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How you can help the Black Lives Matter movement and protesters in NYC right now

From where to donate to getting supplies to protestors

Collier Sutter
Written by
Collier Sutter

Over the last few days, New Yorkers have joined protests across the city. Thousands of people have poured into the streets to demand justice following the police killing of George Floyd and to raise awareness about the ongoing systemic problem of police violence.

To raise your voice in support of the movement for racial justice and the larger Black Lives Matter community, we’ve rounded up a few tangible things you can do right here in New York to donate your time and resources towards change.

Donate to bail and legal funds.

With hundreds of arrests having taken place over the last few days of protests, bail funds are an immediate way to provide relief to activists. The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and Free Them All for Public Health, have been two large funds taking donations in New York this weekend, but they are both asking that funds be redirected to other organizations due to an overwhelming amount of donations this weekend. 

The National Bail Fund Network keeps an actively updated directory of community bail funds and a COVID-19 rapid response fund. 

Right now, you can also donate to: an emergency bail fund for transgender folx; the NAACP Legal Defense Fund which supports racial justice through advocacy and litigation; the ACLU which provides legal services and support for a broad range of people with civil rights complaints; The Bail Project which aims to mitigate incarceration rates through bail reform; and to the Black Visions Collective, a black-led, queer and trans centering group whose mission is to organize and connect Black communities and dismantle systems of violence.

Donate funds to a neighborhood relief effort that benefits people of color.

These local mutual aid funds, provide food and resource distribution for communities of color, immigrant and working class folk. 

NYC Black Mutual Aid

Astoria Mutual Aid Network

Bed-Stuy Strong

Crown Heights Aid

Flatbush United

South Brooklyn Mutual Aid

North Brooklyn Mutual Aid

Bushwick Ayuda Mutua

Sunnyside Woodside Mutual Aid

Ridgewood Tenants Union

Bronx Mutual Aid Network

Contribute to groups offering free therapy for the black community.

"The effects of racism and racial trauma on mental health is real and cannot be ignored," says National Alliance on Mental Health, African American sector (Nami Communicate) CEO Dan Gillison. "The disparity in access to mental health care in communities of color cannot be ignored." You can donate to their fund here. 

The grassroots organization The Okra Project has created both the Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund and the Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund to raise money for one-time mental health therapy sessions (with licensed black women therapists) for Black trans women, Black transfeminine people, and/or Black folks who identify as transgender. To donate to either recovery fund above, you can send money to the Okra Project's paypal.

Loveland Therapy Fund, provides financial assistance to Black women and girls nationally seeking therapy to help them work through their pain and trauma. You can donate here

Protest if you’re able to.

We are still in the wake of a pandemic, therefore, not everyone is able to protest on-the-ground. But, if you are able (and healthy) to demonstrate solidarity by participating in a protest or vigil, this Instagram account shares planned events in New York City.

On Tuesday, there is a vigil set at 1pm at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, and there have been nightly vigils since Friday at Greenpoint's McCarren Park. 

We also rounded up a slew of safety recommendations for protestors here such as wearing face masks, going with a small group as a buddy system, and protecting your body.

Donate (or volunteer) to get resources to those out protesting.

To help get needed-supplies to protestors in New York City right now—including personal protective equipment, first aid supplies, water, and food—you can send money to black-run organizer Nourish NYC. The group has been putting together upwards of 400 food and supply kits a day, doing water drops, and has sent over $5,000 in direct cash assistance to protestors lacking funds for safe transportation home and bail. So far, Nourish NYC has raised over $20,000. 

You can also fill out a volunteer form to help put together kits or deliver.

Support Black-owned businesses in New York.

Here's a guide to connect you with all black-owned businesses around town you can support immediately, if you're not already. Start with a donation or order a meal today. The New Yorker's food critic Hannah Goldfield and Bon Appétit's social media manager Rachel Karten have culled together two spreadsheets that list the names of black-owned restaurants near you, and if they're currently doing delivery or takeout during the current health crisis. Here's Goldfield's and here is Karten's.

Here is another list of black-owned restaurants, made with data from the app Eat Okra, and it includes the Bronx, Staten Island and Long Island. 

Research and educate before voting in local and state elections. 

District attorneys and state attorneys have power over investigating and charging officers with police misconduct, and local races elect people to those positions. Lend support by getting educated before you vote. You can also actively support the movement by sending a message to your congressional representatives on current racial injustices.  

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