Black Lives Matter protest

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Voice of Witness reiterates our full solidarity with Black communities and allies protesting against police brutality, mass incarceration, and the racial injustice inseparable from this country’s history and institutions. We demand accountability and justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and so many others whose names we will never know. We commit to following the leadership of Black activists as we work to examine and fight for an end to anti-black discrimination in our communities. We join their call for the dismantling of systems that sustain white supremacy and increased investment in grassroots programs, public education, and social services that serve Black communities.

The list below shares resources to learn about and take action against racism and police violence. We look forward to growing and doing the collective work of fighting injustice alongside you.

Learn:

Readings:

    • Haymarket Books: A reading list of books against policing and mass incarceration (all currently 30% off).
    • Article: “Of Course There Are Protests. The State Is Failing Black People,” by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
    • Article: “Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true” by Nikole Hannah-Jones
    • Article: “You shouldn’t need a Harvard degree to survive birdwatching while black,” by Samuel Getachew, a 17-year-old and the 2019 Oakland youth poet laureate
    • Article: “The Case for Reparations,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
    • More Readings: List of links to formative texts on: Black radical politics, prison abolition, racial capitalism, Indigenous studies, and more.
    • Voice of Witness books:

Podcasts:

    • Code Switch: This NPR podcast dissects the topic of race––and how it impacts every part of society.
    • The 1619 Project: Led by reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones (and recent Pulitzer Prize winner), it examines how no aspect of the US went untouched by slavery, and all the different ways that continues to be true.
    • Still Processing: Hosted by two Black, queer culture writers who critique and make sense of the internet, trends, social issues, and pop culture at large.

Films/Videos:

Take Action:

  • Protest, and/or contribute to the fight beyond the streets:
    • To find protests near you, search Facebook events or contact your local Black Lives Matter chapter.
    • 26 Ways to Be in the Struggle Beyond the Streets – This resource shares 26 ways you can participate beyond protesting, including hosting or attending trainings; joining planning or strategy calls; creating and sharing art; being a self-care buddy, and more.
  • Contact your local and state leaders:
    • Defund12.org – This tool lets you email all of your city’s elected officials with one click to demand they defund police budgets and reallocate towards housing, education, social services, and more.
    • Resources for Accountability and Actions for Black Lives –  A list of actions to take for accountability and justice in response to recent police killings.
  • Sign petitions:
    • Color of Change – Text ENOUGH to 55156 to sign Color of Change’s petition demanding justice for Breonna Taylor. It has been months since her murder and the police officers have yet to be arrested or charged. 
    • Black Lives Matter – Several active racial justice petitions.
  • Support local Black-owned businesses: 
  • Support Black Voters Matter
    • Support the voter registration efforts of Black Voters Matter.
  • Educate yourself and the people around you: 
    • In particular, non-Black allies must deepen understanding of how racism works, and have difficult conversations with family and friends.
  • Donate:
    • TGI Justice Project: Helps black trans leaders inside and outside of prisons through leadership development, legal support, and re-entry programs. 
    • Anti Police-Terror Project: Supports families surviving police terror, documents police abuses, and connects people to resources and legal referrals. Works to end state-sanctioned violence against Black, Brown, and poor people. 
    • NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund: Conducts landmark legal battles and campaigns to protect voting rights and advance racial justice.
    • Bay Area Anti-Repression Committee Bail Fund: Bail fund for those that do not have resources to bail themselves.
    • Peoples Breakfast Oakland: Raises bail for Black people who have been arrested across Alameda county, and provides meals to houseless communities in Oakland.
    • Black Earth Farms: Farming collective by Pan-African and Pan-Indigenous farmers that has been delivering free meals to Black people who have been arrested and injured at protests. Donate by Venmo: @blackearthfarms
    • Southern Poverty Law Center: Fights hate and bigotry using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy.