Guides

Resources for BLM Movement: How You Can Be the Change

By Editorial Staff

George Floyd was a Black man killed by police officers in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Since then, protests against police brutality have occurred in all 50 states and multiple other countries. People of all ages are using social media more than ever to fundraise, spread news, and educate others on the complexities of the current state of our nation. While there has never been more access to resources, the sheer amount of information can be overwhelming. We created the following list of resources for the BLM movement to put everything in one, consolidated place. 

Download the Resource Guide here! BLM Resource Guide

What is BLM?

BLM stands for “Black Lives Matter” and refers to a movement started by Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. Since then, Black Lives Matter has worked to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” BLM has turned into more than just a hashtag. It now functions as a unifying force for members of the Black community and its allies.

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For me, white privilege feels hard to talk about. I’ve been having a lot of conversations with the white folks in my life and it’s become clear that it’s just as hard for them to talk about. White privilege, to me, is the intended consequence that we live with today as a result of a system designed and built by white people. White people inherently all have white privilege. This is a fact. Do POC and Black folks have privileges as well? Yes. But, not in the same way. The brilliant @mspackyetti said it perfectly when she wrote this for the @thecut back in 2018 “White privilege is a status afforded by a system designed by white people, with white people in mind. Like it or not, we are all born into that system. Race is not the only privilege one can have, but it is the most powerful.” Generally speaking, White folks have disproportionately more privilege than minorities and marginalized communities. So, what can white folks do about it? I created a list of 9 ways you can spend your privilege, and continue to spend your privilege right now. Guess what? It goes beyond posting on social media.

A post shared by Avery Francis (@averyfrancis) on

Background Research

BLM shares news relevant to the movement, but for many of us, a full history lesson is necessary. Luckily, there are several books, podcasts, and movies readily available for us to use. Here are some recommended by leaders of the BLM movement:

Books 

(Though this list isn’t sponsored, all links will take you to Semicolon Bookstore and Gallery, Chicago’s only Black female-owned bookstore.)

Podcasts

Movies

Organizations to Check Out

1. The Audre Lorde Project

This is a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color center for community organizing, focusing on the New York City area. Named after prominent feminist writer, Audre Lorde, the ALP aims to be a home for LGBTQ+ people in all African / Black/ Caribbean, Arab, Asian & Pacific Islander, Latina/o, and Native/Indigenous communities. 

2. Color of Change

Color of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. With over 1.7 million members, Color of Change leads campaigns to hold corporate and political leaders accountable and to create real social and legal change. 

3. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Made of more than 200 coalitions, the Leadership Conference promotes and protects the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. Their goal is that of their slogan: To make an America as good as its ideals.

4. American Civil Liberties Union

The ACLU was born after World War 1 and has evolved into more than 1.5 million members and 300 staff attorneys. The ACLU was involved in prominent racial injustice cases including Brown vs. Board of Education and Roe vs. Wade. Most recently, the ACLU issued a statement calling the United Nations to investigate the escalating situation of police violence and repression of protests in the United States.

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Know your rights. We’ll see you in the streets. ✊

A post shared by ACLU (@aclu_nationwide) on

5. Sister Song

Sister Song is an organization based in the South. Their goal is to build an effective network of individuals and organizations to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities.

Influencers & Accounts to Follow

1. Dom Roberts

Dom Roberts is a Black artist who creates graphics explaining concepts such as how to be antiracist. Her account gained popularity suddenly after her first graphic went viral. She has since turned her platform into a resource and has also been on several podcasts talking about her experience and her understanding of the movement. 

2. Jen Winston

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UPDATE: Thank you @catriceology @trudilebron @bexlife for for reminding me how important it is to center and RE-CENTER Black voices in this convo. ⁣If you’re white & you’ve been learning from me, ask yourself why it’s easier for you to listen to me than it is to learn from Black people directly.⁣ ⁣ Then do yourself a favor and follow:⁣ @simimoonlight⁣ @iamjarijones⁣ @munroebergdorf⁣ @rachel.cargle⁣ @ihartericka⁣ @shishi.rose⁣ I also want to share that every time I post about racism, I pay multiple Black people directly as well as donate to an org or GoFundMe. In the words of @shishi.rose I’m trying to give as much as I can, not as little as I can. I wouldn’t normally say this publicly, but given the context it feels important to state if only to set an example—all white people should be doing this when we post about race.⁣ ⁣ I’ve only kept posting this week bc I know how exhausted many of the Black people in my life are, & I’ve hoped ⁣to provide any level of relief for them on a personal level, as I know white folks sometimes need to go through a layer of conversation that acknowledges our fragility before we can understand these ideas. Curating resources in the workplace & dealing with tone-policing isn’t our Black friends & colleagues’ job — it’s our own.⁣ ⁣ ——⁣ ⁣ ⁣Blackout Tuesday wasn’t the work. This is the work. It’s the opposite of keeping quiet. ⁣Here’s a guide about navigating anti-racism talks with white family members.⁣ ⁣ A bit more on point number 2: Black people shouldn’t ever have to coddle white people when talking about racism. However, if white people truly want to contribute to this movement, it’s up to us to speak respectfully about our own complicity to one another.⁣ ⁣ Our goal should never be to seem "woke,” to shame someone, or to get into a screaming fight. Actions like this are more about us than about the problem we’re trying to solve.⁣ ⁣ Our goal should be to dismantle these systems of oppression & that means having convos w/ patience, care, & diligence until our peers truly HEAR us.⁣ When talking about race to other white folks, we need to check our emotions, acknowledge our fragility, & speak in a way that actually helps drive change.

A post shared by Jen Winston ⚡️ (@jenerous) on

Jen creates informational graphics specifically aimed at educating white people. She covers issues like how to talk to your family about racism and what a future without police will look like. 

3. Florence Given

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(swipe) PLEASE GET ANGRY, AND STAY ANGRY. If you consider yourself a feminist and aren't thinking about race daily, THERE'S WORK TO DO. Please sign the petitions in my 'action' highlight & donate whatever you can to Black people and Black organisations. Please text your white friends and family and talk about this. A Black man was murdered by the police (yes, again) but this time the entire incident was caught on camera, "racism isn't getting worse, it's getting filmed" (quote by Will Smith) and it is both heartbreaking and terrifying to witness another Black life turned into a hashtag day in day out. • Racism isn't 'out there' in 'those' white people; its inside all of us. Yes, me. Yes, you. In the more covert, insidious ways that it shows up in our every day normalised behaviour (see 6th slide). Please begin having those uncomfortable conversations you've been avoiding with your problematic friends, family and co-workers and call them the fuck in, those are the conversations that will change the world. "White feelings should not be held in higher regard to Black lives" – @rachel.cargle • Illustration in last slide by @krisstraub • The white privilege list is actually "white, religion & culture privilege" there's a typo! • ACAB #JusticeForFloyd #ICantBreathe #GeorgeFloyd

A post shared by FLOSS (@florencegiven) on

Florence is a UK-based author and artist. She shares several informational graphics on her Instagram that educate people through a feminist lense. (View my favorite post of hers here.)

4. Shirian

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What is happening across this nation is a rebellion. An uprising for life and dignity. A groundswell that demands justice for the 400+ years of systemic oppression Black people in this country have continually been subjected to. As I see people rise up from coast to coast, in the midst of a global pandemic, I am inspired and awed that people are taking the streets, unafraid and courageously, demanding a world where Black folks no longer have to fear for their lives and where Black communities can thrive. For my non-Black followers, this is a moment where we must show up fully and wholeheartedly for the Black struggle for liberation. As revolutionary Black feminist Angela Davis says, “you have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” And what does radical transformation look like? It starts with following the lead of Black organizers and leaders and heeding their demands. One thing you can do right now is follow @mvmnt4blklives and learn more about how you can plug into their #DefundPolice campaign. You can also donate to incredible Black-led organizations like @thedreamdefenders, @byp100, @assatasdaughtersig , and @Law4BlackLives who are doing the work to root out systematic racism and oppression. And remember to continue to rise for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Laquan McDonald, Sandra Bland and the countless others who have been killed at the hands of police murder and white supremacist violence. We cannot be free until we are all free. I am wishing you all safety and wellness during this heavy time. Much love ♥️✊🏽 #BlackLivesMatter #DefendBlackLife

A post shared by shirien (@shirien.creates) on

Shirian is a Chicago-based artist who uses her platform to share beautiful illustrations promoting peace and justice. 

Tips to Stay Safe

Now that you have taken the time to explore resources, you may be ready to take the next step and join the protestors. If so, please remember that COVID-19 is very much still a threat to our health. Additionally, there have been instances of law enforcement arresting protestors (even days after they attended a protest). Here are a few tips to help keep you safe:

  • Wear a mask and continue to practice social distancing as much as possible. 
  • Make sure your protest is legal. Protests often need permits to close streets/create alternate routes, etc. If your protest does not have a permit, make sure to follow local law enforcement as much as possible.
  • With that being said… know your rights
    • You have a right to protest.
    • If arrested, you have a right to know what you are being charged with.
  • Bring snacks, water, and wear sunscreen!
  • Consider bringing goggles or protective eyewear in case of tear gas.
  • Go with a buddy.
  • Write down any important contact info on your body in case of arrest.
  • Cover any identifying body parts (such as tattoos) and wear nondescript, solid-colored clothing.
  • Do not take or post pictures with your face fully visible. 

This article is by no means a complete catalog of what you need to know, but it is a good place to start. Feel free to research further, ask questions, and speak up. Below are links to additional resources and graphics. 

Other BLM Movement Resources:

Download the Resource Guide here! BLM Resource Guide

This article was written by Lauren Martin

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