First we want to say, without a doubt, black lives matter. Racism permeates every aspect of our society. We are currently working on a longer post about racism in science and academia specifically, but we want a brief post to say exactly where we stand and ways we can all show support. We know it can be very overwhelming to search for resources when you don’t even know where to start. Here we have compiled a list of action items that you can take to educate yourself and support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Resistance and Revolution During a Pandemic:
If you want to show your support at protests, marches, and demonstrations, make sure you are being safe! While these protests are incredibly important, we can’t forget that we are in the middle of a pandemic.
Tips for Protesting
Practice social distancing to the best of your ability. Don’t crowd the people in front of you, keep your distance and give everyone as much room as possible
Wear a mask. Due to studies showing that SARS-COV-2 can be transmitted by asymptomatic carriers, the CDC recommends we all wear masks when we are out in public to reduce the spread of the virus. Wear a mask, if not to to protect yourself, then to protect your fellow humans. Assume everyone, including yourself, could have the virus and act with caution.
Don’t touch your face, especially your mask. I know, they can itch and be uncomfortable! But don’t touch them. If you do have the virus, touching your mask could transfer viral particles to your hands. If you don’t have COVID-19 but your hands have viral particles on them, you can transfer them to your face!
If you need to touch your face, use hand sanitizer before AND after. Once again, this protects you and others around you.
If you feel ill at all, stay home! There are a number of other ways you can support the movement without potentially exposing others.
To white and non-black PoC supporters:
Do not be aggressive or instigate confrontations at protests. You could be putting the well-being of every black person around you in jeopardy. We need to protect, support, and uplift black activists. Don’t make the protests all about you. Additionally, we all have so much work to do. We need to learn about the history of racism in this country in order to unlearn our own racism and biases. We need to address prejudice within our communities and institutions. We need to demand change.
Ways to show support if you can’t protest
NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
NCBCP: The National Coalition on Black Civil Participation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that supports efforts to encourage black communities to participate in voting and other civic duties to become part of important government decisions.
Color Of Change: The nation’s largest online racial justice organization
ACLU: American Civil Liberties Union
Equal Justice Initiative- help fund legal representation to people who have been wrongfully convicted or unfairly sentenced in state prisons.
Bail funds in your local community-- The Associated Press has reported that over 10,000 Americans have been arrested in recent protests, many for nonviolent “crimes”. Find out what organizations are helping these protesters with bail and legal representation.
Local Black Lives Matter organizations and other groups. There are a number of local groups that you can support in your area; do some research on groups in your town!
Support your community:
Support black-owned businesses in your area! This is especially important given the pandemic. Many food delivery apps have a separate selection tool that allows you to search for black owned restaurants in your area.
Support local black artists
Support local black musicians
Black Lives Matter has a couple of running petitions that you can sign online:
-petition to request additional aid for black communities hit during COVID-19
-petition to defund the police
-petition to end police brutality
-petition by NAACP to demand justice for Geoge Flyod and demand sweeping police reform
-petition by the Movement for Black Lives’ to push elected officials fight against militarization in communities of color
Send letters to your local and state representatives:
You can use this legislative cartogram from Campaign Zero to see if your state or city is considering any updated legislation on issues like limiting the use of police force, body camera footage requirements, and broken windows policing. If so, write a letter to your in state or city representative in support of or against the legislation.
Resistbot: If you’re unsure of how to word your letters check out Resistbot, which is an application manned by volunteers. Using iMessage, text or Twitter DMs, you can send Resistbot your zip code and see what letters people in your community have been sending to their representatives. Once you have some ideas, you can message the bot with your name and state and it will deliver the letter you composed on your behalf.
We need to fight for mail-in voting for the 2020 election. Everyone deserves to have their voice heard during the pandemic for real change.
Educate yourself on voter suppression, especially in your own state. Voter suppression is one of the most glaring forms of systemic racism. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights found that, since the Supreme Court gutted part of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, over 1600 voting precincts have been closed, mainly in areas with a history of voter discrimination. These closures largely affect voters of color, and many people were not informed that their precinct closed or was moved. This is de facto disenfranchisement. How can we the people vote, if our precincts are inaccessible? Read about what is happening now in Georgia and then read about voter suppression and gerrymandering in your own state.
Follow on Social Media:
Hashtags to check out:
Learn about opportunities to volunteer for the Black Lives Matter local chapters in your communities
Join clubs that focus on diversity and/or uplifting underrepresented students
Find local, grassroots political activism groups to affect change in your town
Find out what organizations on campus need your support and demand change from your school, whether that is to hire more diverse faculty, work to end the leaky pipeline in academia, or allocate more funds to support underrepresented students
We want to keep updating this list, so if you have any recommendations, cool accounts/blogs to follow, or other ways we can all get involved, email us!