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The world is on fire. The most common sentiment that I see is “I don’t know what to say” and “I don’t know how to support” – well that and “you’re doing it wrong”. There are a lot of people telling us how to feel, what we’re saying is incorrect, or not enough.
We wanted to take a slightly different approach to help you figure out how you can help.
Every year during Pride Month we analyze hate crime data and what is (and isn’t reported) by state in the United States. Unsurprisingly, there is no one single database where all of this information lives, and there are no universal processes and accountability procedures that make sure that hate crimes are reported correctly. What we do see is an obvious trend: the more police departments that file reports, the more data is reported – and in most states, fewer than a quarter of police departments are submitting hate crime data.
If you look at this data and think “that seems off”, you are probably right. Under-reporting means we cannot get a true sense of the problem. We all know someone who is impacted by the current situation we find ourselves in. You may even be that person who is directly affected. Our thoughts and prayers are all well-intentioned but they aren’t going to move things in the right direction.
The point of doing this is to use what we have in support of something we believe in, something we want to see improve. Not everyone has the ability to run out and join a rally, or donate huge sums of money. But everyone has something they’re good at, a skill or ability that you could use in service of a worthy cause.
So how can you help? We came up with a few ideas and wanted to share:
Our friends at Spin Sucks have put together a list of resources to help you get up to speed on what’s going on. Being open, listening, and learning is maybe the most important thing that any of us can do right now.
- Ibram X. Kendi’s Antiracist Reading List: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/29/books/review/antiracist-reading-list-ibram-x-kendi.html
- Black Lives Matter “What Matters” Series: https://blacklivesmatter.com/whatmatters/
- Get 30 days of email from Rachel Elizabeth Cargle on how to position yourself as an ally: https://instagram.us18.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=e7528b5266e654d0ce83c211d&id=1e469b88c0
- How to Make this Moment a Turning Point for Real Change: [https://medium.com/@BarackObama/how-to-make-this-moment-the-turning-point-for-real-change-9fa209806067](mailto:https://medium.com/@BarackObama/how-to-make-this-moment-the-turning-point-for-real-change-9fa209806067)
- 75 Things You Can Do Right Now: https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234
Volunteer your time.
I saw an article yesterday about volunteers who showed up in downtown Boston with their own supplies and started cleaning up after the protests. If you search for the story, you’ll see people doing this in every city where there have been protests. Another option is to ask your town if they need help entering hate crime data into their databases to make the records more complete. Still unsure? A quick google search for volunteer opportunities will give you more ideas.
We are, in fact, still in the middle of a pandemic. There are businesses that are still suffering, people who are still unemployed. Add on top of that there are organizations fighting for civil rights, equate rights, and justice. It’s a lot to consider. We’ve put together a list of resources that we feel passionate about to help you get started. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but these organizations are all trustworthy:
- Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
- Color of Change: https://colorofchange.org/
- Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/
- National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls: https://www.nationalcouncil.us/
- Greater Boston Food Bank: https://www.gbfb.org/
- Chicago Food Bank: https://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/
No matter where you are or what your circumstances may be, you have an opportunity to participate, from educating yourself to playing an active role in our collective efforts for a more fair, more just society, in every nation.
If nothing else, be kind.
- The Trust Insights team
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