The fight for racial equality must be heard. Amplify is our series devoted to raising awareness, spotlighting issues, and taking action.
If you can’t attend protests, open your purse. If you can attend protests and are able to give, open your purse, too.
Protests against police brutality, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, took place in all 50 states on Tuesday morning. They follow four days of rallies around the country, which started in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white officer kneeled on his neck for nine minutes while Floyd said he couldn’t breathe.
Some are peaceful, and almost all begin that way. But many are becoming increasingly dangerous for protesters as police and armed forces escalate violence.
But protesting isn’t an option for everyone, especially in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic. If you’re unable to protest, whether you’re immunocompromised, social distancing, or just too far away, you can still make a difference. That starts by donating to a variety of bail-out funds, community organizations, and legal funds.
Here are five ways to donate to the cause.
1. Donate to bail out protesters across the country
The People’s City Council Freedom Fund in Los Angeles isn’t only allocating funds to bail out protesters, but also to pay for medical bills and legal fees for protesters.
The Bail Project, a national organization, provides bail assistance to people who can’t afford to make bail.
The Philly Bail Fund posts bail for those who can’t afford it and advocates for the end of cash bail.
The Chicago Community Bond Fund pays bond in Cook County, Illinois.
The Atlanta Solidarity Fund supports protesters in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Louisville Community Bail Fund provides support for those protesting in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Emergency Release Fund posts bail for medically vulnerable individuals and anyone who identifies as LGBTQ in New York City.
You can also split a donation between more than 60 organizations, bail funds, and mutual aid funds across the country here.
2. Donate to legal funds
Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp, which provides education in black communities, is paying the legal fees of protesters in Minneapolis.
The Legal Aid Fund provides representation to low-income juveniles in Minnesota.
The NAACP Legal Aid Fund also provides free legal representation for black Americans facing racial injustice.
3. Donate to memorial funds
The George Floyd Memorial Fund is a verified GoFundMe fundraiser that will “cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings.” It will also generally assist the Floyd family with a portion of the money going to the care of his children and their education.
Justice for David McAtee is raising funds for a restaurant owner who was shot and killed during the protests in Louisville, Kentucky. David McAtee was well loved by the community, and was even known for feeding cops for free.
Donations to I Run With Maud will go to Ahmaud Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones. Arbery didn’t die in police custody, but instead was shot and killed after being followed by two armed white men in a truck. The incident was mostly buried by local officials until video camera footage emerged.
Justice for Breonna isn’t taking donations for Breonna Taylor’s family, but is pushing supporters to petition for justice for Breonna Johnson, a 26-year-old EMT who was killed in her own home when police broke in looking for drugs that they never found. A family fundraiser can be found here.
Dion Johnson, a 28-year-old man who was sleeping in his car when police forced him out and killed him, is being memorialized through the Dion Johnson Memorial Fund.
4. Donate to community organizations
You can donate directly to your community’s chapter of Black Lives Matter through this directory.
We Love Lake Street and Small Businesses on Lake Street are taking donations to help small minority-owned businesses that were looted during the protests in Minneapolis. Twitter user @hopewrlds also curated a thread of fundraising campaigns for black-owned businesses damaged in protests around the country.
Fair Fight, founded by former Georgia House of Representatives member Stacey Abrams, aims to end voter suppression.
The Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund is raising money for black journalists, freelance or staff, who are facing financial hardship and need mental health support.
Communities United Against Police Brutality operates a 24-hour hotline for residents of Minneapolis to report abuses by law enforcement.
5. Donate even if you don’t have the funds
If money’s tight for you — especially in light of the pandemic’s economic impact — you can still financially contribute to the cause. YouTuber Zoe Amira created an hour-long video and is donating 100 percent of the AdSense profits to a selection of organizations. You don’t have to contribute anything except turning off your ad blocker and playing the video on loop.
Claiming you’re “not racist” and reposting Instagram story chains is not enough. To definitively make change, you have to start with direct action — and you can start by opening your purse.
And as always, donate wisely and safely using these tips.
UPDATE: June 3, 2020, 12:23 p.m. PDT This post has been updated with additional information.
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