BLACK LIVES MATTER – Be a Part of the Change

By: Estephany Rivas

We all have observed changes in society over the past several weeks.  From dealing with a global pandemic and trying our hardest to survive alongside our loved ones, to now we’re dealing with a fight for equality and justice. We’ve heard about people witnessing and experiencing the injustices and brutality against the Black community.  It’s tiring to see such violent acts being committed and very sickening. The mistreatment of the Black community nationally is beyond unfair.  

A couple of weeks ago an innocent Black man named George Floyd was killed by a police officer during his arrest, for allegedly using fake money in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The officer named Derek Chauvin, who is now in custody, had George laying on the ground handcuffed, with his knee on George Floyd’s neck.  People who witnessed the violent act pleaded for the other three officers to stop Chauvin, yet nothing was done to stop him.  With George Floyd desperately pleading that he could not breathe, calling out for his mother, he eventually died.  Millions of people, including myself, were horrified by the violence that was committed which resulted in an innocent black man’s death.  We all felt for his death and family, we still do, and always will.  

Many people were moved by this and demanded that justice be made.  Peaceful protests began with a desire to make a difference, demand equality, justice, and that such kinds of inhumane acts will no longer occur.  Riots, lootings, and more acts of police brutality occurred due to the police enforcement and the Federal government trying to prevent people from protesting.  WE CANNOT LET THAT HAPPEN! So many deaths and incarcerations of innocent Black people have been brought to light and we are all fighting in this together.  As we are a part of the new generation, it’s important for us to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.  Here are some ways you can join the fight in letting our voices be heard.

  1.  PETITIONS

There are numerous petitions you can sign, which is a great way to take legal action, make laws get passed, and increase attention to cases not recognized by the media.  Signing petitions is very easy.  There are numerous petition websites to choose from.  With just a few clicks you could sign dozens or maybe even more petitions a day.  I am constantly signing petitions, reading, learning, and educating myself on different cases and issues. There are plenty of Black Lives Matter petitions, trying to reach their goal.  Therefore, if you have not done so already, read and sign petitions to help make a change. Help us fight for justice, let your voices be heard.  Some petitions to sign supporting BLM: 

2. DONATIONS 

Donations are also a great way to engage with the Black Lives Matter movement.  Donating to bail-funds, protesters, and GoFundMe pages, are ways donations will be helpful to the movement.  The donations are used for various resources for the organizations.  For example, bail-funds are used for people who have gotten arrested for protesting.  There are bail funds for cities around the country.  You can also research what kind of donation opportunities are in your area so you can donate locally. 

Here are some donations supporting BLM: 

3. SHARE HELPFUL INFORMATION  

We all use social media and are constantly seeing new information.  Many of us have reposted and shared information on our social media platforms by spreading the news and links to websites supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.  But unfortunately, a lot of people have used this time as a “trend.”  It is not a trend and we must continue to amplify Black voices and continue to share information (donation links, petition links, educational resources, Black-owned businesses, etc.).  There are thousands of petitions and donations that have not reached their intended goal.  Use your social media platforms to spread awareness, using the BLM hashtag.  Educate yourself by researching those who you follow and engage with on your social media platforms.  Educate friends and family continue to be an advocate for sharing information.  Here are some Instagram accounts with useful information supporting the BLM movement: 

@adoringblackwomen

@blmlosangeles

@blacklivesmatter

@distinctlycreative 

@laylafsaad

@munroebergdorf

@blackgirlactivist 

  1. PROTESTS

Protests are one of the best ways to engage in the movement.  You are surrounded by hundreds of people fighting for the same reasons.  Going out to protests near you or in your state is perfect for physically speaking up and letting your voice be heard.  Now I am not saying to go to riots as they can be dangerous.  There is a message behind riots, but that is not my suggestion.  Peaceful protests are recommended, which you can march or say a speech if you’d like to do so.  Protesting Is a way of fighting against the injustices that is occurring.  There have been protests in all parts of the city in different boroughs.  Protests around the city are usually scheduled days prior to the actual protests and protests are usually happening daily so it should be easy to find one.  Using social media is a good way to find protests near you.

It is important to note that we are all strong, beautiful in our skin complexions, and we will not let systematic oppression tear us down.  It is 2020 and we are the voice of the world!  We are all growing into beautiful young men, women, or however you respectfully identify.  Nobody should ever feel, be seen, or be treated as a threat due to their race and color of skin.  Racism is never an option, love a person for who they are; their mentality.  Treat people how you want to be treated, be compassionate, and helpful to those who are targeted by the system or society. We are fighting for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey and so many more.  May the soul of those who died due to violence in the hands of the system and society, rest in peace.  May those who have experienced racism and discrimination, or any sort of harassment, keep fighting and stay strong!  Hold your head up high.  Fight for what’s right!  Fight for a change!  Fight for justice!  SILENCE IS VIOLENCE!  Continue to educate yourself, including others, participate in protests if you can, sign petitions, and donate to funds in need. Support and shop at Black-owned businesses.  Respect, love, and understand others.  LET’S BE A PART OF THE CHANGE!