Planned protests have taken place in Trafalgar Square, outside the US Embassy and in Hyde Park this week in response to the horrific killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The protesters stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the US, and around the world, demanding justice for Floyd and calling for an end to police brutality.
The escalation of arrests during US protests has prompted urgent calls for donations to city bail funds, non-profit community organisations which help those who have been arrested and can’t afford bail. And on Tuesday, social-media feeds were flooded with black squares for Blackout Tuesday – the idea being that people would cease posting and use the time to educate themselves on the Black Lives Matter movement and dedicate reading time to anti-racist literature.
Today, we’re exploring ways to take an active stance against racism by donating to UK charities that are fighting this battle every day. Use your cash strategically to support grassroots protest, legal aid, consciousness-raising and the distribution of funds to those who need it most. Below is a (by no means exhaustive) list of organisations that you can help fund right now.
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Black Lives Matter UK, a coalition of Black activists and organisers, has set up a fundraising page to develop new far-reaching methods of organised protest. Help it reach its £500,000 target.
The StopWatch campaign has been fighting the racist and disproportionate use of stop and search since 2010. Run by lawyers, activists and academics, the group works to hold the police accountable through legal and policy analysis and litigation.
Ghanian born artist Raphael Adjetey Adjei Mayne has created a portrait of George Floyd for his family, entitled ‘HAS TO STOP’. A hundred and fifty limited-edition prints of the artwork are available to buy through Blank White Space, a gallery that showcases artists' work from around the world, bringing people special pieces, limited editions and affordable collections. Prices start from £150, with prints available in three different sizes. All proceeds will be split between the artist and George Floyd’s family. ‘Black people should not be seen or treated as if they are not human and not part of this society,’ says Raphael Adjetey Adjei Mayne. ‘I am Black, I will always be Black, it is never wrong to be Black.’
Inquest is the only charity that offers specialist support to bereaved people affected by state-related deaths. Research by Inquest revealed that there have been '1741 deaths in police custody or otherwise following contact with the police in England and Wales since 1990' (research included deaths which occurred in police custody, through pursuit, road traffic incidents and shootings). The organisation provides expertise, advice and legal aid for inquests. The charity is independent of government support and relies entirely on grants and donations.
This trust was founded in the name of Stephen Lawrence, a Black British teenager from south-east London who was murdered in a racist attack while waiting for a bus in 1993. The trust works to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people through career guidance, work experience and community support networks.
Blam (Black Learning Achievement and Mental Health) is a charity mainly based in Brixton, which ‘promotes a truthful discourse of Blackness through analysis of history’ by providing more diverse education for young people. Right now, you can donate to help Blam organise free Black history lessons for children.
Just this week, London writer and activist Tanya Compass established the Exist Loudly Fund to create ‘tangible change for Queer Black Young people in London’. Money will be used to cover the costs of workshops, mentoring sessions and activities. The page has reached its £10k goal, and any additional funds will go towards Queer Black Christmas, an ‘annual celebration for Queer Black Young people who are experiencing homelessness or living in a hostile environment’.
The London borough of Lambeth is home to the UK’s biggest Black community, with people of African and Caribbean origin disproportionately affected by the area’s socio-economic inequality. Black Thrive is a charity that works to ‘reduce the inequality and injustices experienced by Black people in mental health services’ in the borough. Black Thrive is now accepting donations, you can find the crowdfund here.
Mental health charity Black Minds Matter recently started a Go Fund Me page to help the organisation pay in full for therapy sessions for those in need during what is a deeply traumatic time for many Black people. ‘The NHS is currently in crisis and therapy is not always readily available. Our aim is to link as many Black individuals and families in the UK with certified, professional, Black practitioners for sessions as soon as possible.’
Imkaan is a UK-based, Black feminist organisation addressing violence against women and girls. It works to ensure that women with insecure immigration status are supported by its specialist ‘by and for’ member services, which does not share data with immigration enforcement.
This community charity grew out of a movement which began in New York City in 1963. The London branch has been going since 2001, and focuses its resources on providing mentoring, education, economic empowerment and community events.
The #CharitySoWhite hashtag began in August 2019, encouraging people of colour to share stories about their firsthand experiences with racism in the charity sector. The results were horrifying. One tweet read: ‘At criminal justice networking events, when everyone of colour are asked when they left prison’. Since then, Charity So White has become its own, real-life organisation, made up of a committee of ten people who are taking action against institutional racism within the third sector. Find out more about Charity So White’s vision and call to action here. To help them continue their work, send your donation here.
Member-led youth organisation The 4Front Project provides support to those directly harmed by experiences with violence and the criminal justice system. The organisation delivers specialist education programmes for legal empowerment and social action in the community and works to centre ‘transformative justice and healing whilst directly challenging the UK’s addiction to criminalisation, policing and prisons’. 4Front is currently fundraising to expand its team by hiring a youth activism coordinator and youth support worker so it can support as many young people as possible. Send your donation here.
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