A starting point to support the Black community
Black lives matter — always. Here’s 5 ways to start supporting the Black community in your city.
Social justice and equality are not political issues—they are issues of basic human rights. We stand with the Black community now and always against racism and injustice, and strive to uplift the women and minority leaders who do the work to keep our communities running. As a tool to be used by nonprofits across the country, we aim to amplify the voices of Black leaders and support the Black community.
We normally say “just open POINT and go volunteer”. Instead, now we ask that before you open POINT, you take some steps to better understand how to be an ally and support the Black community in your city.
Step 1: Educate yourself on racism
Racism in the U.S. is multifaceted and deep. It’s important to be educated before you jump into action mode and choose to be actively anti-racist. We’ve compiled a list of resources we find helpful and challenging, so start here. Remember if you feel uncomfortable, just keep reading. Though you might be tempted to ask your Black friends to break this down for you, (again) read first. After you have an understanding of privilege, racism, and how our society upholds it, watch for and listen to the experiences of POC. Don’t insert your opinions/experiences, just keep listening.
Resources for becoming anti-racist:
Resources about police:
Resources on history and systemic racism:
What is systemic racism?
Book: The Color of Law: A forgotten history of how our government segregated America by Richard Rothstein
(Or, you can read a review here and an interview with the author here)
The 1619 Project
The role of education in deconstructing racial narratives
Resources on white privilege:
White Privilege: Unpacking the invisible knapsack (we recommend starting here if you don’t think white privilege exists, or if it does, that you don’t benefit from it)
11-step guide to understanding race, racism, and white privilege
*When you find helpful educational resources from Black leaders and educators, please consider supporting their work with a donation.
Step 2: Speak up about race
Some of the most critical things we can do are to have real life conversations, calling out and stopping microaggressions or confronting blatant racism amongst your family, friends and non-black communities. Whether we like it or not, social media has become a part of our voice in 2020. Use your profile to speak up and amplify the voices of the Black community.
Note: Please uphold human dignity and don’t post traumatizing footage of Black or Brown people being abused. Also, instead of sharing a personal experience, keep the narrative around the experiences of Black folks/POC.
Step 3: Take action to support the Black community
The most important thing you can do is something. Whether that’s educating yourself and telling your friends what you learn, writing to your elected officials, going to a (peaceful) protest, or donating money, taking action in some form is absolutely necessary.
Sign petitions to advocate for justice
Text FLOYD to 55156 to demand justice for George Floyd
Text ENOUGH to 55156 to demand justice for Breonna Taylor
Text JUSTICE to 55156 to demand justice for Ahmaud Arbery
Donate to nonprofits who support the Black community:
Put your money where your mouth is. Many nonprofits are facing a drastic drop in funding due to COVID (cancelled fundraisers, freezes corporate donations, fewer people with the financial stability to donate, etc.), but they are still out here in our communities putting in work. We challenge you to make monthly recurring donations to encourage sustainability, even if it’s only $5 or $10. Donate to your local chapters of national organizations, and other local nonprofits that benefit Black neighborhoods in your city.
Here are some of our favorites:
Children’s Defense Fund of CA | @cdfca
The Y | @ymca
Color of Change | @colorofchange
Black Lives Matter | @Blklivesmatter
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People | @NAACP_LDF
The Bail Project | @bailproject
Equal Justice Initiative | @eji_org
Center for Policing Equity | @policingequity
Campaign Zero | @campaignzero
The Loveland Foundation | @thelovelandfoundation
Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity
African American Leadership Forum | @aalf_tc
Black Mamas Matter Alliance | @blackmamasmatter
Black Girl Ventures | @blackgirlventures
Code 2040 | @code2040
You can also use Charity Navigator as a resource to find highly-rated charities promoting Black health, education, rights, and community development. However, you won’t find local nonprofits on Charity Navigator.
Step 4: Share resources with Black-led nonprofits
Meeting nonprofit needs is the core of POINT’s mission. We exist to give community leaders a free tool for sourcing and managing volunteers, collaborating with other community organizations, and easily showcasing their impact. At POINT, we believe in supporting and empowering women- and minority-led nonprofits; it’s the reason we built this app. We want any and every nonprofit organizer to have free access to high-quality tools to find and manage volunteers, and amplify their mission inside (or outside) their own communities. POINT is just one tool that nonprofit leaders can use. If you know of a nonprofit that is looking for this type of support, invite them here.
Step 5: Volunteer to change systemic injustices
The US is built on systemic injustice and perpetuates poverty in minority communities. There are inequities across the board: from housing access, to education, to healthcare, to basic needs like food. COVID-19 has shined a bright light on systematic injustice faced by Black communities and neighborhoods when it comes to basic necessities. For example, food programs across the U.S., including those in predominantly Black or minority neighborhoods, are seeing skyrocketing needs and still need critical volunteers to function.
We want to say this clearly: there are right and wrong ways to help.
Read up on the No White Saviors (@nowhitesaviors) blog and understand the role you play as a volunteer. There is a deep history of abuse, mistrust, and patronizing behaviors with white and passing-white volunteers in Black communities. Black leaders have a choice to decide if they want to engage volunteers from outside their community. If Black leaders ask for volunteers outside their community, it is then our role to consistently respond with a willingness to be educated and a recognition that we (as white or passing-white folks) will closely follow their leadership.
Our team fully acknowledges this subject can’t be addressed properly in this post, but we are committed to continuing to address this topic with our volunteers and nonprofit partners.
Want to know more? Watch:
The White Savior Complex: The Dark Side of Volunteering
*Also, remember there is still a pandemic going on. COVID-19 disproportionately affects POC and the Black community. Please take safety precautions to protect yourself and the people around you. See if you’re qualified to be an essential volunteer by taking this quiz.
Make sure to wear a mask, and bring your own gloves and hand sanitizer. DO NOT volunteer if you feel sick or have been exposed to someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
As always, POINT asks that you not take pictures of any people receiving help to honor their dignity. Instead, ask to share photos of Black nonprofit leaders to amplify the organization’s mission and critical work with your network. Remember, the spotlight is on Black leaders, you’re there to support them and take action in solidarity.
Are there more ways to help?
Educate us. We’re here to help, but we can’t help what we don’t know. Are there other, better resources we could be sharing? Are there better ways we can show support to Black nonprofit leaders? Are you a POC who wants to share your experience about volunteering with us, so that we can make sure we’re always improving? Reach out. We’re here to listen.