Black Lives Matter protest, diversity

Over the weekend, Black Lives Matter protests have broken out across America as a direct result of the tragic murder of George Floyd and police brutality.

George Floyd, 46, died after being arrested by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Footage of the arrest shows a police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck while he was pinned to the floor. The footage showed Floyd pleading with the officers, repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.”

The footage sparked nationwide and international protests against police brutality, violence towards the black community and racism as a whole.

The Black Lives Matter movement, originally established in 2013, has now gained a worldwide momentum. It’s aim is to bring justice, healing and freedom to Black people across the globe.

While many of us feel outrage towards to current situation, there is also a feeling of helplessness. However, there are a number of ways to support the movement and proactively be an ally at all times. Below, WeAreTheCity have pulled together resources to educate and understand different forms of privilege that we may possess.

At WeAreTheCity, we believe in equality for all and will continue to help increase representation of the BAME community and share a variety of voices and opinions. With the help of the below, we can gain a better understanding of the context of the protests, and how to become a better ally.

As a start, WeAreTheCity has donated to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund.

Campaigns

There are a number of campaigns and petitions as a direct result to the situation in America.

Change.org are currently calling for signatories for their petition, Justice for George Floyd; while the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and #WeCantBreathe are also petitioning.

Donations

There are also a number of international charities and organisations who are calling for donations. These include, The Bail Project, a not-for-profit organisation aiming to prevent incarceration and combat racial and economic disparities in the U.S. bail system; and the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund, which hopes to help cover his funeral costs and support the family as they go through court proceedings.

Black Lives Matter protest, diversity

Social Media

Across Instagram, people are taking part in Blackout Tuesday. To join in, Instagram users simply post a black square on their feed, and commit to not posting for the rest of the day.

Organisers are now asking people to refrain from using the #BlackLivesMatter and #BLM hashtags, as it obscuring important information about the campaign. Users are instead asked to use #BlackoutTuesday and #TheShowMustBePaused.

Sheree Atcheson, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Monzo, who has featured on WeAreTheCity and spoken at a number of our conferences, has written an article with advice for companies. You can find that here.

Black Ballad has also created a Twitter thread with a number of UK based charities, organisations and platforms, who aim to eradicate racial injustice. You can discover this thread here.

TV/Film

Netflix’s 2016 documentary, 13th, explores the “intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States. It is named after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1865, which abolished slavery throughout the US and ended involuntary servitude except as a punishment for conviction of a crime.

Directed by Ava DuVernay, the film explores the economic history of slavery and post-Civil War racist legislation and practices that replaced it she contends as “systems of racial control” and forced labour from the years after the abolition of slavery to the present

Books

Reni Enno-Lodge book - Why I'm no longer talking to white people about raceRecommended Read: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race | Reni Eddo Lodge

The book that sparked a national conversation. Exploring everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race, Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race is the essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain today.

Recommended Read: Freedom Is A Constant Struggle | Angela Davis

Freedom is a constant struggle recommended readIn these newly collected essays, interviews and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world.

Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality and prison abolitionism for today’s struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyses today’s struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine.

The Good Immigrant, Recommended ReadRecommended Read: The Good Immigrant | Nikesh Shukla

Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that doesn’t seem to want you, doesn’t truly accept you – however many generations you’ve been here – but still needs you for its diversity monitoring forms.

Inspired by discussion around why society appears to deem people of colour as bad immigrants – job stealers, benefit scroungers, undeserving refugees – until, by winning Olympic races or baking good cakes, or being conscientious doctors, they cross over and become good immigrants, editor Nikesh Shukla has compiled a collection of essays that are poignant, challenging, angry, humorous, heartbreaking, polemic, weary and – most importantly – real.

Me and White Supremacy Recommended ReadRecommended Read: Me and White Supremacy: How to Recognise Your Privilege, Combat Racism and Change | Layla Saad

Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of colour, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.

When Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #MeAndWhiteSupremacy, she never predicted it would spread as widely as it did. She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors, big and small. She was looking for truth, and she got it. Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and over 90,000 people downloaded the Me and White Supremacy Workbook.

You can find more books about race, racism and feminism in our recommended books section here.

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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