Watching what’s unfolding across the US with the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality can feel surreal and as though it’s not our place to speak up, but you’d be wrong about that. Blackout Tuesday shouldn’t be another social bandwagon to display a blackout square because everyone else is. It should be accompanied by actions or a willingness to listen and educate yourselves if you haven’t done so already.

It’s not enough to just condemn what’s been happening to the Black community in the US, so I wanted to put together a few resources that could be helpful to those here in the UK who might not know where to start helping and supporting.

Where to donate

  • Black Lives Matter is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities
  • I Run With Maud – This GoFundMe page was designed to assist Ahmaud’s mother; Ms Wanda Cooper-Jones and her immediate family with financial support during this extremely difficult time
  • Official George Floyd’s Memorial Fund – This was set up by George’s brother in order to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counselling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings. A portion of these funds will also go to the Estate of George Floyd for the benefit and care of his children and their educational fund.
  • The Legal Rights Center provides criminal defence and legal services for low-income individuals around Minneapolis.
  • The Liberty Fund and The Bail Project are both organisations that work to prevent incarceration and combat racial and economic disparities in the bail system.
  • Stephen Lawrence Charitable Fund was set up to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds succeed in the career of their choice.

Petitions to sign

There are a number of petitions going around demanding action be taken following George Floyd’s death as well as other victims lost to violence.

  • Justice for George Floyd aims to “reach the attention of Mayor Jacob Frey and DA Mike Freeman to beg to have the officers involved in this disgusting situation fired and for charges to be filed immediately.” Sign the petition here
  • The NAACP is a US civil rights organisation also calling for the arrest of the three other officers involved in Floyd’s murder. Sign the petition here
  • Belly Mujinga was a railway ticket officer who died of Coronavirus after being spat at in the face by a member of the public. This petition is campaigning to secure protection and support for those working at GTR. Sign the petition here
  • Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police as they illegally executed a drug raid at the wrong address for a person they had already arrested. The aim is for a special prosecutor to be appointed to bring forward charges against the officers and oversee this case. Sign the petition here
  • Make Black British History Compulsory in Schools – a petition to include the history of these communities in the school curriculum. Sign the petition here

Some useful articles

Books to read

Other social resources

Below are a few posts that give advice/tips on how to talk about race, and other materials available online.

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Social media has been a bit overwhelming since I first put up this post so it has taken some time for me to post this. On Friday, I shared this content on Twitter after I felt the conversations online were like screaming into an echo chamber. I wanted to provide those who wanted to support and be an ally with practical tips to move forward and make a change in our society. I am still somewhat surprised and overwhelmed by the reception so please take patience with me at this time. — For a note on who I am to those who have followed me from Twitter, my name is Mireille. I'm an assistant editor and I do freelance writing, PR and sensitivity reading and other bits on the side. I am extremely passionate about diversity and inclusion, and everything I have shared is not new knowledge to me. From as far back as I can remember I've been campaigning, fighting for equality and supporting and working with black owned organisations. I have worked in the diversity and inclusion space for around four years and I have been equipped with knowledge, skills etc through that work as well as through wider, intensive reading and being raised by a Jamaican mother who has a degree in Women's Studies. I felt as a mixed race person who was emotionally capable despite the current situation that I could use my learned experience, skills and compassion to offer this advice to allies and anyone else who was seeking advice but didn't know where to turn. This is now on my stories as a highlight so please feel free to share from there or here. — A small reminder that this took emotional labour and POC, especially black people are not here to teach you everything. When I said ask how you can support, I meant on a personal level as a friend etc. I hope this toolkit provides you with the starter info you need but there are genuinely people more experienced than me who warrant your listening to – please go and follow @nowhitesaviors, @laylafsaad, @rachel.cargle, @ckyourprivilege, @iamrachelricketts, @thegreatunlearn, @renieddolodge, @ibramxk + a few more: @akalamusic, @katycatalyst + @roiannenedd who all have books or resources from many more years of experience. _

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More listed below in caption and comments. Some brilliant black-owned businesses mostly from the UK that you can buy/follow right now. Compiled with help from resources online @ukjamii @blackwomensdirectory @IamKristabel 🙏 please add anymore suggestions #supportblackbusiness Cookbooks  1. Original Flava @originalflava 2. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by @ghanakitchen 3. Hibiscus by Lopè Ariyo @lopeariyo 4. Ethiopia by Yohanis Gebreyesus @chef_yohanis 5. Belly Full by Riaz Phillips @Belly.full ✨ Food & Drink 1. Chikas snacks @chikasfoods 2. Grazing Boxes @berryandbrie  3. Yard Confectionary @yardconfectionery 4. Cabby’s Rum @cabbysrum 5. Cham Cham hot pepper sauce @nimsdin 6. @patandpinkys 7. @theblackfarmer 8. @thegymkitchen ✨ Beauty & Haircare Brands 1. Liha Beauty: skin oils, shea butters @LihaBeauty  2. BeautyStack: @beautystack  3. Bouclème: afro and curly hair products @boucleme  4. Afrocenchix: Hair products @afrocenchix  5. The Afro Hair and Skin Company: shampoo bars, hair masks, face masks @afrohairandskinco 6. @radswan (launching soon) 7. @charlottemensah ✨ Fashion & Accessory brands  1. Wales Bonner: menswear and womenswear @walesbonner 2. Casely-Hayford: suits @caselyhayfordlondon 3. Daughter of a Bohemian: upcycled pieces and workshops @daughterofabohemian 4. Daily Paper: menswear and womenswear  @dailypaper  5. Aaks: basket bags @a.a.k.s  6. Martine Rose @martine_rose 7. Nubian Skin @nubianskin  8. Sincerely Nude @sincerelynude Home & Lifestyle  1. Prick: cacti and plantcare  @prickldn 2. Bespoke Binny @bespokebinny 3. New Beacon Books : Specialists in African and Caribbean Literature @newbeaconbooks 4. Bonita Vie Stationary @bonitaivieprints 5. @labasketry 5. Reset Travel @Resettravel ✨ Publications / Platforms @galdemzine @theirinjournal  @womenwho  @forworkingladies @thy.self @blackgirlfest @azeemamag @modernlit @prim.black

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Finally, the obvious, call and check in on your friends from Black communities. A phone call can mean the world to them.

I’ll be updating resources and articles. For now, I hope this is a helpful start in understanding the Black Lives Matter movement and what you can do from the UK. This isn’t just a trend for a couple of days, but a movement that aims to save countless lives.