Changing Hearts, Minds, and Communities: Four Ways .ORGs Further the Fight Against Racism

by Malleana Ruffin, Public Interest Registry Social Media Manager

The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Aubrey woke up our country, inspiring millions to learn about and work harder toward improving Black lives and creating a more just society. PIR is proud that .ORGs play an integral role in this work. We’ve assembled some resources below to encourage and enable more of us around the world to work towards racial equality. It’s by no means an exhaustive list but should offer a good start—and we all need to do our part.

Engaging in Self-Education

Named for Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy prior to gaining recognition as a poet, Busboys and Poets’ Washington, DC-area bookshops and restaurants serve as gathering places for artists and activists. They have curated an comprehensive anti-racist reading list through Bookshop.org, which supports local bookstores across the country. RacialEquityTools.org helps those working toward an  equal and just society gain the knowledge and tools they need and offers an extensive resource library to learn about racial equity, justice, and societal change.

Valuing Black Art and Culture

Through artistic and cultural exploration, many of us learn about people and stories that have been previously unfamiliar. It can be a form of social action, inspiration, and protest. CommonSenseMedia.org offers a diverse list of films about Black lives and history, listing descriptions and age-appropriateness for each. BlackArtFutures.org  helps ensure that Black artists are celebrated and continue to create. Through grant making, board-matching, and donor cultivation, they amplify and strengthen the future of Black art. SavingPlaces.org, through its African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, is working to preserve and sustain places where Black history happened—whether it’s the home of performer and activist Nina Simone or a civil rights site such as the A.G. Gaston Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. met with his top leaders.

Teaching the Next Generation

Parents play an enormous role in creating necessary change by raising their children with an  unprejudiced mindset. This doesn’t mean an “I don’t see color” approach, which by default supports the status quo; it means educating children on Black history, lives, and struggles, so that they can have an understanding of how systemic racism directly affects lives and how to combat it. NPR.org offers this guide to speaking to young children about race, with links to further resources, as well as this guide especially for white children, to help them learn to be allies. Your child’s favorite characters can help them understand the Black Lives Matter movement, through SesameWorkshop.org’s CNN Racism Town Hall. Adl.org, the domain of the Anti-Defamation League, offers a guide for children 11 and up for discussing racism and law-enforcement, with empowering strategies and tools.

Taking Action with Your Support

There are so many groups working tirelessly on the front lines right now. Here is a varied sampling of some to check out. BailProject.org works with public defenders and community organizations to provide bail assistance, court date reminders, transportation, and other support to low-income individuals. Baji.org (The Black Alliance for Just Immigration) engages with community partners to boost awareness about racism, identities, migration, and globalization. BlackVisionsmn.org is a Minnesota-based organization dedicated to dismantling systems of oppression and violence by fostering Black leadership. ForMyBlock.org (My Block, My Hood, My City) is a Chicago nonprofit at the forefront of getting aid to businesses in majority-minority neighborhoods. LovelandFoundation.org supports the mental health of Black women and girls by providing free therapy. ColorofChange.org is the largest online racial justice organization in the country. You can join the Color of Change movement here.

We hope these resources are valuable as an educational and activism guide. No matter where we begin our fight for equality, it’s important that we do. As Jon Nevett, president and CEO of PIR, said in his recent statement: “This is our moment in time, our opportunity. We must seize it.”