Protests are now happening in all 50 states, as well as across the world. If you are unable to attend these protests, there are still plenty of ways you can help protesters and support the fight for racial justice.
You can gather supplies and find drop off locations
There are some local businesses in your area that are gathering supplies for protesters. Look through Instagram or Twitter to see which local businesses are participating. You can also check your local newspaper online to see if anything is posted.
Most protest organizers are also including drop off spots at the locations of the protests. Check out local organizations online that are organizing these events, and ask if they are looking for supplies to be dropped off at the protesting site.
The most common supplies needed are things like water bottles, healthy snacks, posters, goggles or glasses, face masks or bandanas, and milk. Organizations will also list specific supplies they may need.
Example of supply drop off info from local Orlando coffee shop (Easy Luck)
You can drive people to and from the protest
If you have a car, this is an extremely beneficial way to help protesters. For many people wanting to participate in protests, transportation is a big hurdle keeping them from going. This is especially helpful in cities with strict protesting curfews because people may need quick rides toward the end of the night.
Try texting some friends to let them know that you’re available for rides, or post on social media that you’ll be available for rides around time of curfew. Remember, you can still wear a face mask and ask your passengers to wear one to protect your safety and theirs as well.
You can share information and updates in real time
If you know people attending protests, and are someone who is active on social media platforms or online news sources, you can send or post updates before, after, and throughout the protest!
My cousin recently did this for me during one of the protests I attended. She had looked through Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #orlandoprotests and found live information on where police where heading, what people had been seeing, and updated curfew times. This information was really valuable for us during the protest because we didn’t have time to look this up while we were marching.
If this is something you’d like to do, you can text your friends and ask if they’d be interested, or you can post updates directly on your social media accounts.
You can share safety tips with friends and on social media
You can also share general safety tips with protesters. It’s important for protesters to know what to bring, what not to bring, and their rights as protesters. If you’re unable to attend, you can still make sure that your friends, family, and social media followers know what they need to know in order to keep them safe.
This article from Wired is a good place to start, with a list of important things to bring and basic protester rights to memorize at the chance of arrest. You can send this article or similar posts to your friends, or post similar links to Instagram or Twitter.
You can share information about lawyers working pro bono
Unfortunately, many people have been getting arrested at these protests. There are lawyers in each city that have been informing people online that they’ll represent arrested protesters for free. If you see a lawyer posting their pro bono services online, you can share this information on your social media platforms or text your friends to let them know.
Example of sharing legal pro bono information from Ariel Duncan’s Instagram:
You can donate to bail funds
The cost of bail is extremely expensive. For many protesters, bail money is unaffordable and not really an option. Many organizations that work to help people afford bail costs are now working to help protesters who are arrested.
The Bail Project is a fund that “prevents incarceration and combats racial and economic disparities in the bail system.” Although they are not yet in every state, they are in major protesting states like New York. California, Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, and Georgia. 100% of their donations go toward their bail funds.
The National Bail Fund Network is a network of over 60 bail/bond community projects. They have a directory list of bail funds per state as well. This directory is consistently updated so you only see organizations that are currently up and running.
You can buy from Black-owned businesses
There truly is such a thing as protesting with your wallet. In a capitalist society, choosing where we spend our money is a powerful decision when you want to help protesters. We have a list of black-owned skincare companies you can choose from, and Forbes recently released a list of black-owned businesses to support.
You can provide or recommend mental health services
Helping black people and other POC find mental health services and/or helping them afford these services is possibly one of the most beneficial ways to “help protesters” over the long run. It’s not a direct way of helping the protests, but it’s a way to acknowledge the inaccessibilities to mental health services for black people in the United States.
Inclusive Therapists is a database of therapists that aims to make finding therapy a safer process. They recognize that people in marginalized populations have an especially difficult time finding access to mental health services. They believe that “all identities in all bodies deserve equal access to quality, culturally responsive care.”
The Loveland Foundation was founded by Rachel Cargle, a well-known academic and speaker in the racial justice movement. Cargle began the foundation when she realized how difficult it was for black women to receive mental health services. You can donate to the Loveland Therapy Fund, “which provides financial assistance to Black women and girls nationally seeking therapy.”
Find more mental health services to learn from and donate to here.
You can vote
If you’re able to vote in this county…then vote. Both on a national and local level. Vote, vote, vote. People with governmental power will continue to use their power how they see fit. If these people don’t believe in the necessary uprooting of racial inequality, it’s time to vote them out of office. Start researching who is running in your state and when your voting dates are. Use your voice to speak for those who have been silenced.