Do Something

A Non-Exhaustive List of Ways to Channel Your Energy

Black Lives Matter. There are many ways to get involved in dismantling systemic racism. You can help to create change by donating your time, brain power, or money to any of the activities and organizations below. Change cannot occur in a single day, month, or year; it is the result of hard work and effort over generations – both within ourselves and our communities.

Educate Yourself and Others It’s uncomfortable to think and talk about racism. Lean into that discomfort; that’s where learning happens!

  1. WATCH:
    1. TED Talks
    2. Movies: Seven Movies to Learn More About Racism and Black History
  2. TALK to your friends and family. Let’s face it, it’s easier said than done, here’s some resources that might help:
    1. How To Talk To Your Friends And Family About Race, According To Psychologists
    2. Three Tips for Talking to Other White People About Racism
    3. How to Talk to Your White Family About Racism
    4. How to Talk About Race Without Making a Complete Ass of Yourself
    5. Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism
  3. READ:
    1. Books: (by no means an exhaustive list)
      1. How to Be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi
      2. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – Robin DiAngelo
      3. So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
      4. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America – Richard Rothstein
      5. They Can’t Kill Us All Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement – Wesley Lowery
      6. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness – Michelle Alexander
    2. For FREE – the DC Library now has unlimited copies of many of these books
    3. For even more:
    4. And while you’re at it, support your local black-owned bookstores:
      1. Loyalty Bookstores – DC
      2. Mahogany Books – DC
      3. Harambee Books – Alexandria
      4. Look for more in your community!
    1. What white Americans can learn about racism from the coronavirus
    2. I am Black. This is what I Need (& what I Don’t) from White Allies.

Support Your Local Community

    1. Local Food Banks – look for more in your community!
      1. Food For Others – Fairfax
      2. Arlington Food Assistance Center
    2. Racial Justice Organizations:
      1. The Greater Washington Catalogue for Philanthropy has posted a non exhaustive list of racial justice nonprofits in the area
      2. search for more in your area!
    3. EAT: support black owned local restaurants in the DMV (or wherever you are!)
      1. Restaurant lists:
      3. How You Can Support DC Black-Owned Restaurants Now (Washingtonian)
    4. Uber eats – now allows you to search for black-owned restaurants
  2. DONATE to organizations making an impact in your state/city
    1. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
      1. Donate:
        1. Virginia
        2. Maryland
        3. DC
    2. Volunteer:
      1. Virginia
      2. Maryland
      3. DC
    1. Virginia Medical Reserves Corps – Not just for medical professionals!
      1. Register with the Virginia Volunteer Health System
      2. You’ll get an email from VAMRC (may take some time) regarding a training session. It’s online and basically just a webinar.
      3. Once the registration process is complete, they’ll reach out with volunteer opportunities which you can opt into on case-by-case basis.
    2. Become a poll worker for the 2020 general election (if you don’t live in VA look for your local office!)
      1. Fill out the Officer of Election Interest Form
      2. Note that  24.2-118.1of the Virginia Code says that employers can’t punish you or require you to use sick/vacation leave to fulfill duties as a poll worker if you do so for at least four hours!

Support Your National Community – DONATE and VOLUNTEER time or money to these national organizations making change across the country

  1. Bail funds – check the National Bail Fund Network to find a bail fund in your community/another community you want to support
  2. The Innocence Project – “The Innocence Project, founded in 1992 by Peter Neufeld and Barry Scheck at Cardozo School of Law, exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reforms the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.”
    1. Donate to the IP – you can donate and/or start a Facebook fundraiser, among other options
    2. Volunteer
  3. Facing History and Ourselves – “People Make Choices. Choices Make History. We help students learn about hatred and bigotry so they can stop them from happening in the future.”
    1. Donate to FHO
    2. Get Involved
  4. My Brother’s Keeper Alliance – “President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper in February 2014 to address persistent opportunity gaps facing boys and young men of color and to ensure all youth can reach their full potential”
    1. Donate to MBKA
    2. Get Involved
  5. NAACP – “The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.”
    1. You can also join your local chapter of the NAACP – Arlington NAACP
      1. Go to
      2. Enter your zip code.
      3. Select Unit “7047-B Arlington Branch” (not “At-Large”)
      4. Join for $30 per year.
    2. Donate to NAACP
  6. Equal Justice Initiative – EJI works in the areas of criminal justice reform, racial justice and education. “The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.”
    1. Donate to EJI
    2. Get involved
  7. Black Lives Matter – “Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc is a global organization in the US, UK, and Canada, whose mission is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes. By combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, we are winning immediate improvements in our lives.”
    1. You can donate to the greater organization or your local chapter:
  8. Black Alliance for Just Immigration – The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) believes that a thriving multiracial democracy requires racial, social and economic justice for all. African Americans and black immigrants are stronger together and we can win by becoming leaders in the fight against structural racism and systemic discrimination. BAJI was formed to bring Black voices together to advocate for equality and justice in our laws and our communities.
    1. Read up on issues and solutions for communities in BAJI’s reports on their resources page.
  9. Support Black-Owned Businesses and Allies:
    1. These websites and articles can help you identify black-owned businesses to support:
      1. Support Black Owned
      2. Black-Owned Brands to Support Today and Every Day (Marie Claire)
      3. Black-Owned Businesses to Support (New York Magazine)
    2. Check out Ben and Jerry’s statement – an example of what truly crushing it looks like:
  10. Even more ways to donate: