*Immediate Needs for Charlotte Protesters: Here are actions you can take to help protesters in Charlotte, NC RIGHT NOW!*
BPFNA is urging our members and Partner Congregations to take action to center Black lives personally in their own lives and within their communities. Here are some actions you can take now:
Become active in groups involved in the Movement for Black Lives, groups like local chapters of Black Lives Matter, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), and European Dissent. If none are near you, there is most likely another local group (or several) of a different name doing the work.
Contact your legislators. If you see that your local or state/regional governments are proposing legislation that would be particularly harmful to black peoples in your communities, speak up! Look for ways to change harmful policies already in place and be active around those issues. The toolkit Building Momentum from the Ground Up: A Toolkit for Promoting Justice in Policing discusses 15 policy reforms that could greatly impact the lives and freedoms of black people and people of color if enacted. The toolkit also gives examples of successful implementation, best practices, sample legislation, and more information around how this could be successful. Campaign Zero also has useful information regarding the problems that need addressing and goals and solutions in order to enact change.
Invest in your communities and spend money wisely. One of the most influential ways to hurt the unjust state is with your wallets. Stop supporting businesses that are a part of the problem, businesses that contribute to and benefit from systems of white supremacy. Instead, support local businesses, especially those owned by people of color. Keeping money in these communities helps to sustain these communities. Also, get to know your neighbors. Learn the history of where you live. Learn the history of marginalized groups that have been displaced or harmed. Especially if you’re white, stop participating in ways economically that lead to the further displacement of people. Do not see yourself as separate from the community around you. Community control, oversight, and sustainability are crucial.
Donate to groups on the ground doing the work. Many activists are burnt out and sleep deprived. Many experience trauma on a regular basis. Some are working themselves out of jobs or places to live. Yet they are putting their bodies on the line and risking arrest regularly, if not daily. Support bail fund requests and requests from black-led groups that are working to provide support for communities and activists. On the SURJ website, there is a list of black-led organizations that are in need of donations. Please consider contributing to one or several of these groups.