America's reckoning with systemic racism included local and global pledges to review police funding, ban chokehold maneuvers on civilians and remove Confederate figures and others involved in the enslavement of Black people. Addressing racial inequality in the US, particularly a racialized wealth gap, has been a top priority for President Joe Biden.
1. Make an ongoing, monthly donation to an organization
Donating money to a charity is an important way to support a movement or group, and your monetary contribution can help fund programs, legal battles and salaries that keep the organization afloat. Many companies agree to match employee donations, which doubles the size of your contribution.
Consider this, too. Programs -- especially nonprofits -- require reliable, year-round income to do their work. Instead of pledging a lump sum, think about giving a monthly donation. Even if it's "small," your donation joined with others can help provide a steady stream of funds that let programs run smoothly.
In addition to your local food bank, literacy groups and youth programs, you can donate to:
Here's a list of 135 organizations that benefit Black communities, including victim memorial funds, policy change advocates, Black LGBTQIA groups and youth-oriented groups.
2. Consciously buy from Black-owned businesses and restaurants
Becoming a customer of local and small businesses helps protect the livelihood of individuals within a community. If you aren't sure which businesses in your area are owned and operated by your Black neighbors, there are several resources that can help.
4. Sign petitions online, send texts, make phone calls, attend local events
Becoming more involved in political action is a step anyone can take, and the options range from a 20-second commitment to click on a prewritten petition to attending local events.
For example, the ACLU website offers a handful of quick, fairly low-key ways to participate on its site as well as some more involved options, like making phone calls or texts on behalf of the organization's causes, and signing up to learn about local events like town hall meetings.
5. Link up with local community groups and religious organizations
National and global organizations have the ability to marshal resources and disseminate information. In addition, many find they can make a difference in their towns, cities and states.
Your local school PTA, religious organization, child's extracurricular social group, your workplace and city hall are excellent places to listen to the challenges facing your broader community and help make changes where you live.
For example, discussions might center around disbanding offensive and racist traditions, requiring sensitivity training, or improving outreach efforts to make a greater cross-section of the community feel welcome and valued.
6. Continue to help register and educate voters
Voter education and registration happens year-round, and voting in local elections can have a direct impact on the community where you and others live. Outreach often targets groups that are less likely to vote, like young voters, those who may have more trouble finding the time and resources to vote, and people who live in neighborhoods where they're worried about their physical safety.
7. Continue your self-education: Book groups, TV shows, more
Do you know how to identify forms of covert racism? Were you aware of historical housing practices that restricted ethnic and racialized groups from buying property in specific neighborhoods? Pursuing an education about the many forms of systematic oppression in the history of the modern world can help you identify bias and discrimination within yourself and in institutions around you.
You can join or start a book club focused on topics of contemporary and historical racism. If you prefer individual learning, create your own education program or follow one of the many suggested programs, such as this framework from Autumn Gupta, entitled Justice in June.
Organizations are always seeking new members who are interested in receiving newsletters on events, civil involvement and petitions they can participate in. In addition to becoming active in a local social or religious group, you can join these nationally recognized organizations.