Around the world, people are peacefully protesting the senseless and tragic killings of George Floyd, Atatiana Jefferson, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, shining a necessary light on the severe racial inequality that continues to plague the United States. Until real, systemic change is brought on by legislation, we will continue to be in the fight for justice, whether as a member of the Black community or an ally.
Black activists, thinkers, educators, writers and influencers have opened their social media platforms as a place of learning for everyone who is willing to — putting in hours of research and design to share practical ways for real change to be made. Artist, organizer and the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Patrisse Cullors-Brignac continues to be an incredible and outspoken resource. She has worked tirelessly following the acquittal of George Zimmerman — the man who fatally shot Trayvon Martin in 2012 — when she coined the term #BlackLivesMatter, that soon became an international battle cry. Cullors-Brignac’s Instagram feed is filled with ways to get involved to shut down the numerous racist threats against the Black community throughout the US.
Recently, she has called to #DefundThePolice, writing, “Black communities are living in persistent fear of being killed by state authorities like police, immigration agents or even white vigilantes who are emboldened by state actors.” She continued, “Where could that money go? It could go towards building healthy communities, to the health of our elders and children, to neighborhood infrastructure, to education, to childcare, to support a vibrant Black future. The possibilities are endless. We join in solidarity with the freedom fighters in Minneapolis, Louisville, and across the United States. And we call for the end to police terror.”
Another must-follow account to get involved in the fight to end systemic racism once and for all is Campaign Zero co-founder Brittany Packnett Cunningham. Co-host of iHeart Radio’s best political podcast Pod: Save the People, Brittany’s recent #8CantWait campaign offered a way for everyone to take swift action and call on their representatives to “immediately reduce harm” caused frequently by the police force against the Black community. Through a number of brilliantly designed graphics, Brittany and her Campaign Zero co-founders informed followers that by eliminating 8 use of force policies, police violence could decreased by 72%.
Also in Brittany’s circle of activists is Rachel Cargle, an academic and writer who launched The Loveland Foundation, which supports communities of color by offering “collaborative resources,” namely to Black women and girls by prioritizing their “opportunity, access, validation, and healing.” Following the racist-fueled murder of Ahmaud Arbery, Cargle launched her new initiative called The Great Unlearn, offering everyone the opportunity to ‘unlearn’ what they think they know about the history racism in America and the treatment of the Black community. With this platform, Cargle is offering us all the opportunity to “dig deeper into where we are right now and how you can be a part of the solution.”
Mental health activist and Check Your Privilege founder Myisha T. Hill has been a loud and calming voice on social media against racism and an incredible resource for being anti-racist. Many white allies, like myself, are taking this moment to learn and educate ourselves so we can be better. Myisha acknowledges that there is so much to learn and takes us on a journey as our guide. She asks hard questions that will make you think, but also will make you better. At the same time, she shares and elevates other black voices, so us, as allies, can continue to learn and unlearn from others.
Candace Reels is a must-follow for high-fashion mixed with activism topped with so much female empowerment! Founder of Female Collective, Candace has embraced her status as a self-love advocate and encourages her followers to celebrate themselves daily. In this time of change, she has continued that self-compassion message while also inspiring everyone to stay active and ignited in the anti-racist cause. “Allyship is not a one-week performative act, it’s a lifelong commitment! We must continue to raise our voices for justice for all Black lives,” she writes in a recent post. “Today, tomorrow, and the next, ask yourself, “How am I helping to dismantle white supremacy?” Extend your efforts beyond this moment. Join organizations, commit to donating your time and money on a regular basis, and continually educate yourself through books, podcasts, films, and conversations. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.”
As allies, we must continue to educate ourselves on the history of the Black community in America and the ongoing inhumane treatment they face daily. We cannot stop when the protests stop. We cannot stop when the politicians ‘promise’ change. We cannot stop when charges are increased. We cannot stop until all Black lives matters.