Photo by Steven Eloiseau
Amid the pandemic, Black people are experiencing another virus that floods the streets: safety. This virus is a constant reminder that although Black bodies can contribute to society in ways that are economically lucrative and enrich American culture, they are still treated as if they are disposable.
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a violent pattern of police brutality cases which has left the Black community afraid and/or angry with the system that was supposedly built to protect us. In times like these, we’ve been reflecting as a company on our mission and the principles we stand for. Black people are valuable, should be valued, and are capable, even though society continues to perpetuate a history of systemic racism that fuels contemporary oppression.
The terrifying stories of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are a constant reminder that there are countless stories that will never see justice. Our mission is focused on the professional advancement of people of color, specifically Black, Latinx, and Native American students and professionals—and it is our honor to stand with the Black community and to speak up for all injustices targeting our members. Of all the emotions we currently feel, all of the merciless and wrongful killings leave us seeking answers to why this world continues to be cruel to a culture so powerful, inspiring, and brilliant.
If you are looking for ways to take action against recent events, here are some resources that we believe are valuable to progressing cause and creating actionable change.
To all our members, our partners, and our friends—let’s continue to work together to keep one another safe and accountable. Let’s do our part to drive change in the wake of these injustices.
Justice for Breonna Taylor—Sign this petition to demand that the cities police department fire and revoke the pensions of the officers that murdered Breonna. Arrest, charge, and convict them for this crime.
Justice for George Floyd—Sign this petition to reach the attention of Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to implore to have the officers involved in this disgusting situation fired and charged immediately.
Justice for Ahmaud Arbery—Sign this petition to demand justice for Ahmaud right away and that they convict the two white supremicists who murdered him.
State of Emergency: End the War on Black people!—Sign this petition to limit the use of deadly force to situations where there is an imminent threat of death or serious injury and require officers to exhaust all other measures before resorting to deadly force.
Movement for Black Lives—Sign this petition to call on Congressional leadership to ensure that future action prioritizes Black communities over corporations and pushes back against the use of militarization in Black communities as a response to this crisis.
Charge the cops who shot Jacob Blake—Jacob Blake, 29, was shot by Kenosha, Wisconsin police officers in the back 7 times on August 23, 2020. Officers were on the scene due to a fight, which Jacob Blake was trying to break up. He was unarmed and his kids were right there and saw everything. Sign this petition so the cops who shot him are charged.
Hold the US Army accountable: Justice for Vanessa Guillen—Vanessa Guillen was a 20- year-old Soldier stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. She was last seen on April 22 in the parking lot of her Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters on Fort Hood. Sign this petition to demand that the US Army where she was stationed, where she should have been safe, is held accountable for her disappearance.
Justice for Tony McDade—Tony McDade was a transgender black man who got killed by police in Tallahassee. Sign this petition to help arrest the cops who wrongfully killed this unarmed and innocent individual.
Justice for Elijah McClain—Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man in Aurora, Colorado, was murdered at the hands of police almost a year ago and still no justice. The officers can be heard on bodycam video threatening to bring their dog to bite Elijah and even accusing Elijah of provoking arrest—shortly hafter, they put him in a deadly chokehold. Paramedics rushed to the scene only for Elijah to later suffer from a heart attack; he was declared brain dead three days later.
Freedom fund for Oluwatoyin Salau—Donate to Justice 4 Black Girls, which set up the Oluwatoyin Salau Freedom Fighters Fund to “provide monetary relief for Black girl activists up to $250 for housing, food, or other life-sustaining supports.” The organization will donate up to $50,000, so help it reach its goal. Continue donating to the organization even after it reaches its goal in order to help it “expand global knowledge of the way U.S.-based systems of power respond to and perpetuate the abuse of Black girls in schools, in prisons, and in protest.”
#DefundThePolice Movement with Black Lives Matter—They are demanding acknowledgment and accountability for the devaluation and dehumanization of Black life at the hands of the police.
Contact your state governor to advocate for body-worn camera all on-duty police officers.
Contact members of your state legislature to repeal and rewrite laws like New York State’s law 50-A — which shields the personnel records of police officers, firefighters and corrections officers.
Vote in your local, state, and national elections. Vote for public prosecutors that support social justice and reciprocity. As President Obama reminds us, “It’s mayors and county executives that appoint most police chiefs and negotiate collective bargaining agreements with police unions. It’s district attorneys and state’s attorneys that decide whether or not to investigate and ultimately charge those involved in police misconduct. Those are all elected positions.”
End overpolicing our communities—The only way to fix the brutality and violence of police in America is to divest from it as an institution. That is why we must call on Congress to end the Department of Defense's 1033 program, the COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) grants, and to rein in Byrne JAG (Justice Assistance Grant) grants – as long as it continues to perpetuate police violence and harm against Black and Brown communities.
Black Lives Matter - The organization continues to mobilize and amplify national dialogue around state-sanctioned violence.
Bail Out Project - BOP believes that paying bail for someone in need is an act of resistance against a system that criminalizes race and poverty and an act of solidarity with local communities and movements for decarceration. Your donation will help support people who have been wrongfully criminalized who cannot afford bail.
The Justice Initiative - Rather than giving grants, the Justice Initiative’s lawyers, advocates, and staff pursue legal work that supports the broader mission and values of Open Society (one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world, we care about freedom, democracy, and human rights).
Black Organizers for Leadership and Dignity - BOLD is a national leadership training program that aims to equip black leaders with the skills needed to place themselves at the forefront of movements for social justice.
Black Youth Project - BYP studies the attitudes and cultural norms of black millennials in an effort to maximize their life experiences.Color of Change - With over a million members, Color of Change works to end racial injustice manifested in the media, economy and criminal justice system.
My Brother's Keeper - My Brother’s Keeper, an initiative of the Obama administration, aims to unite and amplify the voices of black men through mentorship.
NAACP - The NAACP is a long standing civil rights organization that works on a broad scale to achieve racial justice for citizens in urban communities.
National Action Network - Founded by Reverend Al Sharpton, the National Action Network operates on the platforms of voter protection, corporate responsibility, anti-violence and criminal justice.
National Urban League - Founded in 1910, The National Urban League uses programs, research and advocacy to advance civil rights for people of color.
Southern Poverty Law Center - The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.
Showing Up For Racial Justice - SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work toward racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability.