As protests continue to be held daily following the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and so many others at the hands of police, many people may feel hesitant to join in person, whether from COVID-19 fears to witnessing the often violent end to protests. But there are many ways to support Black Lives Matter and protesters, from bail fund donations to educating yourself on how to be anti-racist. Here is a starter guide for suggested resources.
Start here, with a wide-ranging overview of petitions to sign, organizations to support, and more.
Donating money, if you have the ability to, is a great way to show your support. Your dollars aid organizations that are well-versed in advocacy work—they’ve done the groundwork and already have staff and volunteers, networks, research, and campaigns in motion. Your contribution will amplify their important anti-racist work. A good way to expand your donation’s impact is by asking friends to match your donation, or by sharing the fact that you’ve donated within your network.
Black Visions Collective
Founded in 2017, the Minnesota-based Black Visions Collective is committed to dismantling systems of oppression and violence. The organization’s work is centered in healing and transformative justice principles, and nurturing the state’s emerging Black leadership to lead powerful campaigns.
Black Voters Matter
This organization is dedicated to voter registration and expanding voter rights and access.
Emergency Release Fund
Initially focused on keeping trans people out of NYC jail, the fund has expanded its mission during COVID-19 to include anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community.
For the Gworls' Rent and Gender-Affirming Surgery Fund
This fund is sued to help reduce homelessness rates in the Black transgender community, and lower the risk for affirmative surgeries being done in ways that put them at greater health risks.
LGBTQ Freedom Fund
A national organization, the LGBTQ Freedom Fund posts bail to secure the release of tens of thousands of LGBTQ people held in jails. Additionally, the organization raises awareness of the disproportionate harm of mass incarceration on the queer community.
NAACP and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund
The NAACP works to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race. This is enacted via the targeting of racial discrimination through democratic processes, the enforcement of civil rights at all levels, and communication with the public about the adverse effects of racial discrimination, among other objectives.
You can also donate to NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, seeking structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice.
National Bail Fund Network
As donations poured in to help protesters post bail, many resources found themselves overwhelmed by the generosity. For a comprehensive guide to bail funds across the country, as well as those which have kindly requested you send your money elsewhere, check the NBFN, which is updated regularly.
National Police Accountability Project
A project of the National Lawyers Guild, the NPAP has been operating as a nonprofit since 1999. The organization’s central mission is to promote the accountability of law enforcement officers and their employers for violations of the law, and to protect the human and civil rights of individuals in their encounters with law enforcement.
Buy From a Black Woman
Buy From a Black Woman champions Black women business owners and encourages the community at large to ensure their success. Donate to support Buy From a Black Woman’s business grant program and various educational resources, and visit their online directory to access a network of over 500 businesses owned and operated by Black women around the country.
Official Black Wall Street
Both the website and app offer users a business directory of a spectrum of Black-owned businesses, including restaurants, shops, medical providers, and designers.
The Okra Project
Named in recognition of cooking traditions of the African diaspora, The Okra Project seeks to address the hunger crisis that Black trans people experience worldwide. Proceeds allow for Black trans chefs to travel to the homes of fellow Black trans folks and community spaces to provide food and company. Additional programs include the Okra Academy training program, the International Grocery Fund, and outings that bring Black trans people to theatre and other artistic spaces.
This list of social media accounts to follow ranges from Black artist spotlights to educational seminars about combating racism, identifying white privilege, and resources to educate yourself on how to be an anti-racist.
Teach yourself about Black theatre and the artists who create works around the county by exploring organizations like Black Table Arts. Its mission is to provide access to quality, art-based programs that center education, social justice, and artistic development to uplift black lives. Check out Black Theatre Matters for a comprehensive list of equity and non-equity theatres across America.
Read up on the Communities United for Police Reform campaign, which aims to end discriminatory policing practices in New York City. Its website offers resources like a Know Your Rights fact sheet to help you stay safe during interactions with the police. In addition, CUPR has written useful articles identifying the problems within the NYPD today and various proposed bills that could affect positive change.
In addition, there are a number of organizations led by Broadway stars and theatre workers worth checking out:
The Artistic Circle
Broadway theatre owner and producer The Shubert Organization has launched a new initiative that aims to support early-to-mid career BIPOC theatre producers with projects currently in development.
Black Broadway Men
Anthony Wayne collected a group of Black men in theatre to form a racial equality group to support fellow members of their community and industry. Black Broadway Men is open to all self-identifying Black men who work on stage or behind the scenes in theatre.
Black Theatre Coalition
This organization is working to increase representation by 500 percent before 2030. T. Oliver Reid, Warren Adams, and Reggie Van Lee co-founded the group in response to the lack of visibility on Broadway, where Black artists and leaders have accounted for less than one percent of the makeup of directors, choreographers, and lead producers in their respective fields.
Black Theatre United
This coalition of performers, directors, writers, technicians, producers, stage managers, and more aims to inspire industry-wide reform and to combat industry-wide systemic racism. Among the founders are Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Billy Porter, LaChanze, and Vanessa Williams. The group has hosted several town halls and used its star power to make appearances on morning talk shows.
This organization, founded by Destinee Rea and Tia DeShazo, is dedicated to building up Black women in the performing arts. They recently showcased the work of nine Black womxn artists in a free, online short play festival.
Broadway Advocacy Coalition
Formed in 2016, BAC is an arts-based advocacy nonprofit dedicated to building the capacity of individuals and organizations to use storytelling to dismantle racism and the systems that perpetuate it. Over the summer, the group held a number of summits to help the industry heal and grow, and launched a fellowship to support artists whose work is grounded in activism.
Founded in 2012 by Drew Shade, Broadway Black is a platform dedicated to highlighting the achievements and successes of Black theatre artists on and off the Broadway stage.
Broadway for Racial Justice
Brandon Michael Nase created BFRJ on two pillars: an emergency fund that artists of color can apply to for financial assistance regardless of credits or union affiliation, and a hotline where BIPOC can report racism in the workplace to a fellow person of color and be assigned an advocate to resolve the issue on their behalf.
The Industry Standard Group
A group of BIPOC producers—including Rashad V. Chambers, Adam Hyndman, and Sammy Lopez—banded together to form a commercial theatre investment and production organization to amplify BIPOC presence in major projects.
Kenny Seymour and Stephen Oremus founded MUSE to cultivate more racial equity in high-level positions such as music direction, arranging, and orchestrating. By developing pipelines and partnering with like-minded organizations, MUSE will challenge systemic acts of exclusion and support musicians as the industry transitions to a more diverse and inclusive environment.
We See You, White American Theater
In June, the We See You, WAT campaign published a letter demanding that the industry recognize its legacy of white fragility and white supremacy. Over 300 BIPOC artists signed it and released a petition that so far, as of October 14, has garnered over 100,000 signatures. In July, the group unveiled a 31-page document of demands written on behalf of BIPOC theatremakers. In February, WSYWAT released its initial report of organizations that have responded.