47 Very Specific Answers to ‘What Can I Do to Help?’

There’s a role for everyone in this fight

Jun 3 · 5 min read
Community members arrange donations at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 30, 2020. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Two questions I keep getting are “What can I do?” and “What resources do I start with?” While the general answers are “anything and everything” and “Google,” I thought I’d drop some specifics for the different situations you may find yourself in. There’s a role for everybody in this, even if it’s not on the frontlines. Find yours and get to work.

If you’re just now joining the fight and not sure where to start:

If you have racist family members or friends who are making sideways comments:

  • Respond with open-ended questions. “What do you mean by that?” “Can you explain that word?” (Keep asking “why?” like you’re an unapologetically persistent six-year-old.) Make them feel uncomfortable. And if they keep saying those things, well, it’s time to re-examine your people.

If you have young children with questions:

If you have all the free time, energy, and righteous anger of a Karen:

  • Attend a virtual activist training, like this one, on how to keep protests peaceful and safe.

If you marched back in the ’60s and are amazed that young people are doing the same now:

  • Share your stories of resistance with your family, friends, and on social media. If you have photos of past advocacy for justice, share those as well.

If you have $20 or more to spare, donate:

Here are some organizations doing the work of fighting racism and police brutality:

If you don’t have money to donate right now, but do have time and energy:

  • Volunteer to watch the children of protestors and organizers.

If you’ve got mad cooking/baking skills:

  • Find a group of protestors/mobile parades and schedule a porch pickup.

If you’re a creative artist:

  • Create art of lament for the times. Art is a powerful way to make people stop and think.

If you’re a citizen journalist:

  • Take photos of peaceful protests. Do not identify anyone as a “leader of the movement” on social media, or share faces, names, or any identifying factors. Record the behavior of officers and know your rights if they tell you to stop.

If you prefer to post Martin Luther King Jr. quotes because he was “peaceful”:

  • Read this one.

If you prefer to post scripture or quotes by Jesus because he was “peaceful”:

  • Read this one.

If your workplace or organization has put out a lukewarm statement filled with safe platitudes:

  • Ask leadership where your company will be donating money and how much and what concrete actions it will be taking to fight racism.

If you’re an educator:

  • Call out the misinformation and dog-whistle politics your students see on social media and in memes.

If you could sell a match to the devil himself:

  • Talk to your federal, state, and local elected leaders and make your voice heard. If you’re in Cincinnati, Tamaya Dennard is awesome to talk to. I’m slightly biased. She’s offering Zoom sessions to talk over your ideas for reform.

If you’re a person of color who needs a break from constantly fighting the good fight, remember that self-care is a revolutionary act. Take time to:

  • Watch Lovebirds on Netflix.

If you’re over 18:

Vote.

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Written by

Hipster. Hooligan. Writer. Wanderer. Sad AF, but you'll learn some things.

Beat yesterday. A new Medium publication about personal development.

Written by

Hipster. Hooligan. Writer. Wanderer. Sad AF, but you'll learn some things.

Beat yesterday. A new Medium publication about personal development.

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