There are so many things I could say, but I don’t even know where to begin. I like to keep referring to this quote from Cleo Wade:
“When something happens in the world that is wrong, don’t try to move on with your life like it is right. the voice within you that says “this is not okay” is a direct call from the basic goodness of your spirit. pick it up. every time. pick it up and stay on the line until you figure out how to help.”
The time for silence is over. It’s the time for action. Here is an ally resource guide to align ourselves with our black brothers and sisters:
REGISTER TO VOTE
Click here to register to vote. Voting means you care about your community and your state and your country—and it’s important that you vote in elections at all of those levels, because all of the people you vote for will hold positions of power over you and represent you in the place you live.
WHERE TO DONATE
It is great to see so much support on social media, but we need to do more than post. Here are some amazing places to donate to:
The official gofundme for George Floyd. This fund will be governed and controlled at the discretion of Philonise Floyd for the family’s benefit.
This fundraiser was designed to assist Ahmaud’s mother; Ms. Wanda Cooper-Jones and her immediate family with financial support during this extreme difficult time and in their struggle for justice for the murder of Ahmaud Marquez Arbery.
“On any given day, nearly half a million people languish in jail cells across America, waiting for their criminal cases to move forward and severed from their lives and communities even though they have not been convicted of a crime. People in pretrial detention now make up more than two-thirds of America’s jail population. They are presumed innocent under the law, yet they will suffer the harms of incarceration unless they have enough money to pay bail and buy their freedom. This two-tier system criminalizes poverty and is a structural linchpin of mass incarceration and racial inequality. It affects entire communities, devastates families for generations, and guts the presumption of innocence.”
“Reclaim the Block began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety. We believe health, safety and resiliency exist without police of any kind. We organize around policies that strengthen community-led safety initiatives and reduce reliance on police departments. We do not believe that increased regulation of or public engagement with the police will lead to safer communities, as community testimony and documented police conduct suggest otherwise.”
“The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans. LDF also defends the gains and protections won over the past 75 years of civil rights struggle and works to improve the quality and diversity of judicial and executive appointments.”
“#BlackLivesMatter was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.”
SIGN A PETITION
Times are tough for everyone. Don’t have extra money to donate? That’s okay, do your part by signing the following petitions:
Raise the Degree for Derek M Chauvin
Text “JUSTICE” to 668366 to sign MoveOn’s petition for George Floyd
EMAIL YOUR REP
A lot of people want to send letters or email, but don’t know what to say. Use the following template to make a change:
My name is [Name] and I am a registered voter in [City, State]. I am writing to you today to ask what you are doing, as the [Position / Title], to ensure that your officers are not abusing their power and are held accountable for their actions.
After witnessing the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, I am left feeling outraged, frustrated, and hurt. The system has failed yet another black man and we are anxiously waiting to see if the officers responsible for his death will face consequences.
As a [resident of your city], I want to make sure that my local police department is taking the necessary preventative measures to ensure that incidents like this will not occur in the future. So I ask:
Are the police officers in the [City Police Department] being trained to de-escalate altercations by using peaceful conflict resolution strategies?
Are the police officers in the [City Police Department] forbidden from using carotid restraints (chokeholds, strangleholds, etc.) and hog-tying methods? Furthermore, are they forbidden from transporting civilians in uncomfortable positions, such as face down in a vehicle?
Are the police officers in the [City Police Department] required to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force? Will officers be reprimanded if they fail to intervene?
Are the police officers in the [City Police Department] forbidden from shooting at moving vehicles?
Is there a clear and enforced use-of-force continuum that details what weapons and force are acceptable in a wide variety of civilian-police interactions?
Are the officers in the [City Police Department] required to exhaust every other possible option before using excessive force?
Are the officers in the [City Police Department] required to give a verbal warning to civilians before drawing their weapon or using excessive force?
Are the officers in the [City Police Department] required to report each time they threaten to or use force on civilians?
Are the officers in the [City Police Department] thoroughly vetted to ensure that they do not have a history with abuse, racism, xenophobia, homophobia / transphobia, or discrimination?
Are the officers in the [City Police Department] trained to perform and seek necessary medical action after using excessive force?
Is there an early intervention system enforced to correct officers who use excessive force? Additionally, how many complaints does an officer have to receive before they are reprimanded? Before they are terminated? More than three complaints are unacceptable.
Statistics have indicated that by enforcing these policies, there is a significant decrease in civilian complaints and injury due to excessive force. If any of the policies are not currently in place, then what is being done to ensure that they are going to be enforced in the near future? What can I do, as a concerned citizen, to set these policies in motion?
I also want to increase the level of trust between the police department and the community. To establish trust, there has to be transparency. I would like to see the [City Police Department] collect and report data on civilian deaths that occurred in custody and as a result of an officer’s use of excessive force. The data should be broken down by demographics and should showcase the race, gender, sexuality, and religion of the civilians. Allowing the public access to this information will show us where we, as a community, fall short.
Thank you for your time and I hope that we can work together to protect the [City] community. I refuse to let the next hashtag come from here.
How to find your rep: click here
For even more information, check out this document that inspired me to write this one! There are many forms of educational tools in here.
Together, we can make this world a better place.