How to Get Involved and Support the BLM Protest While Social Distancing
Media overload can make it easy to feel overwhelmed or unclear about how best to support the Black Lives Matter movement. While hundreds of thousands have taken the brave step to protest in the streets despite the looming pandemic and instances of police brutality, others have opted to support through monetary contributions and information sharing.
In solidarity with the movement, Bay Street Bull has compiled a list of initiatives and collectives you can support not only today but moving forward. Weekly we will be updating this list to highlight newly established avenues for change within our immediate community and across borders within the states and our neighbouring provinces.
Donate to Protestors and Affected Locals
If you are looking for ways to aid in the long-term community-based solutions in Minneapolis, specifically created to prevent violence, address systemic inequities and support efforts to reform the criminal justice system. The Minneapolis Foundation has already committed hundreds of thousands of dollars from its Fund for Safe Communities and is subsequently looking for donations. Headquartered in the place George Floyd called home, supporting The Minneapolis Foundation is a great way to give back the community directly affected by his death.
At the heart of Minneapolis’ cultural core, the Midtown Global Market Mend has taken on a number of community initiatives including rebuilding the local economy.
Not only have they been at the forefront of business repair and clean-up efforts in the area, but as a home to 45 small businesses, Minneapolis’ midtown is a hub for local entrepreneurs desperately in need of support. The collective is now looking for donations to repair buildings and shops within the area and beyond that were damaged by looters.
As protests near the end of their second week of mobilization, activists and peaceful protesters continue to face violence and harsh police tactics.
If you are looking for a way to support protests while socially distancing yourself from crowds, the Gas Mask Fund is looking for donations that will go directly to providing masks and protective gear to protesters. The military-grade masks will shield and protect against teargas, smoke bombs and chemicals released from flares.
Support the Black Lives Matter movement through art with The Mailwork’s 8.5” by 11” vinyl decals. The entire sum of proceeds will be donated through the company to the Centre for Law and Justice, committed to uplifting and providing needed infrastructure for communities of colour, or Root3d Healing, committed to promoting liberation, healing and power within communities of colour. At check out you select your organization of choice and shipment details. At purchase you can also increase donation amounts to any desired figure. For more information on each organization or to make donations to the individual initiatives extensive initiative information can be found on their respective websites.
Initiatives in Support of Black Youth
DESTA Black Youth Network (Montreal)
For those looking for community groups looking for members and leaders going forward, DESTA Empowers Black youth aged 18 to 35 to reach their educational, employability, and entrepreneurial goals. The initiative is the perfect opportunity to grow as an individual or to promote growth in black youth.
DESTA is based in Montreal and serves thousands across the greater Montreal area.
For years, parents of Black youth and children of colour have been pleading with school boards across Canada to amend curriculum to include minority perspectives. With no major changes made to date, community organizers have taken matters into their own hands and communities. An at home initiative, Freedom School is a three week program for children aged four to ten. Focused on cultivating self worth and identity in Black children located in the GTA, the project works to promote humanizing, self-affirming, queer positive educational opportunities.
Donate to Affected or Related Businesses
NIA Centre for the Arts (Toronto)
Supporting the Black Lives Matter means more than protesting when injustices are highlighted. On a day to day basis, black artists and creatives are recognized and supported less than their white peers. If you are looking to support the Black experience through art and artists, the NIA Centre for Arts supports and showcases art from the African-Diaspora. Events and initiatives can be located and followed through their home site. General donations or donations to their Capital Development Fund can also be made through their website.
Hogan’s Alley (Vancouver)
This Non-profit located in Vancouver supports the advancement of social, political, economic and cultural well-beings of people of African Descent in Vancouver and British Columbia. The Hogan’s Alley Society (HAS) is a comprised of civil rights activists, business professionals, community organizations, artists, writers and academics who are working to highlight the presence and identity of Black history in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia. Using research HAS preserves and promotes the historical contributions made by Black Settlers and their descendants to Vancouver, Greater Vancouver, the Province of British Columbia, the Pacific Northwest and Canada.
Show support by investing in the future of young Black professionals. This non-profit is providing business classes, financial literacy, business readiness, marketing, and more. Not only is the organization a hub for educating and uplifting Black Canadians within business but it’s National Scholarship promotes the achievement of academic excellence by Black Canadian youth. Scholarships are awarded in three categories; the deadline to apply is July 12th.
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