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How to Get Involved and Take Action

Below is a list of organizations to which you can volunteer time and funds, and whom you can help get the word out.

At the time of this writing, our minds are on the murder of 46-year-old Black man George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, and the ongoing legacy of systemic racism that has preempted the carryout of justice for crimes against people of color in the United States. The first half of 2020 alone saw the killings of Breonna Taylor at the hands of Louisville, Kentucky police officers, Ahmaud Arbery at the hands of white civilians in Brunswick, Georgia, and Tony McDade at the hands of police officers in Tallahassee, Florida.

In the immediate wake of Floyd’s death, demonstrations have taken way in cities around the country in protest of the murder of individuals like Floyd, Taylor, and Arbery, and of a justice system that has proved historically to devalue the lives and rights of Black people. Concurrently, organizations raise money to benefit the families of victims and the communities directly affected by these crimes and their aftermath; others work toward combatting and reforming a system founded on or mechanized by racist ideology.

Spiritually linked are acts of inhumanity against immigrants—particularly immigrants of color, Muslim immigrants, and Latinx immigrants, many of whom are subject to arbitrary seizure and imprisonment in uninhabitable detention centers—and trans and gender-noncomforming people—again, disproportionately affecting trans and gender-nonconforming people of color—waged by civilians, police, and the government. Ongoing efforts to contend with these American epidemics likewise take the form of demonstration and protest, community building, and volunteering of time and funding.

Though the method of aid deemed most constructive will vary among aspiring volunteers, none exists independent of the others. These causes need people on the front lines as well as those devoted to research, organization, and clerical work, not to mention the money to back operations of all sort. Below is a growing catalogue of organizations that can educate and involve you in one or more of these efforts towards positive change. We welcome further suggestions.

Urgent Fundraisers

You can donate to the official GoFundMe for the families of George Floyd, Amaud Arbery, and Tony McDade and sign and donate to the Change.org petition and fundraiser for Breonna Taylor. Additionally, you can donate to the National Bailout, likewise the Minneapolis Bail Fund (more information below), the Louisville Community Bail Fund, the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, and the Colorado Freedom Fund, among many others.

Organizations

Audre Lorde Project

Founded in: 1994
Based in:
Brooklyn, NY

A Brooklyn-based community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans, and gender-noncomforming people of color, devoted to fostering community and fighting institutions that target and oppress. Programs include TransJustice, which works to motivate the trans community toward political action, and 3rd Space, which aids the queer community in struggles with employment, education, health care, and immigration status. You can donate and get involved as a member.

Black Lives Matter

Founded in: 2013
Based in: Across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom

An activist movement that organizes against systems that oppress and inflict violence against the Black community, likewise to uplift Black community in the face of adversity. Most recently, Black Lives Matter has worked toward helping its community members affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as toward the investigation of crimes waged by the government department ICE. Black Lives Matter is an especial target of racist propaganda and false information, which you can help them combat from home. You can also donate.

Black Visions Collective

Founded in: 2017
Based in: Minneapolis–Saint Paul, MN

An organization that campaigns for Black liberation and the betterment of the Black community across the Twin Cities. You can follow their work and donate.

Color of Change

Founded in: 2005
Based in: Oakland, CA; New York City, NY; Hollywood, CA; and Washington, D.C.

A racial justice organization that leads campaigns to challenge socioecomic injustice in Black communities. Recently, Color of Change has worked successfully towards causes like the ending of paid bail in Prince George’s County, MD, the dissolution of wedding aggregate sites’ relationships with plantation-based wedding venues, and the institution of a civil rights audit of Facebook. You can get involved as a member and donate.

Ear Hustle Podcast

Founded in: 2017
Based in: San Francisco, CA

A podcast that tells the stories of incarcerated people and former incarcerated people at the San Quentin State Prison. You can listen, subscribe, and donate.

Fight for the Future

Founded in: 2011
Based in: Worcester, MA

A group of technologists and artists targeting digital activism toward inclusivity and liberation, specifically looking to benefit “communities of color, low income people, religious minorities, political dissidents, LGBTQ people, and others who face systemic oppression.” Projects have involved the fight for net neutrality and against facial recognition technology. You can work for the group and donate.

LGBT Life Center

Founded in: 1989
Based in: Norfolk, VA

An organization working toward “improving health and wellness, strengthening families and communities, and providing transformative education and advocacy,” as well as housing, for queer and HIV-inflicted people and families. The LGBT Life Center maintains an ongoing calendar of (currently digital) community events, as well as a catalogue of varied resources. You can check out their blog and donate.

Minnesota Freedom Fund

Founded in: 2016
Based in: Minneapolis, MN

An organization that helps with immigrant bonds and unjust bails. At present, the MFF is cooperating with the National Lawyers Guild and Legal Rights Center to benefit protestors arrested in Minneapolis. You can volunteer to advocate, raise funds, manage bail payment, or work on the graphic design team. You can also donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, or to partnered organizations like the Black Visions Collective, the Northstar Health Collective, or Reclaim the Block (see below).

Movement for Black Lives

Founded in: 2014
Based in: Across the United States

An organization bent on mobilizing Black political power to contend with the corruption in institutions like the police department and the prison system, among others. Their Black Power Rising 2024 movement details a five-year plan for combating the establishment, and you can get involved on a more immediate level with efforts toward organization and outreach, as well as by donating.

National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network

Founded in: 2016
Based in:
Oakland, CA

A network devoted to providing quality mental health care and the related resources for queer people of color. You can search (or join) the directory and donate.

New Sanctuary Coalition

Founded in: 2007
Based in: New York City, NY

An organization that helps refugees, who are often unable to find proper legal representation, through the asylum process of the court system. Volunteers may work closely with refugees to prepare forms and affidavits or accompany them to court. You can learn about remote volunteer opportunities and donate.

Reclaim the Block

Founded in: 2018
Based in: Minneapolis, MN

Per the organization’s website, Reclaim the Block “organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety.” You can sign their new petition to invest in community-led safety solutions and donate.

The Sentencing Project

Founded in: 1986
Based in: Washington D.C.

An organization standing for reform in the U.S. criminal justice system by examining policies that disproportionately affect people of color. The Sentencing Project’s website is a treasure trove of information about the racial biases of standing law and is also a platform for visitors to support its varied actions. You may donate as well.

Showing Up for Racial Justice

Founded in: 2009
Based in: Across the United States

A multi-chaptered organization that connects people in and between cities on racial justice organization efforts. Campaigns have devoted effort toward ending the separating of immigrant families, fighting for disability justice, and more. You can read more about SURJ’s Theory of Change and donate.

Southerners On New Ground

Founded in: 1993
Based in: Atlanta, GA

Per SONG’s website, they “build, sustain, and connect a southern regional base of LBGTQ people in order to transform the region through strategic projects and campaigns developed in response to the current conditions in our communities.” You can become a member, participate in events, and donate.

Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Founded in: 2002
Based in: New York City, NY

Though currently closed, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project has established itself as one of New York’s foremost defenders of the rights and agency of trans and gender-noncomforming people. You can donate for when they are back up and running.

Trans Women of Color Collective

Founded in: 2003
Based in: New York City, NY

A group working to locate and build affirming spaces and leadership roles for trans and gender-noncomforming women of color. You can read about their work with the Healing and Restorative Justice Initiative and the Black Trans Health Initiative, among others, and donate.

TRANSgrediendo Intercultural Collective

Founded in: 2015
Based in: Jackson Heights, NY

A nationally recognized bilingual and multicultural movement that defends and promotes the human rights of the diverse Trans* and gender-diversity identity populations in the United States. There are a number of ways you can lend your talents to the cause.