“While I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: You take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.” — Scott Woods, African American author and poet
Here you’ll find a list of resources to help you do the work of becoming an anti-racist. These are organizations, voices, voting information, donation opportunities, and most importantly, direct actions we can all take to share in the work of addressing racism in America.
This is a living document, one that we will update with resources and information from the countless organizers, activists, leaders, and community members who work tirelessly to build a country that lives up to its promise of an equal and just society.
If you have corrections or suggestions content that should be included here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP RIGHT NOW?
GET EDUCATED ON POLICE VIOLENCE, POLICE FUNDING, and POLICE USE OF FORCE
Police killed 1,097 people in 2019. Black people are 3 times more likely to be killed by police than white people. Ninety-nine percent of police from 2013-2019 have not resulted in officers being charged with a crime. [Source: Mapping Police Violence]
According to the ACLU, “No police department in the country is known to be completely free of misconduct. Yet it must be fought locally: the nation’s 19,000 law enforcement agencies are essentially independent. While some federal statutes specify criminal penalties for willful violations of civil rights and conspiracies to violate civil rights, the United States Department of Justice has been insufficiently aggressive in prosecuting cases of police abuse. There are shortcomings, too, in federal law itself, which does not permit “pattern and practice” lawsuits. The battle against police abuse must, therefore, be fought primarily on the local level.”
Across the country, local departments have funded police departments at an astronomical level while social needs continue to go unmet.
For example, according to the 2018 Freedom to Thrive report by the Center for Popular Democracy, Law for Black Lives, and the Black Youth Project, Oakland, CA spent over 40% of its budget on the police department in 2018. Chicago has one of the largest police budgets in the country, at nearly $1.5 billion in 2018. In Minneapolis, George Floyd’s city, the budget invested 35% of the total budget in the police department. [via The Huffington Post]
In 2019, there were only 27 days where the police did not kill someone. Last year was the first year where Black people reported being more afraid of being killed by the police than being killed by community violence. According to the data, advocacy efforts pushing police departments to adopt more restrictive use of force policies – and the accountability structures to enforce them – can substantially reduce the number of people killed by police in America.
Local Demands: Call your mayor, seize the opportunity to make your demands
-Divest from police departments and invest in programs that support communities of color in your city.
-Demand changes to use of force policy to include the most basic measures that reduce violence
JOIN SOME OF THE GROUPS DOING THE WORK
Black Lives Matter
Join a protest near you
Find out what your city’s use of force policy is
Learn how the police departments work and get educated.
Poor People’s Campaign
Join the campaign to demand policies and rights that will address inequality in the American system
If you have the means, take this important step to support organizers and activists doing the work on the ground.
- Bail Funds: Protesters demanding accountability for police violence and reform within police departments are being taken into custody. The bail system, also woefully in need of reform, can prevent them from getting out of jail. Split your donation over bail funds in cities across the country to help protesters pay bail. crooked.com/bailfunds
- Justice Reform: The protests raise awareness to the systemic injustice consistently leveled against the African American community. The work does not stop, but starts, with awareness. Support groups that are working day in and day out to actively change the behaviors and policies within our legal and law enforcement system to deliver more just and equitable outcomes. This is the work. Support it. crooked.com/changefunds
- Black Voters Matter Fund: The goal is to increase power in our communities. Effective voting allows a community to determine its own destiny. https://www.bvmcapacitybuilding.org/
SHOW UP WHEN ASKED
Follow your local Black Lives Matter chapter to learn what’s actually going on in your neighborhood and to find out if there is an organized protest you can support. Find an organizing guide here and your local chapters here.
If you are unable to physically attend a protest because of a disability, here are other ways you can support a protest in action. Learn more.
VOTE, DAMN IT
“Protest to demand attention to the wrenching pain of systemic injustice. Vote because we deserve leaders who see us, who hear us and who are willing to act on our demands. Voting will not save us from harm, but silence will surely damn us all.” — Stacey Abrams
Decisions to hold police accountable for violence and excessive force are made by elected officials or officials appointed by an elected official. This means voters play a direct role in determining who makes decisions to hold law enforcement accountable. Here are some of the elected offices you should pay attention to if you want serious police reform.
- District Attorney: District attorneys and other elected prosecutors decide who to charge and with what crimes, including police officers.
- Mayor: Mayors not only propose budgets for the city but also appoint local police chiefs who oversee the operations and budget of their police department. Police chiefs set the tone for how their officers behave. Additionally, some mayors have the ability to veto laws and ordinances from their city councils, which means they can block support for police reform legislation.
- Sheriff: Sheriffs are similar to police chiefs, but operate at the county level and are directly elected by voters. They manage a department of sheriff deputies that are county level law enforcement.
- City Councilmembers: City councils are local legislative bodies that have final say over a city’s budget. They also pass local laws and ordinances, including the creation of community-based Police Accountability Boards and other measures to increase police accountability.
Here are some District Attorney candidates running this year that you can support to hold police accountable. We will continue to update this list throughout the election cycle. Learn more about these elections here. Register vote here.
Los Angeles, CA
Fanon Rucker is running on a platform advocating for anti-recidivism programs and opposition to the death penalty. Rucker has been endorsed by the Hamilton County Democratic Party and Equality Cincinnati. Read more about Rucker here. You can also volunteer or donate to his campaign.
Learn what you need to know about the inherent injustices in American government and society from the people who understand it best.
One of the easiest ways to start learning more is by following groups and people who are leading the work and the conversation. Here’s a list:
- Campaign Zero: @campaignzero
- Color of Change @ColorOfChange
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People @NAACP
- Black Lives Matter @Blklivesmatter
- National Bail Fund Network @bailfundnetwork
- Know Your Rights Camp @yourrightscamp
- Black Voters Matter @BlackVotersMtr
- African American Policy Forum @AAPolicyForum
- Colorlines @Colorlines
- Advancement Project @adv_project
- National Urban League @NatUrbanLeague
- MediaJustice @mediajustice
- Ella Baker Center @ellabakercenter
- Race Forward @RaceForward
- Policy Link @policylink
We will continually update this list. Expand who you follow, you’ll expand what you know.
- Brittany Packnett Cunningham @MsPackyetti
- DeRay Mckesson @deray
- Clint Smith @ClintSmithIII
- Sam Sinyangwe @samswey
- Alicia Garza @aliciagarza
- Patrisse Cullors @OsopePatrisse
- Opal Tometi @opalayo
- Johnetta Elzie @Nettaaaaaaaa
- Treva Lindsey @divafeminist
- Ibram Kendi @DrIbram
- Derecka Purnell @dereckapurnell
- Heather McGhee @hmcghee
- Bernice King @BerniceKing
- William Barber @RevDrBarber
- Bree Newsome Bass @BreeNewsome
- Nikole Hannah Jones @nhannahjones
Also, Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein compiled a list of resources for white people to help expand perspectives. Read it here.
Thank you to: Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Alyssa Klein, The Appeal, ActBlue, Voting While Black, Black Lives Matter Global Network, National Bail Out, Know Your Rights Camp, Black Voters Matter Fund, BYP100, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, The National Police Accountability Project, Color of Change Education Fund, Unicorn Riot, Advancement Project, The Marshall Project, Louisville Community Bail Fund, Philadelphia Bail Fund, LGBTQ Freedom Fund, Chicago Community Bond Fund, Forsyth County Community Bail Fund, Luke 4:18 Bail Fund, Connecticut Bail Fund, Restoring Justice Bail Fund, Dauphin County Bail Fund, Northwest Community Bail Fund, Hamilton County Community Bail Fund, Bukit Bail Fund of Pittsburgh, Community Justice Exchange National Bail Fund Network, Massachusetts Bail Fund, Hawai’i Community Bail Fund, Tucson Second Chance Community Bail Fund, Memphis Community Bail Fund, Mississippi Bail Fund Collective, Philadelphia Community Bail Fund, National Bail Out #FreeBlackMamas, Richmond Community Bail Fund, Nashville Community Bail Fund, Fronterizo Fianza Fund, Free the 350 Bail Fund, NC Community Bail Fund of Durham, Colorado Freedom Fund, Kansas City Community Bail Fund, New Orleans Safety and Freedom Fund, Portland Freedom Fund, Montgomery Bail Out Fund, Columbus Freedom Fund, Michigan Solidarity Bail Fund, Baltimore Action Legal Team (BALT), NorCal Resist Activist Bail & ICE Bond Fund, Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, DeDe McClure Community Bail Fund, Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project, Black Visions Collective, Reclaim The Block, Movement for Black Lives Mutual Aid Fund, Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund, Prison Book Program, Austin Justice Coalition, Pure Justice, Community Advocates for Just and Moral Governance, You Good, Sis, Cincinnati Bail Fund, Believers Bail Out.