By Ke’Ana Lampkins
History is most certainly in the making. 2020 has been filled with monumental moments continuing to elevate the Civil Rights Movement. I want to be able to look back on this time and tell my children and grandchildren about the Black Lives Matter movement. Moreover, I want to advocate for Black lives and show my son what it means to be a proud Black person. I have a strong desire to protest, but unfortunately, we are still living in a world where I may not make it home. I don’t want my son to grow up without a mom (yes, Black women are dying in this protest) so I am holding off on protesting at this time.
Nonetheless, I’ve compiled a list of other ways you can help, not just for myself, but for others who may not be able to join the movement on the ground. I think the most obvious ways to support the movement is to join the protests, donate to bail relief funds and victims families who have lost loved ones, educating yourself and others (if you have the mental capacity), support programs that work to eradicate racism directly, and support Black-owned businesses. Time Magazine wrote an extremely comprehensive list of ways you can support the movement. Check it out here.
WAYS TO SUPPORT
Sign Petitions- These may seem like they do the least amount of work, results in the least amount of change. But not only is it a way to recruit others to the cause (by signing and sharing). There is power in numbers, Australia got rid of the tampon tax due to the 75,000 signatures.
Contact legislators, district attorneys, local offices: It’s important to make sure your voice is heard indirectly (through protests and petitions) but also directly. It does make an impact. The more calls, emails, and letters they get about a particular issue the more likely it will be addressed. Here is a website to help you figure out who your representatives are, and an article that advises how you should go about it.
Vote- One thing that stood out to me in Michelle Obama’s documentary Becoming, was how hurt she was that it was our people who didn’t go out and vote during the 2016 election. A lot of people feel like it doesn’t matter, but I think we know better now that it does. Even if you aren’t “into” politics when you vote that is a direct action that affects who you are choosing to govern us.
Pray- I know a lot of people hate when God is thrown into the mix during these times, but I think it’s important to note that he is not separated from what is currently happening. As my fellow co-author said, God loves black lives too. Prayer does change things. Petition the gates of heaven and pray for our government, pray for change in our justice system, pray for our white allies as they educate themselves and speak on our behalf, and pray for the families who are still losing their family members to hate crimes. Prayer releases hope and can provide emotional balance as we cope with all of this. And ultimately; it can remind us that He is a miracle worker.
At the end of the day, do what you can. Don’t feel compelled to protest if you feel it’s too unsafe, don’t donate if you don’t have the money (we are in a recession after all). But please figure out a way you can give to the cause, and do it fiercely. Write letters to congress, create masks for protestors, sign petitions. Do something, be apart of history.
Featured image: @Brea.soul
Ke’Ana Lampkins is a contributing writer for The Pedestal Project, LLC. Ke’Ana is a Christian, wife, and mother dedicated to empowering young girls and women through counseling, mentorship, and education. Connect with her on Instagram @Beautifully_Yanni.