Wondering how you can support Black Lives Matter? We've put together a list of ways to get involved.
The Black Lives Matter movement is growing exponentially right now, and for good reason. We’re being urged to show our support in any way we can to amplify the voices of the Black community, and ultimately lead to global change.
If you’re a student, you might be struggling to support the BLM campaign through donations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give in other ways. Here’s how you can help.
Showing your support by attending protests is one of the best ways you can amplify the BLM movement. We’ve already seen tangible changes due to the protests, including the removal of numerous statues due to historic connections with the slave trade.
Check out local Facebook pages to see if there are any protests happening near you, or you could always help to arrange one yourself. Protests are a completely free way to get your voice heard.
With coronavirus still a heavy concern, it’s important to follow social distancing guidelines whilst protesting. If you are showing coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating/shielding, there are plenty of other ways you can get involved without attending protests.
Watch YouTube videos
A number of YouTube videos have been uploaded specifically for the BLM movement, with the money earned via advertisements being donated to worthy causes. Simply watching these videos allows you to support Black Lives Matter if you can't afford to donate in any other way.
Videos, like this one by Selena Trevino, can be found all over YouTube, and all you have to do is play them on repeat. You could even leave your laptop playing in the background while you watch TV. How easy is that?!
The Black Lives Matter campaign thrives on awareness, so it’s always helpful to amplify the voice of the movement. The easiest way to do this is to utilise social media to share the message of BLM activists, which automatically increases the reach of these important posts.
If social media isn’t your jam, something as small as making a BLM poster for your window will raise vital awareness of the movement. Nothing is too small, so don’t get discouraged if you’re limited by your current circumstances. Simply doing what you can will help the movement greatly.
Talk to your friends and family
The conversation surrounding racism should be constant, and it’s no longer enough to keep quiet when faced with injustice. Discussing the Black Lives Matter movement with your friends and family should be something that’s done regularly, and don’t be afraid to call out any casual racism you might encounter.
By not accepting racism among your acquaintances, you’re showing support for BLM in the best way possible. Racism needs to be fought on a daily basis, so stand up against racism in the day-to-day.
Your voice matters. Signing petitions is a game-changer when it comes to activism, and it costs absolutely nothing. There are a bunch of Black Lives Matter-related petitions available, so do some research and support the ones that you feel need your help.
Here are some petitions you can sign right now to get your voice heard:
- Improve Maternal Mortality Rates and Health Care for Black Women in the UK
- Anti-Racism Education to be Compulsory in UK Schools
- Battle Racism by updating GCSE reading lists
- Suspend UK export of tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields to USA
The more signatures these campaigns have, the more chance there is for change. With this in mind, it's always worth asking your friends and family to get involved by sending them links to petitions that are close to your heart.
P.S. If your birthday is coming up, why not set up a fundraiser on Facebook which donates directly to worthy causes? Or simply ask your mates to sign petitions as a birthday prezzie? This will be super helpful (and it encourages others to get involved too!).
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, educating yourselves on the BLM movement should be your first port of call. By learning about systemic racism, you’re better equipped to fight it in your day-to-day life.
It doesn’t have to be boring, and you don’t have to read a 10,000 word essay to educate yourself. Educating yourself can be something as small as reading a book, watching a documentary, or following Black activists on social media. As with everything, you should simply do what you can.
Here are some things you can watch on Netflix:
- When They See Us is a miniseries documenting the story of five young men of colour who were wrongfully prosecuted for a sexual assault. The show examines racism in the criminal justice system in America.
- 13th is a documentary which follows the history of American slavery and its links with the criminal justice system. It explains how corporations make money from mass incarceration and is a great way to understand more about why racism is so prevalent.
- Dear White People is a critically acclaimed series which follows several Black students at an Ivy League university. Now on its fourth season, the show skewers common racist stereotypes.
Support Black businesses
Whether it’s a grocery store in your neighbourhood or a creator you’ve found on Instagram, supporting Black businesses is vital. Closing the racial wealth gap, strengthening local communities and celebrating Black culture are all benefits of supporting such communities, so it’s important to pay attention to where you spend your money.
The BLM movement isn’t a phase; it’s a constant and conscious effort. Try to adapt your long-term spending habits so you’re more aware of your decisions, as this is a tangible and effective way to support the Black Lives Matter movement.