How To Be A Social Justice Advocate

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There is no single way to be a social justice advocate.

So, if you are considering how to get involved in social justice initiatives to make your voice heard, you may be wondering, “how can I advocate in a way that makes sense for me?”

Since not everyone is able to participate protests this post seeks to provide you with resources that to keep you well informed, safe, and supporting social justice initiatives locally or nationally in a way that works for you.

What Is Social Justice?

Social justice is, “concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society, as measured by the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity, and social privileges” (Source: Wikipedia)

For the overarching theme of this post, I am using the broad term “social justice advocacy” because it is something that needs constant work and effort.

Depending on where you are with the time or resources you can give, you may engage in one or more of these options over time.

When it comes to current-day needs, the most pressing issue is determining the best ways to support the Black community.

I will therefore be providing detailed information on ways we can continue to let the community know that Black lives matter.

Hate Has No Place Here

Before I get started, however, I want to be clear:

I always welcome comments and feedback. In fact, they often make my day.

BUT.

I will not approve any comments that are discriminatory or incendiary.

I will not approve comments that do not promote and support open, civil conversation. This is NOT that platform .

The main purpose of this site is to provide ways to enhance the greater good, regardless of a person’s race, religion, or gender identity.

My goal is and always will be to uplift others and showcase all the big and little ways we can support people, places, and initiatives in need.

Hate and racism have no place anywhere on my teeny spot on the internet.

4 Ways To Support Social Justice

So let’s get back to doing good works. Here are four ways you can be a social justice advocate.

Hopefully one of these will be a fit for you and, even possibly, your family and friends.

Be Educated and Informed, Then Speak Up

One of the first (and most straightforward) ways to be supportive is to be educated and informed about an issue. While the two words may seem like synonyms I chose to differentiate them in this case.

Educating ourselves means learning as much as we can about the where, what, why, when, and how.

Do as much research as possible by reading books and articles, actively listening to people who are directly impacted by the issue through online conversations, or podcasts and audio books. Watching documentaries also provides a valuable opportunity.

And while there is no final “report” necessary you want to gain a depth of understanding. This way, when you speak out on the issue it is as someone who has facts, not guesswork or assumptions, on their side.

To be informed, on the other hand, means understanding how what you learned impacts the current–day actions and reactions that people have about the issue.

So to educate yourself about why people continue to protest in support of Black Lives Matter, here are some places to start. I am only providing a handful of suggestions because this post would be book-length otherwise.

READ

If you search up the term “anti-racist,” you will find a whole host of articles detailing great reading lists as a start.

To get you started and make it simple, here are an article and post that, together, provide a comprehensive list of reading options:

LISTEN

For pointed commentary and online conversations, I have followed these wonderful women for years:

  • Gene Demby’s NPR show Code Switch is another great way to listen and learn.
WATCH

Films and documentaries are another place where people have put together exhaustive lists of things to consider so

  • 13TH on Netflix described as, “In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.”
  • Read the book, then watch Just Mercy. This this movie is FREE to watch if you have Amazon Prime (as of 6/6/20).

Donate To Non-profit Organizations

There are plenty of posts talking about how to donate money to organizations that support the Black Lives Matter movement as it relates to policing and policy change.

I do include a very important one of these in the list below.

My main focus, however, is to shine a light on some lesser-known organizations.

These groups have already been actively addressing important and specific challenges within the Black community and will continue to do so in years to come.

Organizations To Support

Equal Justice Initiative – 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.”

Girls Like Me Project – Girls Like Me Project, “believes that although African-American girls are disproportionately targeted by devaluing stereotypes and media messages of misogyny, self-hate, and destructive behavior that adversely normalizes circumstances of poverty and violence; a strong sense of self-efficacy and awareness can transform them into change agents for social good.”

Sisters Network – Sisters Network, “is committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African American community.”

Their overall goal is to, “reduce the mortality rate of breast cancer among African American women by generating awareness, garnering attention, providing access to information and resources, and supporting research efforts in the ecosystem.

The Conscious Connect – The Conscious Connect wants, “to spark a world-class cultural renaissance and neighborhood revitalization movement — that establishes the world’s most comprehensive Children’s Equity Zones.”

When donating to an organization, no amount is too little.

So, why not start a donation jar in your house and have people add their change from the day?

Those coins will quickly add up and will make a difference in a worthy non-profit organization’s bottom line.

Volunteer Your Time

Volunteering your time is a way to think globally but act locally. Here are some organizations that have comprehensive resources to review and find opportunities in your area:

Points of Light

Idealist

Volunteer Match

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“Black lives matter, because justice matters. Period. [But] the world will not become more just on its own — that is up to us.” ~Greg Baldwin, VolunteerMatch CEO . Once we take a stand, it’s then time to make it happen. VolunteerMatch helps us discover ways to do that. . Browse our virtual opportunities, and sign up today: https://bit.ly/3bSlNTm . (Read Greg’s full statement, “Standing for Justice and Service”: https://bit.ly/2ADJstH) . . . . . #volunteermatch #service #virtualvolunteering #volunteersofinstagram #georgefloyd #protest #justice #opportunityforchange #change #darkestbeforethedawn #changeispossible #allinthistogether #COVID19 #friday #focusfriday #fridaymood #fridayvibes

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Participate In A Peaceful Protest

Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash

Being informed not only means understanding how history has contributed to these pivotal moments, but you also must make sure to know your rights if you are arrested during a protest.

The ACLU provides comprehensive information so that you know your rights.

Not only should a every protester be informed about their rights, but it is also important to document how people can help you in case of your arrest.

Many years ago, I worked with @prisonculture and @andreadmorgan to create a template anyone can use to document their wishes in case of their arrest.

The template was a direct result of arrests being made during protests but was also intend for anyone who may be profiled or targeted within their community.

Just as you document your medical wishes, it is important to document your wishes in case of an arrest.

In Case Of My Arrest Template Information

The three key sections included in this document are:

  • Emergency details – document things like personal details, what someone should do to post bail, and people who should be notified of your arrest.
  • Legal assistance – document the legal aid that should be called if need be, any lawyer you want involved, and detailed written instructions.
  • Public communications – document how you want people to handle public communications, if need be, via social media and the press.

After completing the template, it’s important to send via email or physically give a printed copy to someone you trust.

In addition to the full template, I also created a business card template you can use to print important information and easily hand out to people before you leave for a protest or even while you’re protesting.

Download the In Case Of My Arrest Templates
  • Click here to download the full In Case of My Arrest template.
  • Click here to download the In Case of My Arrest business card template.

The Time For Change Is Now

No matter how you chose to voice your support, the time for change is now; I therefore hope that this post provided some new ideas or new connections that will help you find the best ways to make a difference in your community.

Share The Goods

I am always looking to learn about local organizations making a difference in their community so please leave a comment below with some of your favorites so they can be considered for a feature.