As you've seen in the news, this week police in Wisconsin shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times. Although he survived, he's paralyzed from the waist down. As long as police keep shooting Black men and women, I'll keep profiling groups that support racial justice.
Previous blogs focused on groups that support Black lives such as Showing Up for Racial Justice, Color of Change, and the Movement for Black Lives. I realized, however, that I've never highlighted the official Black Lives Matter organization, so I'm doing that today.
Black Lives Matter was founded in 2013 by Black organizers, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's murderer, George Zimmerman. As they explain on the website, "Black Lives Matter began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Our intention from the very beginning was to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act together in their communities."
Today the project is a member-led global network of more than 40 chapters across the US, UK and Canada. Their mission is to "eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes."
In addition to organizing direct actions, Black Lives Matter has a variety of resources, programs and social media campaigns. You can download a series of toolkits that address healing justice and direct action, conflict resolution in the chapters, and guidance for white people to #TalkAboutTravon and issues of racial justice. The Provocateurs is a series of videos featuring artists who create within a politically radical framework and #WhatMatters2020 is a campaign to bring BLM supporters and allies to the polls in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. Watch a short video on that effort here.
If you want to support the work of Black Lives Matter you can do that by making a donation, shopping for and wearing merchandise (including masks) and following their social media by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @Blklivesmatter.