Since the death of George Floyd, there has been a rise in support for the Black Lives Matter movement. People across the world are realizing the urgency of the situation and joining in the fight for black lives. Protests have been held in all fifty states and in numerous countries. We must keep fighting against the racial injustices that plague the black community.
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to donate or can afford to help using other means. Many people want to get involved but do not know how or cannot do so financially. It can be overwhelming and confusing to know where to start, but there are ways to help that do not require money. Here are five different ways to support the black lives matter movement at no cost.
1. Sign petitions
Petitions are one of the best, easiest ways to support BLM for free, from anywhere. Whether it is for specific justice of a black person who has suffered police brutality, or to propose action and changes to law, signing petitions is easy and effective. The majority of petitions are created on change.org, but other sites and organizations featuring petitions. Here are a few links to chains of petitions to get you started:
2. Stream youtube videos
While donations are incredibly important during this time-not only to support black businesses and families, but also activate and promote protesting-not everyone can afford to donate. Fortunately, one youtuber Zoe Amira created a video featuring black art and music that uses ads to donate to the BLM cause. 100% of the adsense from the video is donated to BLM, so this is a great way to help whether actively watching or streaming in the background.
There a few things to check before watching, though. Ad blocker has to be turned off or any other plug-in that would prevent ads, and when you are watching the videos, you must let the ads play all the way through. It is also important to not pause the video, too, because that can interfere with how youtube counts views. A few other creators have followed Zoe in this and made their own videos featuring black art and ads raising money for BLM.
Note: Some stream-to-donate videos have been taken down by Youtube. Make sure the videos you watch are from trustworthy sources.
3. Educate yourself through books and movies
Education is one of the most important steps to supporting BLM or any other cause you're passionate about. As a white person, I am privileged and I need to be aware of my privilege and how it has disadvantaged black people throughout history and continues to do so. While buying books from black authors is great, you can also use your library's website or app to borrow ebooks for free. Movies are also great tools for education, especially for those who may already have subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. I know Netflix has also created a new feature where you can 'gift' your Netflix to someone else for free. Also, I highly recommend Netflix parties for watching these movies to learn and open up discussion with your friends. This is just one list of some books and movies for education on the topics at hand.
4. Follow black creators/Support black businesses
Supporting black businesses and ingraining this into your everyday life is another great way to support the movement. However, you do not have to spend money to support them. Following and being active on their social medias shows your support for free. Related to this, there are amazing black creators on youtube and other platforms creating content like everyone else and they deserve your attention just as much as anyone. Because black creators are not naturally promoted compared to non-black creators, we have to search for them ourselves. Diversifying the media you consume helps combat underlying racism of society subconsciously. Unconscious bias is real and by reading more from black authors, watching more black actors, and listening to more black musicians and speakers, the situation can be ameliorated.
Here is one playlist created by mxmtoon that I've enjoyed:
5. Text, call, and email
Finally, texting, calling, and emailing government officials and politicians is the way to create change. I know this can seem daunting. Nonetheless, real change can only be made with new government policies and laws promoting justice. There are many prewritten emails and templated ones that you can use to easily communicate with these officials and leaders. Calling is another way to do this, and there examples of what to say written out to help you. Texting is especially simple, since by typing one word you can sign a petition or donate but most importantly, demand justice. Below are some links to get your started:
These are simple, free ways to get started in supporting the Black Lives Matter Movement. Whether you pick one to start with, or work on all five at the same time, these easy tasks will support black lives, and begin the long journey and upheaval that has to come for there to be real change in this world. Don't let yourself be overwhelmed. Stay impassioned, stay outraged, and stay informed. BLM.