelm and crisis can only end if we’re a strong, united front and if we’re aware of our strengths, gifts, and skills within our communities. Many of us come from elders and ancestors who have paved the way for us to exist in this fragile, resilient ecosystem together. We’re here, and we have what it takes to show up for one another and come out of this together. We have to believe that. Thank you Deepa Iyer from @buildingmovementproject for this resource. The last slide is one I created with reflections I’ve had within myself, that I thought could be helpful for anyone who needs it. How we are with one another determines everything. That’s the entire point of an ecosystem. Of a community. And I believe the point of community is love. And our audacity to meet the moment together, ready to fight for all who we love that depends on our connectedness to win. We can do this. #COVID19 #coronavirus #ShelterInPlace
This post has excellent suggestions on how to do things for the long haul. In fact, it’s what I ended up basing my own participation plan on.
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The time for action is now, and we have no time to waste 👏🏾 let’s talk about allyship during a crisis (and beyond!) ⠀⠀ 🚦PICK A CAUSE. You’re more likely to be effective (and follow through with action) when you’re focused on one cause! Examples include: poverty, homelessness, immigrants + refugees, the Indigenous, frontline, the incarcerated, etc etc. ⠀⠀ 📦 UNPACK & LEARN. Become aware of the most urgent needs and comb through as much information as possible. The more you know, the more helpful you’ll be. ⠀⠀ 🏠 THINK LOCAL. Chances are, the orgs on the ground are more aware and knowledgeable of what’s high-priority. Before you act, listen and follow their lead so you can maximize your impact within your direct sphere of influence. ⠀⠀ 📣 TAKE ACTION. It’s time to pull-up! Assess your resources and take targeted, direct action that will lead to relief. Whether this means buying groceries for someone, donating computers to programs, or spreading the word about the cause – something must be done! ⠀⠀ ✔️ REPEAT! The work continues, and you’re needed for the long-haul. ⠀⠀ Which orgs will you partner with? Let’s turn the comments into a resource. Share below! ↓
Do your research
Before forking over cash, read up (even briefly – do they at least have pages on these things?) on the org’s past work, planned future work, financial transparency, and budget allocation. If it’s a larger org, consider the rating given to it on Charity Navigator or GiveWell. What kinds of news articles have been published about them? How do they address criticism? Who is on the board? What kinds of experience and background does its leadership team have? Be wary of fake gofundmes and other fundraisers. They’re out there.
If following an infographic or article with indeterminate date, check for edits and updates from the account the image is from and from the orgs it is promoting. For example, many posts (like the one below) directed people to donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund. MFF has closed their donations after receiving millions of dollars over the past few days, and now asks that you consult https://bit.ly/fundthecommunity to get money where they believe it will have a good impact.
Consider donating to organizations that haven’t had the tides bring them into an international spotlight, particularly ones in your own community that are doing analogous work.
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‼️IMPORTANT UPDATE‼️For those asking – yes, please feel free to share this post! It seems like this has been a useful resource for a lot of folks, which is fantastic. HOWEVER, if you do share, PLEASE NOTE that @mnfreedomfund, @blackvisionscollective and @reclaimtheblock have asked that you REDIRECT your donations HERE: http://bit.ly/fundthecommunity ❗️LINK IS ALSO IN MY BIO❗️If you’ve already donated to these organizations, here are a few additional ones you can monetarily support: @bailproject, @fairfightaction, @covidbailoutnyc, as well as North Star Health Collective and Communities United Against Police Brutality. Stay enraged and do the work. Keep calling, keep emailing, and DONATE if you can. Support local organizations who are providing support and challenging white supremacy #justiceforgeorgefloyd #blacklivesmatteredit
Education and action
Some resources with concrete ways to get going:
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice by Corinne Shutack (really, most of these can apply to everyone) on Medium
How to Support the Struggle Against Police Brutality by Claire Lampen at The Cut
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Social media has been a bit overwhelming since I first put up this post so it has taken some time for me to post this. On Friday, I shared this content on Twitter after I felt the conversations online were like screaming into an echo chamber. I wanted to provide those who wanted to support and be an ally with practical tips to move forward and make a change in our society. I am still somewhat surprised and overwhelmed by the reception so please take patience with me at this time. — For a note on who I am to those who have followed me from Twitter, my name is Mireille. I'm an assistant editor and I do freelance writing, PR and sensitivity reading and other bits on the side. I am extremely passionate about diversity and inclusion, and everything I have shared is not new knowledge to me. From as far back as I can remember I've been campaigning, fighting for equality and supporting and working with black owned organisations. I have worked in the diversity and inclusion space for around four years and I have been equipped with knowledge, skills etc through that work as well as through wider, intensive reading and being raised by a Jamaican mother who has a degree in Women's Studies. I felt as a mixed race person who was emotionally capable despite the current situation that I could use my learned experience, skills and compassion to offer this advice to allies and anyone else who was seeking advice but didn't know where to turn. This is now on my stories as a highlight so please feel free to share from there or here. — A small reminder that this took emotional labour and POC, especially black people are not here to teach you everything. When I said ask how you can support, I meant on a personal level as a friend etc. I hope this toolkit provides you with the starter info you need but there are genuinely people more experienced than me who warrant your listening to – please go and follow @nowhitesaviors, @laylafsaad, @rachel.cargle, @ckyourprivilege, @iamrachelricketts, @thegreatunlearn, @renieddolodge, @ibramxk + a few more: @akalamusic, @katycatalyst + @roiannenedd who all have books or resources from many more years of experience. _
Since I’m talking the talk, what am I doing?
This section isn’t to say these are the best actions for you to do, or to brag or even claim that this was the best possible thing that I could do, but to offer some insight into what I’m doing besides sharing Instagram posts.
Donated $50 plus fee coverage to Take Back the Block, a Minnesotan organization which focuses on organizing at the local government level towards policies that will move funds from police to preventative measures.
For more on their work, see their about page or this recent intro thread on Twitter, which tbh I think does a better job summarizing than the main page:
Making time For things that aren’t actively pleasant, I find that if anything’s going to happen on my end, I need to actively to-do-list them. I do a weekly review of my spending. As long as I’m keeping up with it, it usually doesn’t take that long. While I’m sitting down to do that anyway, I’m tacking on an hour to plan and start things (everything I’d like to do can’t and won’t be done in one hour a week, but personally I find scheduling time to commit to things more helpful than being vague). I started a google doc for notes and action items e.g. researching local orgs for a particular topic, upcoming local council issues, or listening to a podcast episode or reading things, or doing an action item suggested by one of the above resources.
Set up recurring donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (which seems to refer to itself mostly as LDF – it’s technically a separate organization from the NAACP): I selected to earmark it specifically for work on police brutality and the death penalty. I started with $25 a month. I will be taking more time to learn more about what’s around in this area. In particular, I’m looking for a local organization that I can make recurring donations to which doesn’t have the name recognition to pull in as many resources (in addition to balancing with existing/future recurring donations for environmental causes and other one-off giving).
Keeping up to date with city government My local city council’s official website is an inscrutable fractal of links, so I decided the best thing to start with was signing up for my district councilmember’s newsletter. For good measure, I signed up for one of the adjacent district’s newsletters too. Whenever there’s a notable vote or discussion coming up, I will take some time to look into it and decide whether it’s something I should contact the rep about.
I’m not going to turn the wardrobe round-ups into a local politics and activism round-up. This is, when it comes down to it, still a personal wardrobe curation blog. I would rather spend that time doing more these things instead of writing it up reports here or in an additional blog. Plus, by the time I blur out the details enough that I feel like it’s not empowering any potential stalkers, it will be pretty pointless for readers anyway. But I suppose if anyone remembers reading this a few months down the line, feel free to ask about it in comments or messages.
Anyway, I hope some of that ends up being useful or encouraging for at least a few people out there. I am not posting as many resources on Instagram as I figured since this was an additional platform I had, it would be more helpful if resources were shared here. It’s been too long with too little work, and it’ll be interesting to see how much of a boost the Black Lives Matter movement will get from the head things have come to this week.
If you have any recs for other allyship and activism resources along these lines that you have found helpful and want to promote, please share in the comments below!
I originally structured the post with two normal fashion-y links at the end with the idea that if people had already seen and processed the posts I shared (as these are all pretty viral ones), they wouldn’t feel like they wasted a click. I edited it down since I didn’t want to take away from the other links, and if I could re-do the first published version, I would have just not included them. But in case you had seen them already and were looking for them again, they were NYT Wirecutter: Sock care tips and Harper’s Bazaar: The Best of 1980s Fashion (gallery).